National Women’s Small Business Month Highlight

National Women’s Small Business Month Highlight

In honor of the first week of National Women’s Small Business Month, CW recognizes April Jones. April  had a 10 year plan. She dreamed of leaving her day job in corporate America and transforming her mobile bartending business, the JW Group, into a full-time event space. Spending years at venues across the Midlands, April carefully planned and researched her dream location to make sure it was an elegant, inviting, but a uniquely contemporary experience.
When April found the perfect location in Northeast Columbia, she knew it was time to act on her dream of growing her small business. She applied for a loan at her local federal credit union, but her business loan was denied. Unmoved by the bad news, April reached out to friends throughout the area. Her connections with the City of Columbia and its Mayor led April to CommunityWorks in the early spring of 2016. After meeting with CommunityWorks’ loan officers, April knew she had found the right place to finance her dream of an event space into reality.
April closed on her loan in June and by fall she had transformed a 13,000 square foot building into a chic, but entirely unique event space. The Gala by JW officially opened its doors in September 2016 with funds from CommunityWorks. April prides herself in offering a modern experience. The Gala has breakaway rooms such as a bridal suite and dedicated kid’s corner, as well as small, thoughtful additions like on-site ice machines and a variety of seating options.
“Seeing my hard work manifest,” says April, “is one of the most rewarding feelings about owning my own business.” She may not know it all, but April believes fully that when “you put your heart and soul into something you want to make sure it thrives.”

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