August 21, 2012

Chase and LivingSocial Award 12 Small Businesses $250,000 Grants, Totaling $3m Through The Mission: Small Business Program

Selected by a Panel of Small Business Experts for Their Passion and Commitment to Growth, Grant Recipients from Alaska to New York to Receive the Capital Needed for Expansion

WILMINGTON, Del. and WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 21, 2012 - Today, Chase and LivingSocial announced the 12 small businesses that will receive grants of $250,000 each through Mission: Small BusinessSM, a grant program designed to increase awareness of the important role small businesses play in local communities. Supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nearly 70,000 small businesses registered and 3.1 million consumers showed their support by voting for their favorite small businesses.

Participating small businesses from across the country were evaluated based upon their applications which were required to demonstrate a feasible growth plan, creativity, overall passion for their business and the potential to make a positive impact within the local community. Selected by a panel of small business experts, the Mission: Small Business grant recipients are:

  • Bright Power (New York, NY) - Leading provider of energy management solutions that save building owners energy, money and time
  • Carmin Industries (Jacksonville, AL) - Veteran, woman-owned job shop specializing in parts for architectural, aerospace and defense, and commercial industries
  • Didrick Medical (Naples, FL) - Supplier of the world's first active-function artificial finger assembly designed specifically for partial finger amputees
  • EcoScraps (Provo, UT) - Creator of nutrient-enriched soil from recycled fruits and vegetables, which grows healthy plants in an environmentally friendly way
  • Ellessco LLC (Ventura, CA) - Producer of reusable travel bags with inflatable air chambers that protect and insulate liquids and fragile items
  • Lasher Sport (Anchorage, AK) - Producer of custom, diverse, high quality, highly functional and great looking wheelchairs, sports chairs and handcycles for the disabled community
  • PlanetReuse® (Kansas City, MO) - Consulting and brokering company that matches materials with designers, builders and owners to serve LEED efforts and sustain the planet while cutting costs
  • RonWear Port-able Clothing® (Beachwood, OH) - Clothing manufacturer of stylish and functional premium "treatmentwear" for men and women facing health challenges
  • Skillastics® (Corona, CA) - Product manufacturer dedicated to fighting child obesity through fitness and sport-specific activity games for varying ages, fitness levels and group sizes
  • The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen™ (San Francisco, CA) - The first restaurant in San Francisco dedicated to serving award-winning grilled cheese sandwiches using the best quality local and unique ingredients
  • UsedCardboardBoxes.com (Los Angeles, CA) - Firm dedicated to buying quality used boxes from companies and reselling as a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to buying new boxes
  • Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (Brooklyn, NY) - Creator of simple ice creams made through traditional methods that celebrate the best ingredients from small producers

"We were overwhelmed by the number of passionate small businesses that applied for the Mission: Small Business grant program and the number of consumers that showed their support," said Richard Quigley, president, Business Card, Chase. "Every day, small businesses inspire us and fuel economic growth. Mission: Small Business is another way we can support small businesses for all they do in their local communities and across the country."

Where and when available, Chase will offer grant recipients access to a Chase Relationship Manager who will provide guidance for utilizing the grant efficiently and effectively.

"LivingSocial strives to energize the relationship between consumers and local businesses, and we were especially thrilled by the energy surrounding the Mission: Small Business program," said Tim O'Shaughnessy, LivingSocial CEO and Co-founder. "We are honored to have played a role in identifying the 12 grant recipients and look forward to watching the businesses advance."

Chase and LivingSocial also partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help announce the program and drive small business engagement and participation.

"Day in and day out, small business owners across the country are leading the charge to grow the economy and create much needed jobs," said David Chavern, U.S. Chamber executive vice president and chief operating officer. "In addition to the determination, hard work and innovation that these 12 small business owners have already demonstrated, we hope that these grants will give them the resources needed to continue to succeed."

About Mission: Small Business
From May 7 through June 30, Chase and LivingSocial invited small business owners who had been in business for at least two years and had fewer than 100 employees to visit missionsmallbusiness.com applied to the grant program. Each business was 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 within its community.

Consumers were invited to show their support by visiting missionsmallbusiness.com and voting for their favorite registered small businesses. Businesses were required to receive at least 250 votes to be considered for a grant.

Grant recipients were selected by a panel of small business experts including:

  • Steve Case, entrepreneur and co-founder of AOL; CEO, Revolution LLC
  • Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes
  • Jason Calacanis, CEO, Mahalo.com
  • David Chavern, executive vice president and chief operating officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Richard Quigley, president, Business Card, Chase
  • Tim O'Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial

About Chase and Small Business
Chase, the nation's #1 SBA lender, booked $10 billion in small business loans through the first half of 2012, a 35 percent increase over the same time last year. Chase upheld its #1 SBA ranking through three quarters of the U.S. Small Business Administration's fiscal year, approving more loans than any other bank. Through June 30, 2012, Chase approved 3,338 SBA 7a and Express loans for $385 million. The continued increase in Chase's lending reflects the bank's pledge to help American small business grow. In the past three years, the bank has hired more than 1,100 new bankers to serve more than 2 million small businesses.

In 2011, Chase launched business banking innovations such as Instant Storefront from ChaseSM and Chase QuickDepositSM, as well as enhancements to Chase MobileSM for Business and an array of free fraud protection services. In addition, Chase offers the Ink from Chase credit card, which provides robust, flexible payment solutions and resources that meet the unique needs of small business owners. Ink customers also have free access to JotSM, a mobile application and online solution which saves small business owners time by enabling them to easily track, categorize and organize business expenses from their iPhone® and Android™ mobile devices or online.

About Chase
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 50 million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,500 bank branches, 17,500 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.

About LivingSocial
LivingSocial is the online source for discovering valuable local experiences. We inspire our members to find, share, and enjoy the best of their neighborhoods by connecting them with handpicked local businesses. With new and diverse offerings each day, we encourage members to discover everything from family aquarium outings to weekend excursions to exclusive gourmet dinners and more. We help great local businesses grow by introducing them to high-quality new customers, and give merchants the tools to make our members their regulars. Based in Washington, D.C., LivingSocial now has more than 65 million members in 22 countries.

About The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.


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