Contest Gives Small Businesses Chance at $5,000 Marketing Grants

Few organizations know as much about small businesses as Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, which is the most widely-used small business accounting and management software in the world. Now, Intuit is giving back.

The company's new Small Business Local Buzz program will award 15 small business owners with $5,000 marketing packages each. This program comes after the successful Small Business Big Game program, which awarded GoldieBlox with a 30-second TV commercial during the Super Bowl.

The new program kicks off in the U.S. on Feb. 3 and runs through Mar. 16. To enter, small businesses need to submit a short story that shares how winning will impact their business. All entrants will also automatically be entered for weekly drawings of $500 gift cards and receive an exclusive copy of the “Building Buzz on a Budget” guide.

Regional programs tailored to the needs of small businesses in Canada, the U.K. and Australia will kick off simultaneously on Feb. 18. Small business owners in the U.S. and participating regions can get started at . Fans can cast votes to help improve their favorite businesses’ chances of winning.

Based on an October 2012 Intuit Small Business Survey, 87 percent of small businesses said their businesses are either struggling to survive, or surviving but not growing. More than 25 percent of the small business owners surveyed said given $5,000, they would spend the money on marketing.

Small Business Local Buzz is part of Intuit’s larger, ongoing commitment to support the financial success of consumers and small businesses. This latest effort goes beyond monetary support to provide resources such as the guide, custom video, and private social media consultation in select markets to help small business owners take growth into their own hands.

Since 2009, Intuit’s grant programs have awarded approximately $1.2 million to small businesses throughout the United States.