“Big businesses reaching out to help smaller businesses has come into vogue since the recession,” writes Robb Mandelbaum for the New York Times. “In 2009, Goldman Sachs introduced its 10,000 Small Businesses campaign. Starbucks raises money from customer donations to finance small-business loans. American Express encourages consumers to shop locally on “Small Business Saturday” after Thanksgiving. The New York Stock Exchange links small vendors with large corporations and finances loans through Accion. And several corporations have run contests—Wall-Mart, Chase Bank and Staples have furnished winning small companies with opportunities for retail distribution, capital and office equipment.”
This makes sense to me for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a healthy small business environment is good for big business too. And, the knowledge base the employees of larger companies enjoy include a lot of expertise that could conceivably be shared with local small businesses to help them grow, hire more employees, and boost local economies. For example, most Main Street businesses don’t have the large marketing departments big companies do (if they have a marketing department at all). Initiatives that encourage successful businesses to give back by sharing their expertise seems to be a good idea.
What does your company do to give back? As a small business owner, have you ever been on the receiving end of something like this?