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Amazon Launches Grants, Education Hub for Small Business Owners

Amazon, eCommerce, retail

Amazon’s B2B procurement store is rolling out new resources designed to help smaller entrepreneurs.

It’s all part of Amazon Business’ third annual Small Business Month, the retail giant announced Wednesday (May 1) as it introduced an online resource center dubbed the Small Business Success Studio.”

The free service offers lessons in finance, marketing, procurement and operations, along with tips from founders such as Allison Ellsworth of poppi, the company said in a news release.

Businesses can learn how to Amazon Business to simplify procurement and gain operational efficiencies, with businesses with yearly revenue of $1 million or less eligible to apply to win more funds over $250,000 in grants.

“Driving education and getting funds to small businesses who are driving impact in their local communities is something we’re very passionate about at Amazon Business,” said Shelley Salomon, vice president of Amazon Business Worldwide. 

“Setting these small businesses up for success, whether through grants, educational opportunities, or the innovative tools Amazon Business offers to simplify buying decisions, our hope is to help free up some time and resources so they can focus on their mission,” Salomon added. 

Amazon’s “Small Business Month” coincides with National Small Business Week, a time when — as PYMNTS wrote Thursday (May 2)— more and more merchants are focusing their efforts beyond Main Street and into eCommerce.

“And with the news that the post-pandemic growth for most Main Street small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is surpassing analysts’ expectations, just how these vital components of the American economy are doing so is top of mind,” that report said.

“The answer, it turns out, is in many cases by expanding into eCommerce and embracing an online presence. Online commerce, after all, eliminates geographical barriers, allowing small businesses to reach customers beyond their local area. This expands the potential customer base and increases sales opportunities,” the report added. 

Research by PYMNTS Intelligence shows that nearly 80% of SMBs use online channels, while an additional 16% say they are interested in employing them. In addition, the average Main Street SMB realizes half its sales through online channels. Main Street retail SMBs lead the way, generating 54% of their sales from these channels.

Separate research from the PYMNTS Intelligence report Main Street Small Business Growth Exceeds GDP for First Time in Two Years shows that businesses from this category with increasing revenues are more likely to sell goods online than those with declining revenues.