Mission: Small Business℠ a program, sponsored by Chase and LivingSocial has attracted nearly 70,000 small businesses for a chance to win a $250,000 grant to grow their respective businesses and improve their local communities.
The program is offering up to $3 million in grants to inspiring businesses in America. The goal of the program is to empower small business and create a positive and lasting impact to their communities. The winners will not only get grant money but will also get marketing resources and financial advice from the sponsors.
Businesses that were eligible to join must have been in operation for at least two years and have less than 100 employees. After businesses have submitted their applications it is then up to the consumers to decide on who will be eligible to win the grant. A business should have a minimum of 250 votes to be eligible.
Consumers and fans voted for their favourite business via Facebook and 3.1 million consumers have registered their votes. The final 12 grant recipients were then selected by a panel of judges that have reviewed the applications weighing the potential of the business and its capacity to have a positive impact within the community
- Steve Case, Entrepreneur and Founder of AOL
- Candace Nelson, Founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes
- Jason Calcanis, Co-founder of Weblogs, Inc.
- David Chavern, Executive Vice President and Chief Operarting Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Richard Quigley, President, Business Card, Chase
- Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and Co-founder of LivingSocial
- Bright Power – New York, NY
- Carmin Industries – Jacksonville, AL
- Didrick Medical – Naples, FL
- EcoScraps – Provo, UT
- Ellessco LLC – Ventura, CA
- Lasher Sport – Anchorage, AK
- PlanetReuse – Kansas City, MO
- RonWear Port-able Clothing – Beachwood, OH
- Skillastics – Corona, CA
- The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen – San Francisco, CA
- UsedCardboardBoxes.com – Los Angeles, CA
- Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream – Brooklyn, NY
- More than 70,000 business applied for the grant
- 12 grant recipients
- $250,000 grant offering per business
- $3 million in total grant money
- 3.1 million consumer votes
Beverly Kennedy, General Manager for Ink from Chase: “Small businesses are invaluable to the growth of our economy, and Mission: Small Business is just one more example of our long-term commitment to fueling growth on Main Street. Mission: Small Business aims to find the most inspiring small business and provide them with capital, innovative marketing resources and financial advice to help them grow.”
In the last three years, unarguably American Express established itself as The champion of small businesses in financial services with a long list of engaging social media initiatives such as the OPEN Forum, the Small Business Saturday movement and their Big Break contests on facebook, the brilliant Twitter Sync service which is one of the only social media initiatives in the industry generating business not only for Amex but its cardholders and its merchants. A perfect example of social media strategy totally aligned to the business strategy.
R.I.P. Chase +1 on Facebook. Long Live American Express. I wrote this article back in 2010 when Chase canned a facebook initiative with great potential. Since then, the bank has improved its level engagement on facebook with its popular Chase Community Giving programme. More recently, Chase embrace twitter with a couple of accounts for PR and more importantly social customer care.
With ‘Mission: Small Business‘ It seems like Chase is dedicated to establish itself as a worthy competitor of American Express in the small businesses space. In you opinion, isn’t it too late for Chase, or any financial services firms to that matter, to become a credible challenger of Amex in B2B social media?
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