Lowe's Increases Its Small Business Grants to $55m, Pledges Another $25m for Rural Communities

Lowe's Companies, Inc. | July 17, 2020

In response to the overwhelming need to help support small businesses across the country, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is announcing it is increasing its minority small business grants from $25 million to $30 million while donating an additional $25 million to its small business grant program with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), doubling the amount already committed. The additional funds will focus on rural communities, which have been hard hit by the pandemic. The total $55 million commitment makes Lowe's the largest donor to LISC's Small Business Relief & Recovery Program and COVID Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

Wrapmate makes it easier for franchises to brand their vehicles

Wrapmate | September 29, 2022

Wrapmate is excited to announce that it's bringing its vast network of over 1,400 vehicle graphics professionals to franchisors nationwide in an all-new product offering for franchises to receive vehicle wraps for all their company vehicles across all U.S. markets. Now, franchisors nationwide can wrap anywhere from one to 10,000 vehicles quickly and efficiently, in every major market.Wrapmate's Franchise Wraps and Graphics Program meets franchises where they're at with an out-of-the-box solution to handle all things graphics. Entrepreneurs enter the franchise business with the expectations of marketing and operations already being pre-set and on autopilot. Franchises can now have their mind at ease knowing that wrapping franchisee vehicles is just as easy. The core components of Wrapmate's turnkey program provides all U.S.-based franchisors with flexible pricing, branding consistency, standardized logistics and nationwide installation coverage for wraps & graphics on any vehicle type or quantity. Wrapmate's flexible pricing structure ensures zero costs are charged to the corporate entity, including no setup costs or monthly management fees. Franchisors are simply responsible for sharing the vehicle graphics program to their franchisees, and Wrapmate handles everything else. Franchisors not only benefit from beautiful vehicle branding and endless marketing value, but a promising strategy for fueling additional growth across current and new franchisee markets. Included in the program comes a ready-to-use ordering platform where franchisees can visit a co-branded website to choose their vehicle, graphic size, creative theme and then instantly place an order for new vehicle graphics. Wrapmate can also facilitate other large format printing and installation like window signage, wall murals and floor graphics at any or all franchisee locations. "We are beyond excited to provide franchisors across all U.S. markets with the effortless ability to offer wraps and graphic products to their franchisees, no matter where they are located, Thanks to Wrapmate's logistical prowess behind-the-scenes, we can ensure color consistency, branding perfection and flawless installation across every single franchisee's wrap project." Javier Lozano Jr., Chief Marketing Officer of Wrapmate Jeremy Seiley, a franchisee of That 1 Painter based in Houston, Texas, says, Working with Wrapmate to put wraps on both my franchise vehicles has been incredibly simple and streamlined. Since getting my wraps completed, I literally have potential customers approaching my vehicles on a daily basis asking for price quotes and it's grown my sales pipeline substantially. Franchisees, in many cases small business owners, are generally not familiar with how onsite and offsite graphics have a very positive impact on the business growth, nor do they know where to go to get these solutions. A one stop shop for graphics, facilitates the adoption of 3M trusted graphic solutions in this market segment, hence continuing to grow the overall graphics industry, shares Carolina Bautista-Brown, 3M Segment Marketing Senior Manager. About Wrapmate Wrapmate is an all-in-one digital platform for business owners and consumers to get their vehicle wraps & graphics projects designed, produced and installed in any city across the U.S. Utilizing Wrapmate's advanced technologies, customers can visualize, purchase and even finance their vehicle graphics in the simplest way possible. Additionally, Wrapmate supports a nationwide network of over 1,400 vetted graphic professionals known as Wrapmate Pros, providing them with local customer projects and solutions to grow their business. To learn more, visit wrapmate.com. About 3M 3M believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what's possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities, and planet. Learn how we're working to improve lives and make what's

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

U.S. Small Business Administration Veterans Small Business Advisory Committees Set to Host Virtual Public Meetings December 7-8

U.S. Small Business Administration | November 29, 2022

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development (IATF) and Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (ACVBA) announced that the task force will hold their next set of virtual public meetings on December 7 and December 8, respectively, via Microsoft Teams. "Both the IATF and ACVBA committee meetings serve as opportunities for participants to learn the latest on the state of veteran-owned small businesses and discuss how the SBA can continue to serve the military and veteran community,This quarter, participants will receive an important update on the SBA's Veteran Small Business Certification Program." Associate Administrator for the SBA Office of Veterans Business Development, Larry Stubblefield. WHAT: IATF and ACVBA Virtual Public Meetings The IATF meeting will include committee member updates from the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA), Treasury, Defense, Labor; U.S. General Services Administration; Office of Management and Budget; North Carolina Business Center; the American Legion; VET-Force; and the National Veteran Small Business Coalition. The ACVBA meeting will cover briefings from SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development on the SBA's Veteran Small Business of Financial Assistance, VA, and the Madison Services Group. WHEN: IATF Meeting Wednesday, December 7, 2022 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) ACVBA Meeting Thursday, December 8, 2022 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EST) WHO: Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator, SBA Office of Veterans Business Development Robert Bailey, ACVBA Chairperson, Veteran Small Business Owner IATF and ACVBA Committee Members Guest Speakers from Interagency Partners and Veterans Service Organizations HOW: The IATF will meet on Wednesday, December 7, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) via this Microsoft Teams link. To join the meeting by phone instead, use 206-413-7980 and enter the Conference ID: 978023539#. The ACVBA will meet Thursday, December 8, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EST) via this Microsoft Teams link. To join by phone instead, dial 206-413-7980 and enter the Conference ID: 674127009. Public comments and questions are strongly encouraged to be submitted in advance via email by December 6 to veteransbusiness@sba.gov. For technical support, please visit the Microsoft Teams support page. Meeting presentations and minutes will be available after both meetings at www.sba.gov/ovbd under the "Federal Advisory Committees" section. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Outreach Team Selected to Support Local Small Businesses

