Sam's Club Commits to Grow U.S. Small Businesses

CEO Rosalind Brewer announces grants totaling $2 million at Small Business Summit in D.C.

May 22, 2012, 13:00 ET from Sam's Club

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sam's Club President and CEO Rosalind Brewer announced today the Sam's Club Giving Program pledge of more than $2 million in donations to five leading non profits in 2012, reaffirming the company's commitment to growing small business in the U.S. The grants focus on micro-lending and support for women-owned and minority-owned businesses, among others.

"At Sam's Club our small business owners are our partners, and we want to put our money where our mission is – which is to be agents for and support our members and the small business community," said Brewer, addressing guests at the DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year awards luncheon today at the Shoreham Hotel.  "I realize that I have an incredible opportunity to lead Sam's Club and to be an advocate for our small business owners in America. You are the heart and soul of our economy, and no one takes more risks and works harder every single day than those of you who are out there following your dreams and running your own businesses."

The luncheon was part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit, an annual event that draws small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the country to discuss common legislative and management concerns. More than 800 small business owners are attending the summit. Sam's Club is a diamond sponsor of the event.

Sam's Club estimates it serves 600,000 Business Members daily in its more than 600 clubs across the U.S. In addition to providing products, Sam's Club offers Business Members access to microloans and health and wellness plans through third-party providers.

These grants will support organizations and programs focused directly on micro-lending, helping small businesses as they start and build their operations. The organizations receiving funds are:

Accion in the U.S.: $520,674 Accion provides loans, business training and other financial services to hard-working men and women who start their own businesses, helping them achieve higher levels of success and stability. Through its grant, Accion aims to increase direct outreach to small business owners via education and loan kit materials. It also will focus on providing loans and financial education via events and online tools.

Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED): $349,545. CFED helps low income self-employed small business owners access capital and financial services and receive Earned Income and other tax credits. The grant will enable CFED to work with the field of tax preparation providers, including IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, microenterprise programs and credit unions to build their capacity to serve these business owners through training and technical assistance in program design, delivery and evaluation. The grant will also support CFED's work with local partners to identify and implement program improvements informed by behavioral economics. Finally, CFED will reach hundreds of thousands of people through a media campaign to highlight entrepreneurship and small business development by hard-working lower income people as important engines of job creation and economic growth throughout the U.S.

Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence: $750,000. Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence is a leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs. The donation from Sam's Club supports the launch of the Urban Rebound initiative in Los Angeles, Detroit and Charlotte to support 100 women-owned businesses in each market grow their annual revenues to $250,000 in 12 to 18 months. According to Count Me In, the success of this program has the potential to create $75 million in new economic activity and 600 to 900 new jobs.

National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders: $250,000 Through the Sam's Club grant, NALCAB will invest in the expansion and coordination of small business assistance programs in Latino communities across the country. Through grant-making, technical assistance and a national training opportunity, NALCAB will support the expansion of existing small business development programs in seven markets:

  • Chicago, IL
  • Laredo, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Portland, OR
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC

Step Up for Small Business Challenge: $200,000. Local Sam's Club Managers from throughout the country are encouraged to volunteer their time in May by working for Business Members and local businesses in their communities. The top 10 Sam's Clubs with the most volunteer hours will each win a$20,000 grant to support local small business mentoring and skills-based training programs for their local area.

Sam's Club Giving

Charitable giving at Sam's Club is part of the company's culture and history. Sam's Club provides cash and in-kind contributions to community-based programs that empower young people, families and small business owners to make smart choices that lead to healthy and brighter futures. In 2011, Sam's Club and the Sam's Club Giving Program made cash and in-kind contributions of more than $101.3 million.

About Sam's Club

Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation's eighth largest retailer and a leading Membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million Members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico.

SOURCE Sam's Club