Cheeriodicals wins $43k in state-wide contest

Gary and Mary Martha Parisher, left, with Gov. Robert Bentley, center, who presented them with a check for $43,250 for Cheeriodicals' performance in Alabama Launchpad.

Gary and Mary Martha Parisher, left, with Gov. Robert Bentley, center, who presented them with a check for $43,250 for Cheeriodicals’ performance in Alabama Launchpad.

By AMY JONES/For the Reporter

MT LAUREL – Cheeriodicals, a Mt Laurel-based gift package company, cleaned up during a recent state-wide business competition.

Through Alabama Launchpad, a program that helps promote start-up businesses across the state, Cheeriodicals recently received $43,250 in funding, according to co-founder Gary Parisher.

Cheeriodicals was one of only five businesses to receive funding, Parisher said.

Alabama Launchpad is a partnership among state universities and state government.

“I was really happy to see that the state of Alabama was so in tune with the fact that entrepreneurship is really the foundation for business,” Parisher said. “Every big business started with one small idea.”

Parisher said Gov. Robert Bentley was present at the winners’ ceremony to give out checks and congratulate those who won.

“The governor said, ‘Business wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for individuals,’” Parisher said.

He said the funds will be used to help promote the business through investing in an email marketing campaign, which will target companies or officials looking to do events to give back to Children’s Hospital, and investing in Google AdWorks, a way to advertise through Google.

Cheeriodicals is known for assisting companies with a specific team-building exercise. If companies decide they want to boost team morale by giving back to Children’s Hospital, Cheeriodicals can send all the materials needed to put together child-friendly gift packages, which company employees can then build and deliver to the hospital, Parisher said.

Cheeriodicals officials began working on the Alabama Launchpad application in May. The application included a business plan, a history of the company’s finances, a plan for how Cheeriodicals officials would use any funding awarded and a three-minute video that covered why the business should be considered for Alabama Launchpad, among other materials, Parisher said.

Parisher said he found out the results of the competition on Sept. 26.

The experience of going through the Alabama Launchpad program was just as vital as getting funding, he said.

“It was a measuring stick for how we could proceed as a business in the future,” said Parisher, who added that he learned about other state start-up businesses and garnered some advice along the way. “As entrepreneurs, we’re all in the same boat. It’s very difficult to be an entrepreneur. It’s a lot easier to have a regular job, I can assure you.”

To find out more about Cheeriodicals, visit the company’s website at Cheeriodicals.com.