Google launched this week the first Heroes of Small Business sweepstakes and business scholarships through a partnership with StartOut, an LGBTQ+ nonprofit that helps facilitate mentorship, access to capital and tools to create an equitable playing field.
The project --
launched with help from the agency Omelet earlier this week -- honors small businesses as part of International Small Business Week.
While Google continually dedicates support for small businesses when it comes to advertising, this is the first time for the sweepstakes and business scholarships. Prior years, two, this is the third, the company provided discounts for a variety of tools.
Google’s first Heroes of Small Business contest, which celebrates small businesses, runs through July 5. Consumers can nominate a favorite U.S.-based small business for a chance to win $10,000 for the business, 10 winners total. The person making the nomination will receive $500 to spend with them, based on specific terms. Each winner’s nominator will win $500 to spend to support their favorite small business.
Featured businesses and super heroes include the Vourderis Family, which owns Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park in Brooklyn, New York. The family has owned it for years. Grandpa Denos, which bought the wheel in 1983, came to the U.S. with the notion of building an empire, offering his wife the biggest ring in the world. That ring turned out to be a Ferris wheel, a New York landmark.
Others include Cindy Ayers Elliot, a former banker in New York, until purpose called her back home to Jackson, Mississippi, and she built Foot Print Farms. And Lynn Le, Society Nine in Portland, Oregon.
Google also is helping LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs succeed with funds through StartOut's Acceleration Initiative. Google will fund more than 60 scholarships to help Black, Latinx and female identifying LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, the company said on its website.