Community Business Connector | October 07, 2022

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Port of Seattle, and King County announced today that seven community organizations would serve local small businesses through the Community Business Connector (CBC) program These organizations, identified as Connectors, will serve small businesses in five geographic hubs in King County through a targeted outreach program. Connectors will provide access to available business resources to help them sustain and grow their enterprises. A review panel selected the Connector finalist following a competitive application process. Seven connectors, in the first phase of this pilot program, will ease the way for small businesses across King County to connect with advisors and access resources for business recovery. Connectors will receive a one-time funding award from $30,000 to $40,000 over 12 months as part of the pilot program. Those selected include the following. Lake City Collective OneEastside Spark Growing Contigo, LLC International Rescue Committee Indian American Community Services Kent Chamber of Commerce SnoValley Chamber The Chamber's team of Connectors utilizes an online ticket system to connect with business owners directly. Connectors provide referral options to lenders, small business development centers, and other helpful resources. The Port of Seattle invested $650,000 in community-based partnerships to open doors for ethnic businesses that anchor our communities and neighborhoods, Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed. "Helping small companies tap resources is vital as the region grows amid uncertain economic conditions locally and globally. Connectors will make the region's small business support ecosystem more accommodating and inclusive by building relationships with businesses facing challenges due to linguistic, cultural, and geographic barriers. "Companies owned by people of color, and those based in rural communities have faced higher barriers to accessing capital, receiving state and local relief funding, and pivoting to online sales ,We are committing $500,000 from King County COVID-19 Local Recovery Funds to ensure that small businesses throughout King County can get the direct support and resources they need " Seattle Metro Chamber CEO Rachel Smith

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TECHNOLOGY

BAU Launches New and Revolutionary Mobile App to Help Small Businesses Promote Themselves

BAU | November 21, 2022

BAU has launched a new mobile app designed to help small businesses advertise themselves through super-charged word-of-mouth for our digital age. Imagine a construction contractor attracting new clients by reaching the audience of a nearby real estate broker, or a coffee shop partnering with a nearby bagel business and getting its ads shown directly to their viewership. BAU lets you take advantage of industries that naturally appeal to consumers together in order to reach the right buyers and send the right message. Most business owners use Google, Meta, Yelp and other platforms as expensive but necessary tools to reach target audiences online ... but it doesn't have to be that way. BAU has created an opportunity to connect with the exact type of complementary businesses that have access to desired customers, attracting attention, sales, and clicks from the right prospects. "This is a 'dating' platform for everyone to build better relationships with small businesses nearby," BAU CEO Lambert Egbuchulam. The new BAU mobile app offers: BETTER TARGETING Let's face it: most ads are misplaced annoyances that people can't wait to skip. Advertisements on BAU get seen by your specific target audience, meaning better results with no exposures wasted on people you don't want to appeal to. LOWER PRICES Digital advertising is like the housing market—prices just keep barreling upwards, driven by competition. With BAU, you could save a fraction of what you would on a monthly ad budget compared to what you'd waste on "the big guys," increasing R.O.I. and making advertising a no-brainer. COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY BAU compiles straightforward, up-to-the-minute reports with results that let you know how your ads are doing at a glance. Update, suspend, or alter your campaign at any time. SIMPLIFIED MANAGEMENT No tech stuff, no setup wizards, no degree in computer science needed. We built BAU to be simple enough for Grandma to use, without all the jargon and learning curve. LOCAL BAU is all about symbiotic relationships within your local community. Not only do people like to buy where they live, but it also makes it more cost-effective and seamless for you, the business owner. ABOUT BAU At BAU, we believe it shouldn't be about who has the biggest ad budget or most genius marketing team —we dream of a world where needs are met and businesses are built based on honest, local collaboration. By connecting local businesses and having them help advertise each other, we're inspiring commerce to be more simple, more honest, and more clear. We consider our business model to be super-charged word-of-mouth, updated and revolutionized for our digital age. We invite you to join us on our crusade to bring the power back to the small businesses as we create marketing opportunities that don't just create profits... they also empower people.

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Spotlight

Small Food Business ideas for 2017. Learn how to start a fast food franchise business. Fast food franchise business ideas, opportunities and plans to start your own business. Small scale food business ideas in India, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Pakistan.

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