“Small Business Connections: Marketing Meets Microfinancing” Workshop Coming To The Chicago Business Owner Community

On September 18, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: NYX), Accion, and Yelp will bring the NYSE Big StartUp “Small Business Connections: Marketing Meets Microfinancing” nationwide workshop tour to Chicago. The event will provide local business owners with access to two resources essential for developing and growing any business: social media marketing know-how and access to capital. Chicago is the sixth stop on the Small Business Connections tour.

Yelp’s Manager of Local Business Outreach, Darnell Holloway, will kick off the event by discussing how entrepreneurs can work with major social media platforms, engage with customers online and navigate the world of online reviews. Chicago is one of Yelp’s largest markets and Mr. Holloway will dive into the benefits of taking advantage of Yelp’s free suite of tools for business owners.

“Yelp provides local business owners with free tools that allow us to engage with current and future customers who are turning to Yelp to make a spending decision,” said David Faber, member of Yelp’s Small Business Advisory Council and co-founder of Ortanic, a local Chicago sunless tanning salon. “At the very least, I recommend that businesses unlock these free tools and make sure the information about their business is correct.”

Next, Accion loan officer, Adrian Mendieta, will discuss how to access capital and finance marketing costs with an Accion microloan. Accion has provided over 2,600 loans in the Chicago area since 1994. Anthony Waller, owner of Chicago small business Catering Out the Box will speak at the event about his experiences working with Accion. After fourteen years in the food services field, working with companies like Sara Lee, Anthony branched out own his own and started his catering business out of his home. Today, Catering Out the Box offers gourmet boxed lunches out of a spacious Near West size location. “My Accion loan was an important resource in growing my business,” says Mr. Waller. “I’m pleased to join them and Yelp in helping other small business owners learn how they can grow.”

The Small Business Connections tour has proven to be a high-impact resource for local small business owners. Based on data gathered from the tour’s previous events, attendees have reported learning an average of three new marketing techniques. Networking also played a pivotal role, with participants meeting an average of three other entrepreneurs who could help them expand through new channels. “Access to low-cost marketing tools and support networks are two essential ingredients for small business success,” says Jonathan Brereton, CEO of Accion in Chicago. “We’re excited to bring these resources to Chicago entrepreneurs with this impactful event.”

Small Business Connections is the first small business event tour from the NYSE Big StartUp, a nationwide job creation and business growth initiative that connects small businesses with established corporations, such as Yelp. Launched in March 2012, the NYSE Big StartUp program also integrates the Accion-NYSE Job Growth Fund. This program was started with a $1.5 million commitment by NYSE Euronext, which will provide small businesses and startups with the capital and support they need to grow. Chicago area small business owners interested in applying for fund loans can visit www.accionchicago.org.

Event Details

ING Direct Café

21 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, IL 60611

September 18, 6:00-8:00pm

Registration: http://yelpchicago.eventbrite.com/

About Yelp

Yelp (NYSE: YELP) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Yelp had a monthly average of 78 million unique visitors in Q2 2012 (source: Google Analytics). By the end of Q2 2012, Yelpers had written more than 30 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Yelp's mobile application was used on 7.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during Q2 2012. For more information, please visit http://www.yelp.com/ or send an email to press@yelp.com.

About Accion

As the largest and only nationwide micro- and small business lending network in the United States, Accion connects small business owners with the accessible financing and advice it takes to create or grow healthy businesses. Accion in Chicago serves micro entrepreneurs throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana, providing loans between $500 and $50,000 along with training, networking and other support services. Since inception in 1994 Accion in Chicago has disbursed more than $20 million.

Since 1991, the five members of Accion’s U.S. Network have collectively made over 44,000 loans, totaling over $320 million. Additionally, over 400,000 business owners across the nation have turned to Accion for financial and business advice via workshops, online tools, and one-on-one consultations. Globally, Accion ( www.accion.org) is a pioneer in microfinance, reaching millions of individuals through its international network of partners. For more information on Accion in Chicago, please visit www.accionchicago.org.

About NYSE Euronext

NYSE Euronext (NYX) is a leading global operator of financial markets and provider of innovative trading technologies. The company's exchanges in Europe and the United States trade equities, futures, options, fixed-income and exchange-traded products. With approximately 8,000 listed issues (excluding European Structured Products), NYSE Euronext's equities markets - the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext, NYSE MKT, NYSE Alternext and NYSE Arca - represent one-third of the world’s equities trading, the most liquidity of any global exchange group. NYSE Euronext also operates NYSE Liffe, one of the leading European derivatives businesses and the world's second-largest derivatives business by value of trading. The company offers comprehensive commercial technology, connectivity and market data products and services through NYSE Technologies. NYSE Euronext is in the S&P 500 index. For more information, please visit: http://www.nyx.com.

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