Small Businesses Win Big Through Facebook

By Justin Lafferty 

Thanks to a partnership between Facebook and American Express, five small businesses earned $25,000 and social media help as part of the Big Break For Small Businesses contest. Casale Jewelers of Staten Island, N.Y.; Hendrick Boards of Orange County, Calif.; Dick Pond Athletics of Chicago; The Produce Box of Raleigh, N.C.; and Dutch Monkey Doughnuts of Cumming, Ga., were the lucky winners.

Hendrick Boards is an eco-friendly skateboard shop owned by David, Donny, and Darren Henderson. The company loves animals, and some proceeds from skateboard and apparel sales go toward a local animal shelter, rescue, or sanctuary. Hendrick has grown its fanbase on Facebook through this benevolent mindset, and it wants to grow to help more pet-minded nonprofits.

Casale Jewelers, a family-owned business, also wants to give back to the community. Casale often helps out organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, and other charities. Owned by Cory Schifter, the company has been a family institution for 26 years. Schifter took over Casale three years ago and wanted to place an emphasis on Facebook marketing.

The Produce Box has partnered with more than 35 small to midsized farms, providing Raleigh with the freshest locally grown food. The company delivers produce and other products to hundreds of members every week. Owner Courtney Tellefson wanted to make it easier for families to get fresh produce, and The Produce Box uses Facebook as its main mode of communication. She wants to spread this model to other communities.

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts not only makes delicious doughnuts from scratch, it is also an active member of the community. Through its charity group, “Team Dutch Monkey,” the business raises money for blood cancer research. Owned by Arpana Satyu and Martin Burge, Dutch Monkey uses Facebook to reach out to customers and post specials.

Dick Pond Athletics sells running gear, inspiring its community to live a healthy lifestyle. The company also has a “Teen Bucks,” program which donates money back to local schools whenever a student or a coach makes a purchase. Dick Pond Athletics also supports local nonprofits by donating lightly-used athletic gear.

Readers: Have you ever patronized any of these businesses, or do you like them on Facebook?