Small Business Grant Goes to Hurricane Katrina Victim

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Idea®, a top-rated web resource for small business, selected New Orleans entrepreneur Percy Marchand to receive its Pilot Grant. The $1000 award will be used to help Marchand Inks rebuild clientele after the shop was wiped out in the flooding aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

IdeaCafe®, "The Fun Place for Serious Business," has awarded its $1000 Grant to New Orleans entrepreneur Percy Marchand. Marchand Inks was selected from among 1,727 applicants throughout the U.S. to win the award, which is given to deserving business owners who demonstrate courage, creativity and generosity of spirit in their work.

"At IdeaCafe, we're passionate about helping fellow small business owners, so in addition to providing them with a community, we offer grants to deserving entrepreneurs," says IdeaCafe CEO Francie Ward. "Given how Percy's battled through and how he's committed to helping others, you'll see why we couldn't resist naming this courageous young guy as IdeaCafe's grant winner."

Marchand was scheduled to open his business in New Orleans two weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit. Since he didn't have flood insurance, his $50,000 investment was destroyed, so he started again from scratch and finally opened in May, 2006. He plans to use the grant money from IdeaCafe to promote his business through radio, email and direct marketing. Says Percy, "This excellent opportunity and vote of confidence in my business is truly a blessing."

Applicants for IdeaCafe's grants must show how they intend to pay it forward. Marchand has launched a program, "Rebuilding New Orleans - One Copy at a Time!" where it will contribute 10% of a customer's pre-tax total to their designated neighborhood or homeowners association, school or church.

He is also gearing up to launch "YouthStartUp" a 6-week business internship to help at-risk youth gain work experience.

Business Owners' IdeaCafe® was launched in 1995 to provide small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs with resources, expertise, free PR exposure and a place to gather for networking, mutual support and advice. Currently, more than 70,000 users take advantage of IdeaCafe's offerings. IdeaCafe's grant program has helped many small businesses make the leap to profitability and/or expansion.


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Francie Ward
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