Vancouver Chamber Adds Third Small Business Saturday Grant, $6,000 in funds will be distributed
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 November 1st and ends on Small Business Saturday, which falls on November 24th this year. Currently, over 100 members are enrolled to participate, ranging from start-ups, professional services business, retail, and nonprofits. The 2017 grant recipients were: Sweet Spot Skirts and Funky Fresh Juice Co. The Chamber’s Grant program is sponsored by Columbia Credit Union.
If interested businesses missed the October 8th Info Session, they can enroll or ask questions about the program to Chandra Chase, the Chamber's Programs & Communications Director. An program overview document that explains the program and covers fundamentals on how the social media hashtag contest works (to award the grant) can be sent. The Small Business Saturday Grant program is a November-long 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 identify the business the post was promoting serve as an entry on behalf of that business for the grant funds. There is no voting, its 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, December 5th Southwest Washington Leads & Needs event by Columbia Credit Union and the GVCC. "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 $2000 checks to help boost their business." - Michelle Thor, VP Outreach & Social Responsibility at Columbia Credit Union.
How can you win?
Grant recipients will be chosen from social media posts between November 1st and November 24th which is Small Business Saturday. Eligible posts must include our contest hashtag #GVCCgrant2018, be set to public, and identify a participating business - that is it! Nexus Chiropractic won in 2015 by a heartfelt post from a patient. Maddogs won in 2016 by a post made from their partners at Innovative Services NW. Frunky Fresh Juice Co. and Sweet Spot Skirts won in 2017. The social media contest is a perfect opportunity to reach out to past customers, clients, vendors, employees, supporters, and partners and ask them to share about your business online. After Small Business Saturday (contest end date - November 24th this year) a small committee will choose the "Best Post" from our membership base that is enrolled in our program (no additional cost to membership).
All About Air Heating & Cooling
All Star Orthodontics
At Vancouver Massage
Available Creations Screenprinting & Embroidery LLC
Beacock Music & Education Center
Bleu Door Bakery
Body Bliss Yoga, LLC
Body in Motion Massage Therapy LLC
Bonnie Smelser, Independent Beauty Consultant
Caribbean And Beyond
Casey Evans Media
Cellar 55 Tasting Room
Chic Boutique Women's Consignment
Clark County Cleaners (formerly Pressed 4 Time)
Clark County Habitat for Humanity Store
Clark County Veteran's Assistance Center
Columbia Risk Management
D&C Mailboxes and More
Dale A Low Hypnosis
DIY Marketing Center
Ethereal Meads, LLC
Excel Designs Inc.
Filbin's Ace Hardware
Final Draft Taphouse
Formal Flush Restroom Trailers
Funky Fresh Juice Co.
G6 Airpark Inc.
Galeotti's Wine Cellar
Glam Beauty Bar
Goldsmith Home Repair
Grant Mott Photography, LLC
Hall Mediation Services
High End Market Place
High Fidelity Entertainment
I Like Comics
IN Local Marketing
Justice Productions/Justice Pictures
Kate Singh Photography (formerly Aevum Images)
Kim Blahnik Real Estate - Real Living the RE Group
Latte Da Coffee House & Wine Bar
Luepke Flowers and Finds
MADdogs Gourmet Hot Dogs
Melissa Duffy Design
Metropolitan Performing Arts
Mount St Helens Institute
Move Physical Therapy
MPG Marketing & Mailing Services
Nana's Tiny Cakes
National Women's Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (NWCAVE)
NorthWest Lifestyle Health
Northwest Personal Training
NW Association for Blind Athletes
Pacific Perks Coffee, LLC
Police Activities League of Vancouver
Premium Websites, LLC
Prime Fighting LLC
Reed Creative, LLC
Rocksolid Community Teen Center
Say Ciao! Columbia River Taproom and Eatery
Schofield Properties, LLC
Self Balance Massage
Signs & More
Simple Pleasures Events LLC
Simply Thyme Catering
Specialty Graphic Solutions LLC
Spoiled Spa and Salon
Strategic Tax Accounting and Consulting
Sunrise Dental of Salmon Creek
Sweet Spot Skirts
Thai Orchid Restaurant
The Daily Insider
The Heathman Lodge & Hudson's Bar & Grill
The Herbery Central
The Herbery I-205
The Herbery I-5
The Mighty Bowl
The Pita Pit
The Upper Room
The Uptown Barrel Room
The Yoga Seed Studio LLC
Tina Vlachos Agency-American Family Insurance
Trap Door Brewing, LLC
Urban Float Vancouver
Utopia Salon & Day Spa
Velonia Boutique & Tailoring
Vida Flare, LLC
VIP Photobooth/Bounce N Battle
Whimsy Chocolates LLC
White Oak Alpacas
Working Womens Apparel & Retro Boutique
Yoder Chiropractic Center PS
Do you want to join the program?
Email Chandra Chase for program details
Thank you to our sponsor: Columbia Credit Union
Past Campaign Highlights:
The line around the block at Kazoodles Toys in East Vancouver on Small Business Saturday. Columbia Credit Union was on site, handing out gift cards during one of their "Making Life Better" moments.
Michelle Thor and Shannon Decker of Columbia Credit Union present Janelle Chandler of Nexus Chiropractic with the $500 Business Grant Check. Nexus Chiropractic was the winner of the first social media #localthanks hashtag contest. Her employees and clients posted a number of fantastic posts praising her professionalism and skill as a chiropractor. Great job Janelle!
In 2014 the GVCC hosted a customer appreciation contest as part of the "Get Out On... Small Business Saturday" campaign. Each participating small business received an entry box for their customers. The prize: a $500 "Shop Local" gift certificate to be used at their place of entry. Each time a customer shopped/used services they were entered in the drawing as a THANK YOU. The winner was Brett Herr, a customer from Self Balance Massage. We called and credited his $500 prize to his name.
In 2014 Columbia Credit Union visited Mary Sisson, owner of Kazoodles toy store in Vancouver and handed out surprise amount gift cards to shoppers. Sisson reported a record day of sales on Small Business Saturday. "We had our best day of sales in 8 and a half year in business. My thanks to Columbia Credit Union who were onsite with their Making Life Better Moments and handed out free gift cards to shoppers in the morning and to the Chamber," she said on December 3rd to the networking group at SW WA Leads and Needs.
In 2013 (in the programs first year) the team at Columbia Credit Union surprised the community on Small Business Saturday at two locations. First they went to Latte Da Coffee and handed out $5 gift cards. Then, they hosted a free holiday movie at the Kiggins Theatre! They handed out extra goodies as the community piled into our landmark theater to enjoy a free viewing of ELF.