To recognize the value and importance of small business growth across the country, Sears Holdings is conducting a competition that will award four $5,000 grants to small businesses with the Tu Empresa, Tu Futuro/Your Company, Your Future grant competition starting this October through December 31, 2010. According to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency and the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic-owned firms increased by 43.7 percent, more than twice the national rate, between 2002 and 2007. With small business representing 99.7 percent of all employer firms, Sears Holdings aims to encourage growth within this segment of the economy.
Business owners can enter by completing an online form and submitting a brief essay on what inspired them to create their businesses. Entrants also can refer up to four friends to participate.
In a further effort to encourage small business owners, Sears Holdings enlisted the help of well-known Hispanic journalist, talk show host and entrepreneur Cristina Saralegui, who recently launched an exclusive soft home line collection, Casa Cristina™. The bed and bath collections, currently available at Sears and Kmart stores in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico, were created by Saralegui and inspired by her Miami home as well as memories from her childhood.
”I’m very excited about the opportunity Sears is offering small businesses and as Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, I want to encourage Latin-owned businesses to participate and keep striving to make their dreams a reality,” said Saralegui. ”I’m honored to have inspired the company to take on such an effort. As a business owner, I know firsthand how valuable it is to feel supported and encouraged. I urge business owners across the country to go online and register for a chance to win a Tu Empresa, Tu Futuro/Your Company, Your Future Grant.”
To participate, business owners can visit Sears on-line to register and view contest rules.