The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) has increased their Small Business Saturday Grant program distribution total from $4,000 in 2017 to $6,000 in 2018.
Three $2,000 Small Business Saturday Grants will be available to GVCC members with 15 full-time employees or less, who are eligible to compete in a social media hashtag contest, which starts on Nov. 1 and ends on Small Business Saturday, which falls on Nov. 24 this year. Currently, over 100 members are enrolled to participate, ranging from start-ups, professional service businesses, retail and nonprofits. The 2017 grant recipients were Sweet Spot Skirts (customer testimonial) and Funky Fresh Juice Co (family member tribute). The Chamber’s Small Business Saturday program has been sponsored by Columbia Credit Union since its inception in 2013.
The November contest is a marketing framework for small businesses, organizations and nonprofits to engage customers, clients, vendors, employees and/or community members to post on their behalf. Public posts between Nov. 1-24 that contain the Chamber’s #GVCCgrant2018 hashtag and that identify the business the post was promoting, serve as an entry on behalf of that business for the grant funds. There is no voting; it’s quality over quantity. Last year, hundreds of posts circulated in November to launch the shop local holiday message and showcase Southwest Washington’s small businesses community.
The three $2,000 grant recipients will be chosen via a four-person committee, consisting of two GVCC staff and two Columbia Credit Union staff, who cast their votes for the “best post” from a list of 20 contest finalists. The three $2,000 recipients will be awarded their grant funds at the Wednesday, Dec. 5 Southwest Washington Leads & Needs event by Columbia Credit Union and the GVCC reps.
“As a community-based business, Columbia Credit Union was excited to once again partner with the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce to offer the Small Business Saturday Grant Program. It was my pleasure to present Funky Fresh and Sweet Spot Skirts with their $2,000 checks to help boost their business,” said Michelle Thor, VP Outreach & Social Responsibility at Columbia Credit Union.