Chase kicked off National Small Business Week with a bang, to the tune of (an eventual) $2 million in grants to the type of companies being celebrated.
Yesterday (May 4), the bank announced the launch of its 2015 Mission Main Street Grants program, which will award $100,000 grants to 20 small businesses in the United States.
To qualify for grant consideration through the program, a business must -- among other eligibility requirements -- have fewer than 100 employees and receive at least 250 votes at MissionMainStreetGrants.com by June 19. As explained in a press release, Chase will be providing applicants access to a marketing toolkit that can help them boost their company's LinkedIn profile visibility toward the goal of reaching the minimum vote count.
“Our Mission Main Street Grant recipients have become part of the Chase family,” said Jennifer Piepszak, CEO of Chase Business Banking, in the release. “Their energy, spirit, enthusiasm, and business acumen represent the core elements that make small businesses so important to our communities.”
Of the small businesses voted by the public into eligibility, the 20 grant recipients will ultimately be decided on by a panel of experts that includes: Darla Beggs, National Board Chair, National Association of Women Business Owners; Stephanie DeVane, Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Business Development, National Urban League; Marc Nager, Chief Executive Officer, UP Global; Penry Price, Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn; and Joset Wright-Lacy, President, National Minority Supplier Development Council.
The Mission Main Street Grants recipients -- who will be announced in September -- will also be awarded a trip to LinkedIn’s headquarters in California.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so we’re pleased to join forces with Chase to help this community of professionals achieve their business goals,” said Jennifer Grazel, Director of Global Vertical Marketing, Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn, in the press release. “As a professional platform, we have unique insights into how SMBs can creatively leverage social media to gain real traction and grow their businesses one follower at a time.”