In my earlier blog this week I asked you to support our company in a bid for a small business grant; I'm asking again.
Chase/LivingSocial is giving away $250,000.00 grants to at least four small businesses, possibly up to twelve. The first step of eligibility is a company must get 250 votes BY THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 30.
According to the press release about this offer, "Each business will be required to answer questions about why their business is unique, outline a proposed plan for utilizing the grant to grow their business and describe how the business is involved with its community."
The Mr. Canary® Company is unique in several ways, such as:
- We're a certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE)
- We qualify as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) for our industry
- All our products are made in the USA (interesting that we now consider that 'unique' for an American company, right?)
- All our production is done by workers with disabilities.
Carey Services in Marion, Indiana, has been producing every one of our small bird feeders (known as The Original Mr. Canary® Finch Feeder) for over seventeen years. They manage the entire production for us from ordering the raw material to shipping the final product out the door. We tout this astonishing workforce on every package and at every opportunity because it's the smartest business decision we've made.
Workers with disabilities have an insanely hard time finding work. If you think 10-12% unemployment is heart-stopping, I heard an expert on NPR awhile back claiming that unemployment and underemployment of folks with disabilities could be as high as eighty percent. What if that was an exaggeration? What if it's only HALF that much...would you consider forty percent unemployment high? Exactly.
The thing is, our company is day-to-day proof that when a business and a community work together, amazing things happen. We offer Carey the opportunity to give their clients decent jobs; which allows us the opportunity to own our business. Working together at the intersection of Free Enterprise and Social Responsibility we both "enlarge our territories." What's better than that?
If you agree, help us grow.
Here's all you have to do BY FRIDAY, JUNE 30 (TOMORROW):
- Go to this site https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/
- Click on Log In & Support
- Search for The Mr. Canary Company (cut and paste for accuracy); OR
- Search by Carmel, Indiana (we're on the second page).
- Share this with EVERYone who will help.
$250,000.00 to any company would be a big deal, but to a small company (100 or less employees) it could make an indescribably huge impact, if they were ready. This company is ready. With your vote, we can turn feeding birds into making magic.
(Photo at right is a painting a local service group did in a production area at Carey, at the workers' request. We were pretty proud when we saw it)
If you support workers with disabilities, we'd like to hear from you. Leave a comment below, and thank you.