Goldman Sachs’ (GS) commitment to small businesses dates back over a decade, most notably through their 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) and 10,000 Women (10KW) programs. Both programs help entrepreneurs around the globe create jobs and economic opportunity by providing access to education, capital and business support services.
With the onset of the pandemic, GS doubled down on its commitment to support small business owners. Consistent with GS’ purpose to advance sustainable economic growth and financial opportunity, GS committed $1B in 2020 to small businesses and worked virtually alongside them, providing coaching, elevating their voices to policymakers, and hosting numerous flagship events to bring its small business community together to help one another.
Through marketing efforts, GS also committed to supporting business owners in a variety of ways. This included building a Small Business Resource Center at the onset of the pandemic, introducing new tactics to amplify the voices of small business owners, creation of new assets to draw attention to the importance and resilience of small business owners, and driving traffic to small business owners during the holiday season—an important time where many needed additional support.
All of this marketing work laddered up to one main platform and message: Long Live Small Business.
Our “Long Live Small Business” platform was comprised of several marketing tactics to amplify, support, and recognize small business owners in a difficult year.
Providing resources to small business owners
At the onset of the pandemic, GS created a Small Business Resource Center on GS.com that provided resources for small business owners across the US and UK—from information on applying for loans to new resources. GS promoted the resource center through organic and paid media to reach small business owners.
Amplifying the voices of small business owners to policymakers
In 2020 GS launched 10,000 Small Businesses Voices, a new initiative designed to help small business owners in the United States advocate for policy changes that will help their businesses, their employees, and their communities.
To elevate the voices of small business owners to policymakers and highlight the need for relief, GS amplified insights from a series of research we conducted throughout the year among our small business communities. To promote the findings, we leveraged paid and organic social to drive traffic to the 10KSB Voices site on GS.com. We also promoted survey findings through digital ads, including newsletters focused specifically on an audience interested in policy: Politico’s Huddle, The Washington Post’s Power Up, and an Axios Deep Dive (“The Future of Congress”), and via publishers such as The Hill.
In June, GS hosted its first virtual Capitol Hill Week. More than 2,000 small business owners joined to connect with Members of Congress through 400+ online meetings to make their voices heard. We amplified the event through our organic social channels as well through a variety of paid media channels to draw attention to the key issues that small businesses were facing in light of the pandemic.
And in August, GS crafted an open letter to Congress highlighting the need for additional relief. Over 1,800 alums of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program signed the letter and urged leaders to pass relief for small businesses via a full page Washington Post ad. The letter also ran in 12+ local newspaper publications.
Recognizing small business resilience and critical importance
To highlight the resilience and ingenuity of our small business community, GS promoted a steady drumbeat of storytelling from its social media channels, including “Shout Out” style posts highlighting small business owners and how they were pivoting during the pandemic.
A video titled “Long Live Small Businesses” was a central component in our amplification. The video was promoted during key timely moments (National Small Business Week, Small Business Saturday), honing in on a powerful message and serving as a “rallying cry” to underscore the essential nature of small businesses amid the pandemic.
Driving Shopping Traffic to Small Business Owners During the Holidays
Lastly, Goldman Sachs became a “marketing arm” to the alumni of their 10,000 Small Businesses and 10,000 Women programs during the holiday season. To help the small businesses during a particularly difficult year, GS turned their Instagram feed into a virtual, shoppable Main Street, featuring small businesses from these programs with the goal of driving traffic to their businesses. The firm also dedicated OOH and digital media buys to drive traffic to the #MakeSmallBig Holiday Market on gs.com so they could reach a wide audience of shoppers.
We’ve also received anecdotal success stories from the small business owners who were highlighted: