We’ve all heard the horror stories of Wall Street, the stories about how the 1% don’t care about anybody but themselves and would rather see others suffer than lend a helping hand. However, that may not be as true as we all once thought as Wall Street marketers have started lending a helping hand to small business owners.
Wall Street giants like Chase, American Express and Goldman Sachs are slowly recovering from some rough times resulting from the recent housing crisis, though each of these companies has found time to extend the proverbial olive branch to small business owners across the country. For example, Chase just announced a $3 million program with LivingSocial that will allow consumers to vote on which small business will receive $250,000 in grants.
Chase has long aimed for small business owners to sell loans though, as Chase Business Card President Richard Quigley stated, “wanted to give grant money to help jump-start deserving businesses.” Quigley added, “We’re doing this now because small businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy.”
This move by Chase is similar to the one used by American Express’ Small Business Saturday event. This event drives cardholders to spend at Main Street small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and also creates incentives for the business owners to accept the card. In addition to Chase and American Express, Visa is also launching an Olympics campaign aimed at small businesses.
You may be wondering why small business are getting so much attention at the moment from these bigwigs and the reason is simply because there are so many more small businesses now than there used to be. According to Executive Director for Corporate Executive Board, “Through the past two recessions we saw a spike in the net new small businesses — companies are recognizing that.”
Chase is running a two-pronged small-business stimulus program, much like American Express’. Chase’s program is targeting consumers and small business owners with the hopes that this show of good faith will have a halo effect. “They’re both capitalizing on anti-big-business sentiment,” said Maycock.
Maycock added, “You can see ‘Shop Small’ working double duty, at once small business is grateful for driving business, but it also speaks to a shared value with consumers: ‘Let’s get behind the little guy.'” According to American Express Chief Marketer John Hayes, “Cardholders were able to help their downtown, which is what they all want to do.”
Goldman Sachs, which is considered to be the most reviled name on Wall Street, has even committed $500 million to help small businesses grow via things like scholarships, lending and philanthropic support to community development groups. Small businesses are what can turn this economic crisis around and it is good to see some of these bigger corporations getting behind them.
Source: Advertising Age – Small Businesses Get a Boost From Finance Bigwigs