Entrepreneurs' Dreams Become Reality: Brother Small Business Grant Program Announces Winners

Five winners from 900 submissions granted $5,000 each to help their business grow and succeed

Mar 27, 2012, 09:00 ET from Brother International Corporation

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Brother International Corporation, a leader in small business technology, today officially announced the five winning applicants for its first small business grant program, launched on January 10, 2012 in collaboration with entrepreneurial online resource, StartupNation. The grant program awarded a total of $25,000 to five small business owners, five $5,000 grants to each winner, who can use the grant money to launch their business or initiate a new project within their established small business.

The winners of the Brother Small Business Grant Program are:

  • AARF Pet Central, Susan Leisure (Stone Mountain, GA), is a community pet resource center that is progressively designed to assist families and individuals with pet adoptions, aimed to take homeless pets permanently out of the rescue cycle. This grant will allow AARF to complete building renovations, such as ceiling and light installations.
  • Arcade Brewery, Christopher Tourre (Chicago, IL), is a craft brewery that creates an interactive experience by focusing its online and public efforts around beer education, production transparency and crowdsourcing design for its beers, labels and packaging. This grant will be directed to fund the development and improvement of Arcade Brewery's website and online presence.
  • Curvy Riders, LLC, Angie Bertrand (Grand Junction, CO), designs and creates custom-fit apparel and accessories to meet the needs of female motorcycle owners and riders. This grant will allow Curvy Riders to have a sales booth for four days at the 2012 International Women & Motorcycling Conference to be held in Carson City, NV July 26-29, 2012.
  • Misty Mountain Farms and Education, Elle Nova (Hillsboro, Oregon), produces organic goat dairy, organic chicken eggs, and organic local vegetables using sustainable farming practices targeted to market to the local community. It also provides revolving grants to vulnerable populations of women and children in immediate need. This grant would fund the purchase of sanitation and refrigeration equipment for the goat dairy, vegetables and eggs that the farm produces, in addition to purchasing new office equipment to aid the farm's growth. 
  • Sugared Beauty, LLC, Sarah Zahn (Elizabethtown, PA), promotes a line of beauty and skincare products formulated from organic and food-grade ingredients targeted to women seeking healthy and organic products for their skin. This grant will help provide an upgrade to the company's product labeling through new office equipment, while creating a fully integrated e-commerce experience for its website including its own cart, auto-shipment program, blog and user-friendly customer service page.

"We are thrilled to witness such a high-level of participation and enthusiasm from the small business community," said John Wandishin, Vice President of Marketing, Brother International Corporation. "This grant program demonstrates our commitment and support to help entrepreneurs gain access to capital, while also helping Brother better understand the current challenges and concerns for America's small business owners."

To determine the size of the grant packages, Brother International Corporation and StartupNation conducted an online poll on StartupNation that revealed the majority of small business owners (61 percent) started with less than $5,000 in capital to launch their company.

"We are both impressed and delighted with the level of dedication and effort that went into these grant applications," said Rich Sloan, co-founder of StartupNation. "The breadth and depth of these entries signifies the importance of small businesses for the U.S. economy, and we're pleased to have partnered with Brother to help these entrepreneurs pursue their passion and achieve success."

To view the grant winners and their stories visit: www.startupnation.com.

About Brother

Brother International Corporation is one of the premier providers of products for the home, home office and office. The U.S. corporate office in Bridgewater, N. J., was established on April 21, 1954 and currently markets many industrial products, home appliances and business products manufactured by its parent company, Brother Industries, Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan.

These products include an award-winning line of Multi-Function Center® machines and printers. Brother also provides the number-one line of facsimile machines in the U.S. and is the leader in electronic labeling, with its full line of P-touch® Electronic Labeling Systems. For more information you can visit the website at www.brother.com.

About StartupNation

StartupNation is a free entrepreneurial online service founded by entrepreneur brothers, Jeff and Rich Sloan. The site offers a one-stop shop for small business resources including step-by-step advice, articles, expert blogs, podcasts, member-to-member networking, contests and small business forums. For more information you can visit the website at www.startupnation.com.

SOURCE Brother International Corporation