HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- To recognize the value and importance of small business growth across the country, Sears Holdings is conducting a competition that will award four $5,000 grants to small businesses with the Tu Empresa, Tu Futuro/Your Company, Your Future grant competition starting this October through December 31, 2010. According to the U.S. Commerce Department's Minority Business Development Agency and the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic-owned firms increased by 43.7 percent, more than twice the national rate, between 2002 and 2007. With small business representing 99.7 percent of all employer firms, Sears Holdings aims to encourage growth within this segment of the economy.
Business owners can enter by completing an online form and submitting a brief essay on what inspired them to create their businesses. Entrants also can refer up to four friends to participate.
In a further effort to encourage small business owners, Sears Holdings enlisted the help of well-known Hispanic journalist, talk show host and entrepreneur Cristina Saralegui, who recently launched an exclusive soft home line collection, Casa Cristina™. The bed and bath collections, currently available at Sears and Kmart stores in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico, were created by Saralegui and inspired by her Miami home as well as memories from her childhood.
"Sears Holdings is proud to do its part to support small businesses in the United States while encouraging business owners to pursue their dreams of economic prosperity," says David Friedman, SVP and president, Marketing, Sears Holdings. "We were inspired to take on this effort by the recent launch of the new Casa Cristina home line at Sears and Kmart by renowned Hispanic journalist Cristina Saralegui. As one of the country's most recognized journalists and entrepreneurs, Cristina is a true example of the American dream."
Saralegui's Casa Cristina line, which recently launched at Sears and Kmart stores, is one of the award-winning journalist's ventures which also include a production studio and a bilingual website. "I'm very excited about the opportunity Sears is offering small businesses and as Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, I want to encourage Latin-owned businesses to participate and keep striving to make their dreams a reality," said Saralegui. "I'm honored to have inspired the company to take on such an effort. As a business owner, I know firsthand how valuable it is to feel supported and encouraged. I urge business owners across the country to go online and register for a chance to win a Tu Empresa, Tu Futuro/Your Company, Your Future Grant."
To participate, business owners can visit www.sears.com/tuempresatufuturo to register and to view contest rules*.
*No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase chances of winning. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), 18 years and older who own their own business for at least one (1) year. Void where prohibited. Contest ends December 31, 2010. For official rules and prize descriptions, visit www.sears.com/tuempresatufuturo. Sponsor: Sears Holdings Management Corporation: 3333 Beverly Rd., Hoffman Estates, IL 60179.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2010 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at www.searsholdings.com.
About Cristina Saralegui
Twelve–time Emmy® award winning Cristina is one of the most recognizable and trusted names in the Hispanic community. Time magazine selected her as one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America” and Home Furnishings News (HFN) Magazine named her one of the “50 Most Influential People in Design and Home Furnishings.” Cristina is the host and executive producer of "The Cristina Show" one of the highest rated programs on Spanish-language television airing Monday nights at 10PM on the Univision Network. Cristina made headlines this summer when she announced that after 21 years she would be ending her show this fall. The last episode of "The Cristina Show" airs on Monday, November 1st.
SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation