business This month isn't just for flowers and cookouts. May is also Small Business Month - a time to honor and support the entrepreneurs who help make the financial future better for their families and our country.
In recognition of the contributions of small business owners, a number of companies (including OpenSky, Dotbox, Dwolla, Edison Nation, Goodsie, Shopkeep and others) are launching an initiative called the Small Business Breakthrough. They're asking social media users everywhere to let others know about their personal favorite small businesses - from the bakery down the street that makes the best cupcakes to the pediatrician who has seen your kids through stomach flu and sprained ankles. You can share your picks using the hashtag #sbbreakthru. You can also nominate a business at www.SBBreakthrough.com to be eligible for a special prize.
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A number of celebs will be supporting their own favorite small businesses through the initiative this month. Among them: Bethenny Frankel and Molly Sims. As moms of young children, they know that many mothers have made life better for themselves and their families by starting their own companies.
So which small businesses do they support? Sims adores Skincando, a line of organic skin creams with natural ingredients like coconut oil and clove. The founder is an esthetician from Washington, DC, who wanted to create an alternative to skin-care products containing harmful ingredients like parabens. Sims especially loves the Combat-Ready Balm for kids, which is great on everything from diaper rash to bug bites. "As a new mommy, I have to say this stuff is literally a miracle in a jar."
Sims also supports jewelry designer Fiona Paxton. "She's seriously talented!" she says. "Fiona studied textile design, so she has a really great eye for graphics and geometric patterns."
Always fashion-forward, Frankel loves the Swarovski crystal-encrusted phone cases made by small New York boutique Crystal Icing. "I always have my iPhone next to me - even though I have a love-hate relationship with it," she says. "One thing I don't need is for it to get damaged. So I found this colorful case that keeps it protected and plus…um, the Swarovski crystals, of course! What Skinnygirl doesn't love a little bling?"
Another small business Frankel recommends is Comfort Revolution, a company specializing in memory-foam bedding products. The founder got his start creating the "egg carton" foam pads for mattresses. "When I'm under stress, I can't sleep. When I can't sleep, I get stressed. See the problem?" says Frankel, who especially likes their supportive pillows. "What you need are good sleeping habits - and a good pillow like this baby."
Do you know a small business that deserves attention (including your own)? Let the world know about it on your Twitter, Facebook and other accounts, using the #sbbreakthru hashtag.
-By Shana Aborn
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