The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, will organize Small Business Saturday events through their local member chambers. To date, nearly 50 member chambers have rallied businesses in their communities and will host local activities leading up to and on Nov. 24, where attendees will have the opportunity to pick up tote bags, and to get American Express Shop Small gift cards as part of a community-activation program.

2. Small Business Administration looking for tech innovators to provide a "non-electric heating solution" in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The SBA has an urgent call for innovation. According to an email notice sent by the SBA on Tuesday, the agency has asked Defense Alliance, a company that has been awarded an SBA grant, to help small businesses get government contracting jobs through the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and others "to put out a call to our membership for an urgent technology need in the wake of Hurricane Sandy."

The SBA is looking for technology that is a single-room heater (not a hand-warmer or a full house heater); is portable and low-cost; is commercially available; is non-electric; and safe indoors.

Small businesses that have a potential solution should email the Defense Alliance's executive director, Chip Laingen, at: The email should include: a one-page description of the technology/product; a technical description; the cost per unit; the time to delivery; and the name of company/organization and contact information.

3. Downtown Alliance launches campaign to help struggling Lower Manhattan small businesses. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Downtown Alliance launched on Monday the Lower Manhattan: Back to Business Small Business Grant Program, a campaign that intends to award more than $1 million in cash grants to small businesses hurt by Hurricane Sandy. The Downtown Alliance will make an additional investment of $325,000 to promote a holiday campaign to support restaurants and retailers located in the affected area.

The campaign has some big supporters behind it including Goldman Sachs ( GS), Citigroup ( C), Trinity Church, The Durst Organization and The Howard Hughes Corp.

The grants will offer support of up to $20,000 to small businesses meeting the following requirements: ¿ Located in Flood Zone A; ¿ 50 or fewer employees; ¿ Gross annual revenues of $5 million or less; ¿ Open for at least a year (or have a 5-year lease); ¿ Open at the time of application, or, for those located in buildings closed for storm-related reasons, scheduled to open by April 2013 (grants to be paid upon reopening); and ¿ Able to document loss and replacement costs not covered 100% by insurance or other reimbursement for property, equipment or inventory loss, or loss due to street closures, lack of utility service or related conditions.

Applications will be available beginning Dec. 1.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to:

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