We sat down with the woman behind Thank You Small Business, Carissa Reiniger. Carissa is an entrepreneur, author, and small business owner, who has spent close to a decade helping small businesses grow.
At the age of 22, after interviewing hundreds of small business owners over the course of a year, Carissa noticed a common challenge — what she calls the cash flow capacity catch 22. She heard time and again from small business owners, “If I had more time, I could make more money, and if I had more money, I’d have more time.” As a result of her research, Carissa became incredibly passionate about supporting small business growth.
In an effort to provide a solution to the catch 22 that so often traps small business owners, Carissa started Silver Linings Limited, a company dedicated to helping small businesses grow. At Silver Linings, Carissa developed the SLAP, or Silver Linings Action Plan. SLAP enables business owners to figure out what they do and don’t need, how to simplify processes and focus on what really matters, and ultimately increase both time and cash flow.
SLAP helps business owners to define their goals and implement the steps needed to reach them. Through resources and support from Silver Linings, they can focus in on what’s really important, and pull themselves out of the cash flow capacity catch 22 that can easily cripple small businesses.
Through her work with Silver Linings, Carissa realized that not enough is done to support and appreciate the dry cleaner on the corner or the local hardware store who serve as the backbone of our economy.
In the age of tech start-ups and corporate bailouts, we hear the word small business a lot, but we dont actually talk about what small business means. We dont give the right amount of pride and respect that small business owners deserve. – Carissa Reiniger
Carissa is now doing more to increase the conversation around small business and educate the public on how small businesses impact the economy. Between 1993 and 2011, small businesses accounted for 64% of new jobs created. She believes that helping every small business grow by just a little bit is instrumental in solving our nation’s economic problems. Carissa wanted to make sure small business owners know that they are valued and appreciated and go further to provide resources and support, so she started calling small business owners in her network all around the country. They in turn connected her with their networks. Before she knew it, Carissa had numerous companies signed on as partners in her mission to thank small business, including American Airlines, Citrix, Nespresso, and ReTargeter, and so began the Thank You Small Business movement.
In addition to bringing the plight of small businesses into the public discourse, Thank You Small Business includes a 10-city tour, 20 webinars on topics that help small businesses, a robust resource center, and 25,000 thank you cards for small business owners. Carissa and her team are 8 cities into the tour and have been overwhelmed by the positive response and high level of engagement from small businesses.
Thank You Small Business is the first bottom-up, grassroots movement for small business owners. Instead of a large institution telling small businesses what to do, or a Chamber running a program that is top-down, it starts with the business owners and their communities. In each city on the tour, Carissa is meeting with local leaders to better understand their unique market and find the core problems small businesses are facing.
Looking into the future, Carissa is challenged with uncovering what will be most effective in the long term for small businesses struggling to succeed. She is working to answer questions like what are the differences in each market? What type of environment fosters growth for small businesses? What is true for all small businesses regardless of location? Does having a good Chamber of Commerce matter? Which resources are most important? How can the movement best help small businesses improve?
ReTargeter is proud to be partnering with Thank You Small Business and helping Carissa in her mission to answer the questions that will help small businesses everywhere.