SCORE has kicked off its annual American Small Business Championship, a competition to celebrate small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the nation, made possible with a grant from Sam’s Club. Small business owners get to compete for $177, 000 in prizes. Nearly 28 million small businesses make up 54% of all sales in the U.S. Programs like ASBC are critical for small businesses to continue to drive job and economic growth in this country, note the organizers.
Apply to Be a Champion
Calls for applications are now open. Two small businesses from every state and the District of Columbia will receive a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expenses-paid trip to a training and networking event in Dallas, and mentoring from small business experts at SCORE. From those 102 small business honorees, three Grand Champions will each win a grand prize of $25,000.
“We’re proud to serve more than 600,000 small business owners each week. We understand their struggles and want to drive their success, which is why our commitment to America’s small business owners extends beyond the value we offer on products and services they need to run their businesses,” said Tracey D. Brown, senior vice president and chief member officer for Sam’s Club in a released statement. “Our small business members tell us they need training, access to capital and mentoring, and through our giving efforts like this program with SCORE, we’re able to deliver on those valuable resources.”
Small business owners can apply to be a Champion through Feb. 13, 2017. Eligible applicants must have been in business for at least one year and currently generating revenues. Applicants must complete an online application, responding to the question: “What one unique aspect of your business will make you succeed over the next year?” via a 60-second video or written statement up to 1,500 characters.
Access to Capital
The vast majority of small businesses in this country are still desperately in need of ongoing support to sustain growth, especially women and minority-owned businesses. The Small Business Committee, a select committee established by the U.S. House of Representatives for more protections and better government policies for America’s small businesses, reports that small business owners still lack sufficient access to capital, and nearly two-thirds reported seeking capital in the form of a bank loan amid historical low lending levels.
With a new administration taking office soon and influencers and major retailers joining the cause, the state of small businesses is quite the hot topic. SCORE, a nonprofit dedicated to small businesses and the host of the ASBC, has received major backing from Sam’s Club, the eighth largest retailer in the U.S., to ensure that small businesses have the necessary support to thrive and grow. The Sam’s Club Giving Program extends beyond the American Small Business Championship to help increase access to capital and better education for underserved business owners.