I usually do not believe in mass-marketed contests or other such endorsement solicitations that tend to circulate around Facebook or via email amongst friends and eventually strangers. You know the ones; I’m talking about when people post links to random contests so I can vote daily for someone’s kid to be the top vote-getter for best balanced kid on a tightrope while kicking a soccer ball. OK, that might be a tad extreme (or not), but you get the idea.
However, there’s a contest circulating right now that I can stand behind. Mission: Small Business is sponsored by Chase Bank and Living Social and is throwing their full support behind small businesses all across America. Through the use of online social networking avenues, both sponsors have pledged at minimum $1 Million for three-$250,000 grants and up to $3 Million for 12-$250,000 depending on participation interest in the contest. Well, the contest participation level is and has been at the $3 Million milestone for weeks now since the start of the contest in early May, and entries continue flying in at a rapid pace. At a time when small business loans are hard to come by, this contest offers businesses the chance at a financial boost that they might not have otherwise had; perhaps they’ve been ready to start on the next level of their business plan logistically, but they just haven’t had all the means to commit completely to taking that next step.
Having said all of this, of course I have already voted for a handful or two of such businesses. I am a regular supporter and shopper at our own area small businesses, and we participate every holiday season in American Express’ Small Business Saturday, so I was naturally attracted to this contest as a way of showing my support for small businesses in my area and several others that others have taken the time to tell me about. Please oblige me as I tell you about two of my favorites.
Power Play Kids Gym (PPKG) is a mobile kids’ gym in the Los Angeles-Orange County area (CA) that T belongs to and participates in at school and has for two years now. I cannot say enough awesome things about Miss Jodie and PPKG. For more than 10 years, she has established an unmatched rapport with kids and truly works miracles in getting kids to listen to instructions, take direction, exercise, and learn healthy habits that will last them a lifetime! Miss Jodie’s upbeat, positive spirit is remarkable, and it’s a treat to witness her wonderful ways with children.
With more and more of our schools’ PE programs being cut from budgets, PPKG offers kids a way to get their exercise in that naturally incorporates age-appropriate, play-based activities for any boy or girl no matter what size, age, or abilities they have (classes are offered for kids ages 2-14). With that, let’s support a program that supports our kids and is fighting the good fight against child obesity all at the same time!
On another more indulgent note, I also want to encourage you to support another small business that I believe in and have from before it even began. Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop in Austin, TX, is a true down-home neighborhood bakery that’s been catering to the sweet teeth of the South since 2009. Focusing mainly on cupcakes, Sugar Mama’s rolls out their sweet cakes and numerous other goodies by the dozens at their recently expanded sit-down café (they also offer take-away for all of your party, office, and other celebratory needs).
In the interest of full disclosure, yes, THE “Sugar Mama” owner herself is a dear friend of mine and has been for a few years now and well B-T (before T). However, if you are a loyal RMT reader, you should know by now that I do not endorse baked goods lightly. She personally brought her cupcakes to a party in my home many years ago well before she moved to the Austin area and opened shop. OK, RMT’ers, if any of you live in the South Congress (SoCo) area of Austin or anywhere remotely nearby (day-trip distance would qualify), get yourself to Sugar Mama’s, STAT. Sugar Mama’s flavor combinations are unmatched as are their top-notch, premium ingredients. Though I’ve not been to the Austin storefront (yet), rumor has it that Sugar Mama’s hospitality is far and away that of any authentic, native Southern belle, which in this kind of business is about as important as the products themselves. Sugar Mama’s also caters to canines with special doggie “pupcakes” and a welcoming attitude, and they also keep local vegans happy with a rotating and daily Vegan-friendly mini-menu.
To vote in the Mission: Small Business contest, here’s the website: https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/
To Vote for PPKG: Please click “Login and Support,” scroll down and in the first field, type “Power Play Kids Gym,” select “California,” click “search,” and then click again to “vote.”
To vote for Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop: Please click “Login and Support,” scroll down, and in the first field, type “Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop,” select “Texas,” click “search,” and then click again to “vote.”
While you can only vote one time (not once-daily, just once throughout the entire contest) for these and the other awesome businesses entered (but you can vote once for any business including these, so please do!), you can share this information with your own friends and family and have them pledge their support, too!
Each business registered with Mission: Small Business requires 250 unique votes by no later than JUNE 30 to move on to the next round of judging or they will be eliminated from consideration entirely. In addition, any vote surpassing the 250 counts toward potential additional funding if awarded one of the grants, which means you may continue to vote for these businesses if they’ve already surpassed the 250 mark and you believe in them! So please, RMT’ers, take less than one minute of your time to vote for Power Play Kids Gym and Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop TODAY!
Thank you to Chase Bank and Living Social for giving small businesses a chance at expanding, creating more jobs, and serving more markets and consumers nationwide!
And thank you, RMT’ers, for indulging my shameless plugs for today. I promise posts like this will not be a regular occurrence on the blog, but when I believe in something or someone, I tend to shout it from the rooftops… or in this case, into the blogosphere.
Do you have anyone entered in Mission: Small Business that you want to give a shout-out for, RMT’ers? If so, please leave a comment below with the voting details so we can help you spread the word about your own believed-in businesses (and I’ll throw a vote in for them, too)!