A recent Citi-commissioned study by the New York City-based Center for an Urban Future entitled Smarter Small Businesses, found that nearly half of low- to moderate-income business owners are not using social media to promote their businesses. The study noted that technology is no longer an option, but an essential tool for businesses to remain competitive.City of Merced Council Member and small business attorney Mike Murphy agrees. "As businesses find new ways to use social media to attract customers, I believe this program will empower our small business community and drive local economic growth." Local businesses and college students can learn more and apply to the program now at www.facebook.com/elementsmerced. About United Way of Merced County The United Way of Merced County (UWMC) has been operating since 1954 and functions as a leader in collaborative relationships and community building in Merced County. Working with business, government and individuals, as well as the nonprofit community, the UWMC seeks to relieve the burdens of its most vulnerable and dependent citizens, and to help them become healthier, more financially stable and actively engaged in a stronger community. For more information, visit www.unitedwaymerced.org. About Citi Community Development Citi Community Development leads Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.