VerticalResponse Announces Winners Of $10,000 Small Business Competition

American Small Business Winners Highlight Passion & Innovation Needed By Entrepreneurs To Survive

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– April 12, 2010 –VerticalResponse, Inc. (http://www.verticalresponse.com), a leading provider of self-service email marketing, online survey and direct mail solutions for small businesses, today announced the three winners for its ‘New Deal’ competition. A public vote determined the winners of $10,000 in prizes—The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen won first place, Weidners Gardens came in close second place, and Sinking Ship Productions won third place. The small business winners were a new restaurant due to open later this year, and an 80 year old entrepreneur gardener, a Brooklyn-based theater company.

"One thing we want to highlight is that all of the top entrants showed their genuine passion for their small business—whether it was based on grilled cheese sandwiches or their love of gardening," said Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse. "Since VerticalResponse is also a small business, we understand the many challenges associated with starting and running a business. We know these entrepreneurs will put the money to good use, and we look forward to watching their progress over the coming months and beyond."

First Place Winner of $5,000

First place winner was The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant with $5,000 for their business. Commenting on their ‘New Deal’ prize, Heidi Gibson, Commander in Cheese of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen said, "The best part about the competition was hearing from people we barely knew who now plan to visit our store and support our venture. We were amazed at the support from friends and our local business community. The prize money from VerticalResponse will go a long way in covering our pre-opening costs for staff, and will also make a dent in pre-opening rent. That or we'll blow the whole thing on building the World's Largest Grilled Cheese Sandwich!"

Second Place Winner of $2,500

Second place winner was Weidners Gardens, a Southern Californian nursery, with $2,500 for their business. When she heard of their ‘New Deal’ prize win, Evelyn Weidner, Owner of Weidners Gardens said, "We never thought we had a chance to make it this far in the ‘New Deal’ competition. We owe it all to our loyal customers who continue to support us. We plan on spending the prize money to build a new concrete path up to our green house, which will make it easier for our senior citizen customers to walk up the hill to the Begonia Greenhouse."

Third Place Winner of $2,500

Third place winner was Sinking Ship Productions, a Brooklyn-based theater company, with $2,500 in winnings for their business. Josh Luxenberg, Co-Artistic Director said, “We’re so excited to be among the winners of the competition. It's gratifying to know that so many people out there want to support a small and fairly new theater company like ours—and this is the way that new work gets made. We will be using the ‘New Deal’ competition prize money to fund a portion of the budget for out next—and most ambitious—project: a full-scale mounting of our play, POWERHOUSE."

Future Follow Up With ‘New Deal’ Winners

VerticalResponse plans to follow up with the ‘New Deal’ for small business winners within six months in order to update its customers on how the prize money is being spent. "We launched this competition after our own experience as a small business, and we plan to support these entrepreneurs as they grow," said Janine Popick. "This competition is just part of our long-term commitment to the small business community, as this group needs to be recognized for their important role in the economy."

Competition Background

The competition was inspired by recent media attention of the President’s plea for banks to increase their lending to small businesses and his focus on job creation, which is similar to the New Deal initiative Franklin D. Roosevelt launched in 1933. In total there were over 70 video submissions for the ‘New Deal’ for Small Business competition, which ranged from young small business entrepreneurs to older and more experienced entrepreneurs. Additional details can be found at the competition website: www.verticalresponse.com/NewDeal and in the YouTube video featuring VerticalResponse’s CEO Janine Popick.

About VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse, Inc. is a leading provider of self-service email marketing, online surveys and direct mail services empowering small businesses to easily create, manage and analyze their own direct marketing campaigns. VerticalResponse bundles email, online surveys and postcards to offer customers an integrated Web-based direct marketing solution that’s intuitive and affordable. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit www.verticalresponse.com

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