- Country Stitches, Ltd., East Lansing, Michigan. Owners Anita Covert, Ann Covert Fuller and Brian Ladson plan to use the award money to improve their sewing business' website and social media presence to keep up with rapid changes in digital commerce. To improve their community, they want to assist in an annual project this winter that provides quilts for the homeless and veterans. The quilt project also helps refugee women in the community learn how to sew, a skill that can help them provide clothing for their families and build self-esteem.
- Bryson City Bicycles, Bryson City, North Carolina. Owner Diane Cutler plans to use the award money to establish an e-commerce platform for her bicycle shop, allowing customers to shop online. To improve her community, she plans to purchase a fleet of mountain bikes for the local high school, where many families cannot afford bicycles, as part of an outdoor recreation program.
- Cincinnati Transmission Specialists, Cincinnati, Ohio. Owner Richard Lamping plans to use the award money to provide new equipment and training to his staff and technicians at the automotive repair center to help them stay ahead of advances in technology. To improve his community, Lamping wants to put the award money toward a nonprofit foundation he recently established, The Lamplight of Hope, which raises money and necessities for families affected by illness, disability and other hardships. Lamping wants to establish a resource storehouse with medical equipment and household goods available to families in need.
- Cliff's Carpet One, Latrobe, Pennsylvania . Owners Kristy and Kevin Ridilla plan to use the award money to rebrand their business to "Cliff's Flooring Solutions" to more accurately reflect the many floor coverings offered there. To improve their community, the Ridillas want to donate their award winnings to a local center that helps babies born addicted to drugs. The center provides support, care and counseling for the babies, and their mothers.
- Downtown Auto Specialists, Spokane, Washington. Owner Ken Wanless plans to use the award to purchase equipment and provide training for employees to keep up with rapid changes in technology. Additionally, Wanless wants to remodel the store's waiting and reception area to reflect his dedication to state-of-the-art technology. To improve his community, Wanless wants to establish a scholarship fund for children of fallen service members from a nearby military base that would allow them to learn a skilled trade, such as auto repair or plumbing.
About Synchrony FinancialSynchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) is one of the nation's premier consumer financial services companies. Our roots in consumer finance trace back to 1932, and today we are the largest provider of private label credit cards in the United States based on purchase volume and receivables. * We provide a range of credit products through programs we have established with a diverse group of national and regional retailers, local merchants, manufacturers, buying groups, industry associations and healthcare service providers to help generate growth for our partners and offer financial flexibility to our customers. Through our partners' over 350,000 locations across the United States and Canada, and their websites and mobile applications, we offer our customers a variety of credit products to finance the purchase of goods and services. Synchrony Financial offers private label and co-branded Dual Card ™ credit cards, promotional financing and installment lending, loyalty programs and FDIC-insured savings products through Synchrony Bank. More information can be found at www.synchronyfinancial.com, facebook.com/SynchronyFinancial, www.linkedin.com/company/synchrony-financial and twitter.com/SYFNews. *Source: The Nilson Report (May 2016, Issue # 1087) - based on 2015 data. ©2016 Synchrony Bank/Synchrony Financial. All rights reserved. Editor's Note: Photos of winners available upon request.