Small business owners rejoice: the Chase Mission Main Street program is once again giving away grants to 20 businesses across the United States. Grants are in the amount of $150,000, for a total of $3 million that Chase will give away to support small businesses.
For-profit businesses with less than 100 full-time, year-round employees, who have been in business for at least two years, can go to missionmainstreetgrants.com to apply for a grant. (Eligibility requirements are listed on the site.) Once they have filled out a profile and completed the application process, they’ll need to solicit friends, family and fans to vote for them through Facebook. To be considered for a grant, businesses must receive at least 250 votes. The voting period goes through October 17, 2014.
Once the voting period closes, eligible businesses with 250 or more Facebook votes will be judged by a panel of fifteen judges including Darla Beggs, of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Carla Hall, chef and owner of Carla Hall Petite Cookies, Andres Pena of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Piepszak, National Head of Sales for Chase Business Banking, and Candace Waterman of the Women Business Enterprise National Council.
More than just money
Thanks to Chase’s partnership with Google, winners won’t just get funding for their businesses; they will receive help figuring out how best to spend it. Besides the $150,000 in grant money, the 20 winning businesses will receive a trip to Google HQ for a small business marketing workshop, a Chromebook laptop, and a $2,000 coupon good toward one market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.
Simply entering the contest has its perks, as well. Even if they don’t win, each qualifying small business that applies for a grant will get a $150 coupon toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys and access to a special marketing toolkit from Google.
Third annual contest promises a new crop of innovators
This is the third year that Chase has run the Mission Main Street contest. Last year’s winners included a summer camp for girls interested in STEM careers, a pizza truck featuring a portable brick-oven pizza, a denim company that makes jeans for people with sensory issues, and a microbrewery specializing in organic kombucha and other probiotic drinks.
Last year, only 12 winners were chosen, and each received $250,000. This year the payout is smaller, but more small businesses have a shot at the prize. Winners will be announced in January 2015.