ICBA Go Local Initiative

Celebrate National Small Business Week 2013!

What You Can Do To Celebrate Small Business Week, June 17-21

ICBA and community banks across the country are joining the Small Business Administration (SBA) in celebrating National Small Business Week, June 17 through June 21. ICBA is reminding everyone about the critical role community banks serve in supporting local small businesses.

Here are some ideas you can implement in your communities:

  1. Organize a cash mob to support a local small business
    • Encourage your employees or community to participate in a “cash mob” (see definition here). The opportunities are endless: visit a local book store, coffee shop, bakery, grocery store, or go out to lunch together at a local café.
  2. Organize a small business community mixer at one of your branches
    • Support local businesses and give them a chance to get to know each other. Check out how a local Minnesota community bank made it into the local news by hosting this event.
  3. Tweet about it – better yet, share it on all of your bank’s social media channels
    • Share all the great things about how your community bank is vital to small businesses with the Twitterverse. Tweet about the positive impact your bank has on the local community, post photos of small businesses you have made possible on Instagram, plan a Facebook event, include a YouTube video dancing to Gangnam Style or lip-synching Call Me Maybe with a fellow small business. The sky is the limit when it comes to social media.
  4. Use customizable, localized materials
    • ICBA has created customizable press releases for you to use and submit to your local media outlets featuring Small Business Week. Use these materials to help spread the word about community banking and why it plays such a vital role in your local community.

Have other ideas? Share it with us. Tweet @icba, post on our Facebook page or comment on the Go Local blog with ways your community bank is this week.

Customizable Local Press Releases

Marketing and Social Media Ideas

Marketing Ideas

  • Offer to do an information session for local entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a small business. Outline how the application process works and how community banks like yours have the local expertise to help them get started.
  • Working with the local chamber of commerce or county government, hold a small business forum to help connect successful local small businesses with start-ups.
  • Work with the local chamber of commerce to host “Go Local” mixers to help connect small business owners with local providers to reward customers who shop locally.
  • Profile your small business customers in your local advertising. Demonstrate that you are making a real difference in the community by supporting local small businesses.
  • et up a place in your lobby to highlight local small businesses your bank supports.
  • Use “Go Local” as a way to open a conversation with new small businesses in town. By doing so, you can help differentiate your community bank from other financial institutions in your area.
  • Have a contest to encourage your consumer banking customers to use as many local merchants as possible. Offer prizes supplied by the small business owners

Social Media Ideas

  • Use #SBW2013 and #GoLocal on Twitter.
  • Use "In celebration of National Small Business Week hosted by the US Small Business Administration (link to http://www.facebook.com/SBAgov, whenever possible)" to increase engagement on Facebook.
  • How to Link for Facebook Posts:
    • In the status/post box, type "@" then start typing out the name of the business you are linking to. If it pops up, click on it and the business is automatically linked in the post.
    • Make sure to pick the right one by checking the # of likes, the city name, state (for example, the US Small Business Administration has more than 35,000 likes, but it’s not the first one to pop up).
  • Tap into local small business groups and share their celebrations or social media posts. (make sure to link them) A list of regional SBA branches are here: http://www.sba.gov/social-media
  • Organize a cash mob in your local community and document it with photos and video (See Mercantile Bank example and here) to post on social media.
  • Highlight one small business a day on Twitter and/or Facebook and talk about why they are so important to your community (if they have a Twitter handle and Facebook page, make sure to @ mention and link to them).
  • Increase engagement with visuals. On Facebook, post photos of local businesses your community enjoys and on Twitter, be sure to use an engaging headline and then provide a link to the photo.
  • Create a contest where consumers can share about their favorite small business and offer a gift card to that location as a reward.
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