ST. CLOUD -- A local business owner is being honored by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

BadCat Digital owner Michelle Henderson was named the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year recipient as part of the chamber's 2022 Small Business Awards.

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After struggling to find a job after moving to St. Cloud, Henderson took a chance and went into business for herself.

In 2017 she created BadCat Digital and within the first four months, she had already reached her goals. By her second year in business, the company tripled their sales.

Then at the height of their growth, the pandemic struck. Henderson says while no one could have predicted the pandemic, it did allow them some time to take a breath and refocus.

The pandemic came at a time where the slow down helped up. It allowed us to pause and build up our systems to better serve our clients. Sometimes you grow so fast you outpace your ability to produce at the level you want to produce at.

Henderson says despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, they have been able to respond.

We've had our best quarter ever in the first quarter of 2022, we brought on some huge partnership within the community, added some new service lines and things are looking up.

Henderson says they are focusing on increasing their video services, as well as exploring augmented and virtual reality, which they believe will be the future of advertising.

She says it's been a wild ride and she's incredibly thankful for her team who have been a vital part of the company's success.

A luncheon is scheduled to honor the three business award winners on May 4th at The Park Event Center.

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