Twelve small companies stand to receive $250,000 each in grants as part of a small business competition, The Main Street Grants Program. They’ll also win a two day trip to Google headquarters for an intensive small business marketing workshop.
Small business lender Chase announced its Mission Main Street Grants Program (#MissionMainSt) this week. Owners of small businesses meeting the criteria should visit the Mission Main Street Grants site and fill in a business profile and grant questionnaire to enter.
Businesses can sign up for the program through October 31, 2013, by completing the profile and questionnaire.
After that, there’s a multi-stage process (see diagram above). Visitors to the site may vote for their favorite business from Oct. 1 through Nov. 15 using Facebook Connect.
Businesses must receive at least 250 votes to be eligible for for the final round evaluation in the grants. So, obviously, mobilizing social followers is a good strategy at least to get your small business into the running.
Main Street Grants Program Entry Requirements
The program is open to U.S. owned small businesses that have been in operation for two or more years (sorry, no early stage startups). Entrants must employ fewer than 100 full-time people annually. But Chase provides a somewhat more lengthy list of rules you should look over if you’re considering entering, so that you know whether your business meets all eligibility requirements.
A group of 12 expert panelists will choose the final 12 grant recipients from the pool of eligible businesses. Winners will be announced in January, 2014.
What Would You Do with $250,000?
In a recent Google Hangout, four 2012 grant recipients talk about how winning $250,000 helped them grow their businesses.
What would your business do with an extra $250,000?
The money might be enough to build a prototype, put a new product into production, open a new location or just grow the business with added investment.
Chase says winners will also receive a special advertising offer from Google, premium sponsor of the grant competition, and access to a special social media toolkit.