Giving Small Business a Helping Hand

September 29, 2010

Snagit1 It’s been often repeated that small business is the engine that drives the U.S. economy. President Obama has said it and so have Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan before him.

Not unlike a lot of entrepreneurs, my parents started their company as a very small business with big ideas for the future.  When they opened a nine-stool A&W root beer stand in Washington 83 years ago, they believed they were on to something good. Over the years, their small business grew larger and larger and now we’re listed as one of the Fortune 500.

The road to success, however, was not always easy, as many small businesses today know far too well. My parents’ drive and fierce entrepreneurial spirits helped them get through incredibly difficult times, including the Great Depression.

I know what a hard time my parents had when they opened their second restaurant, which was the first drive in restaurant east of the Mississippi. They didn’t have enough money to pave the parking lot so they got cinders from the garbage collection company and put them on the lot so people would not get stuck in the mud. And they built their little restaurant out of ply wood and other pieces of wood that they could find. It was really a cheap deal but it was successful because the food and service were great.

Thankfully, there hasn’t been a repeat of the Great Depression but in today’s difficult economic times; just about every small business needs a boost.

One of our brands, Fairfield Inn & Suites, just launched the Small Business Road to Success Challenge. They’re giving 10 small business owners free stays at Fairfield Inn & Suites over the next three months. They’ll travel around the country, stay in their hotels and we’ll help them grow their businesses and compete to win a grand prize of $20,000. You can follow along as they blog and tweet from the road about their progress at Who knows, maybe one of these finalists will be the next Bill Gates or Bill Marriott, Sr.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

Giving Small Business a Helping Hand

The comments to this entry are closed.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

great ideas with small business build long term of success,if you have ideas and have not business it means buliding long term of great success

Hello Sir, instead of sweepstakes and gimmicks, how about really contributing to the sucess of small business by keeping your rates reasonable and STABLE. Now they rise and fall like a roller coaster and soar into the stratsophere just when people need them the most, like a college parent visit weekend or other "special" event. Now that would be a boost to small business people who have to stay at these times. Think about it...

Nicely done as always, Mr. Marriott.

Mr. Marriott:

'The Small Business Road to Success Challenge' by Fairfield Inn and Suite is a fantastic and phenomenal initiative. Imagine it as an initiative, like when your Mom and Dad started their one nine stool A&W root beer stand.I am sure you can see where it can potentially go for small businesses.

Yesterday, I was present at the "Women Luncheon Forum" for the African Policy Summit held at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. The women panelist echoes the words on empowerment, that we must be bold to stand alone when required and take up the opportunity of redeeming our society through our God given giftings.

Bernadette Paolo from the African Society must be highly commended on giving us tips on what is means striving to be a successful woman in today's world.

Mr. Marriott you know the rate of growth of women businesses. However what is the success rate of businesses with revenue over $1 million?

I have advocated on the Hill, attended forums on the Hill and clearly stated the facts. I have even called you in further action. From a private sector perspective Fairfield Inn and Suite has risen to the call.
Small businesses with big ideas, that is what we women have and need men/women like you in coming into our wealth and abundance.

Women have the drive and fierce entrpreneurship,however we need, like you said a boost. And single parent sometimes needs it even greater.

You are not only energizing a Bill Marriott Sr. or a Bill Gates. You have sown the "mustard seed of 1" that can find the true "spiritual code" of the universe abundance that John Rockefeller speaks of in 1916 with Labor and Capital.

AS John Gray wrote in "Venus on Fire and Mars on Ice" and all of us women know is that true liberation of the humanity economically, socially and politically is from the God given gifting of women.

Thanks for being a man of such great vision in radiating hope, as you keep Marriott on the Move.