If it seems like everyone is applying for the Mission: Small Business grant, that's not too far from the truth — especially in Houston.
The contest, sponsored by Chase and LivingSocial, is meant "to increase awareness of the important role small businesses play in local communities and to help small businesses grow." The program has raised a grant pool of $3 million to be awarded to 12 eligible, established small businesses based on the strength of each company's application.
That amounts to a grant of $250,000 each; nothing for a small business to sneeze at. Houston business owners have taken to the challenge, racking up a whopping 67 pages of grant applicants and proving that our city is something of an entrepreneurial mecca.
Houston business-owners have taken up the challenge, racking up 67 pages of applicants that prove our city is something of an entrepreneurial mecca.
Barber shops, gyms, car washes and cupcakeries have all put their name in the pot for consideration.
We're particularly excited about New Living, which plans to launch an ecommerce site for The Green Painter and open a second Houston location, plus follow through with an inner Loop, artisan-crafted furniture factory, Made at 6111 Kirby, if it receives the funds.
But that's just one of many locally-focused Houston businesses in the running: Houston Dairymaids, New for the Night, Texas Art Asylum, 18 Hands Gallery, Kitchen Incubator (which would use the funds to open Project Brew), One Green Street, Houston Heights Orchestra, Radical Eats, Down Easy Brewing Company and many, many more are looking for the votes to move on the next round and make positive changes in their businesses and the surrounding community.
Each applicant must garner a requisite 250 votes by 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday to advance to an application review. Check out the full list here (the ballot requires Facebook sign-in, and entrants are searchable by city and state or by company name) to support your favorite local businesses.