What's this grant we are applying for?? Well Chase has a grant program where 12 small businesses will be awarded $250,000 to help their businesses fund major improvements with their business. Among other things, I would love to be able to increase my warehouse space, retrofit my 800 square foot studio space, and update my website and somehow have it be interactive with my inventory. All of these are actually focused on being able to make the lives of my employees better and allow us to provide better customer service.
I am asking you to "vote your support" for us on the Mission: Small Business℠ website. We need to receive about 70 more votes at this point to reach the 250 votes we need to qualify to be considered for a $250,000 Grant. After clicking “Support” on the home page, look for our business (you can just input Miss Babs and it should come up) and vote for us! You do need a Facebook account in order to vote.
I have had some time to think about the power of this program and the benefits it is providing, because regardless of whether we get a grant or not, we and other small businesses have gained significantly by going through the application process.
Benefit #1 - Long-Term Planning
The application asks a number of important questions which focuses us on the future and how we are going to do what we would like to do. This future-focusing is really pretty important given the uncertainty we all face in the next few years in the political and economic environments. But besides that, it is really important for those of us in small businesses, who are often so focused on the "daily doing" of our businesses to pull back and think into the future, away from the day-to-day. This benefit not only comes to me, but to all the businesses who have engaged in this process.
Benefit #2 - Marketing of the Small Business
Many small business owners use online marketing tools all the time, and having Ravelry is a double benefit for those in our business, but for many, this may be an their first foray in how to use online marketing tools. This process is encouraging me to come to you and ask you to take a step on my behalf. This is entirely different than encouraging you to come to my website and buy something.
Benefit #3 - Marketing Value to Chase
Through a relatively small program (think of the cost of a 30 second Super Bowl ad)...the cost to them is likely to be under 5-7 million dollars, Chase will reap significantly more goodwill than many other programs or ads could. They will also reach people who they would not reach otherwise, because small business owners are doing the marketing footwork for them.
Benefit #4 - Public Awareness of the Importance of Small Business
The politicians talk about small business and how it is the engine of the economy. It is, but only because the public in combination with the small business make it so. Small business owners rely on all of us to spend our money with them so they can hire another person, buy more stock, or pay their taxes. Together with my customers who have supported this business, we have grown to 6 full-time employees. We are all grateful for this support since 4 of us are single or primary breadwinners.
No doubt there are other benefits, but I need to get back to that "doing" of the business.......
Please go here to vote for us so we can serve you better! (Oh and if you want to, you can vote for more than one business! It would be wonderful if someone we know in the yarn/fiber community got one of the grants!!)