Eight American small business owners have been awarded a share of $20,000 from the Vistaprint Wish Program to help them grow their businesses.
In June, business owners were given the opportunity to apply online to secure funding for one item on their ‘wishlist’ that would grow their business. Applicants simply had to tell Vistaprint what they needed, how much it would cost and how it would benefit their business.
Vistaprint created the program after regularly hearing from its customers that access to funding is a top challenge and barrier to growth. The company also recently surveyed 500 American business owners, which revealed that access to finance is their biggest struggle.
A Vistaprint panel then selected a total of eight small businesses to receive the funding based on various criteria, including how well the entry described the help their business needed and the perceived level of positive impact of the assistance on their business.
Vistaprint has allocated each business owner a share of the $20,000 funding, based on what they needed to grow.
The eight businesses are based in Texas, Massachusetts and California:
- So Be It Services – General notary services company owned by Carlene Smith, based in Texas. Carlene will use the funding to get all the required certifications from the National Notary Association, which will allow her to attract a steady stream of customers.
- Lee County Youth Center – Nonprofit youth community center organization based in Giddings, TX. The Youth Center will receive funding to carry out repairs and renovations in their building so that they can continue providing services to students in the local community.
- Shelley Atwood Jewelry – Polymer clay jewelry company owned by Shelley Atwood based in Alpine, TX. Shelley will purchase a new jewelry tool that will enable her to make enough products in time for her important upcoming events and shows.
- Chef’s Table Foundation – Nonprofit organization providing educational cooking shows to homeless US Veterans and young adults, to help them achieve their potential and reenter the workforce. The nonprofit is owned by Joe Murphy and Carol O’Conner in Boston, MA. The organization will use the funding to purchase a video camera to film new episodes of their Chefs’ Table Series which is produced and aired on PBS.
- Bedford Cupcakes – Independent cupcake bakery owned by Laura Hatziandreou based in Bedford, MA. Laura will purchase a new convection oven so that she can bake more cupcakes and increase their sales.
- All About Arts Magazine – Publication owned and created by Janice and Glenn Williams based in Roslindale, MA. Janice and Glenn will use the funding to pay writers for their contribution, and possibly hire a part-time salesperson to generate ad revenue that goes towards their youth art scholarship fund.
- Little Grey Desk – Homemade crafts and home décor company owned by Brittanie Tucker, based in Riverside, CA. With the funding, Brittanie will be able to purchase a brand-new workspace, which will allow her to fulfil orders more quickly.
- Inspire Me Beauty – Environmentally friendly and cruelty-free beauty products company owned by Ashley Carter based in Rosamond, CA. Ashley will use the funding to completely rebrand her venture and purchase ingredients in bulk. This will allow her to run a more professional looking business, while keeping her costs down.