Grand & Toy creates Facebook for SMBs

by Rob Lewis | Culture

Today on IT Business, Jeff Jedras covered Grand & Toy's new venture into the social networking space with Grand & Toy Empower. Think Facebook, but for SMBs.

The idea is to leverage the latest social networking and Web 2.0 capabilities to provide SMB owners and operators with a portal where they can network, share best practices, and gain new business at a time and pace of their choosing.

Valerie Jones, general manager of e-commerce for Grand & Toy, says the retailer is going strongly after the SMB. Its strategy is to become a trusted advisor to SMBs, and to help them connect, learn, grow and network.

“We want to be positioned in the market as an organization that cares about the SMB,” said Jones. “We're their advocate, here to help rather than just sell them products. We're here to help them grow, and what better way to do that than build a Web site with resources specifically designed to fit their needs?”

According to Grand & Toy's research, SMBs turn to online networking when they don't have time to attend their local Chamber of Commerce of Board of Trade events. Empower promises to connect SMB owners outside of business hours, on their time table. Better yet, Grand & Toy believes SMB owners will share best practices with people in similar business areas across the country as they won't perceive them as direct competitors.

The Empower Web site, which is free for SMBs to join and use, offers a library of articles, videos and podcast presentations on topics such as writing a business plan and marketing. Online seminars will provide business tips, virtual trade shows an opportunity to showcase their wares, and a job board will aid in both talent acquisition and job search.

Grand & Toy
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

As a company, we've always been very proud of our ability to provide great selection, service and value for the office product needs of our many loyal customers - no matter how big or how small their organizations may be. These customer needs are always top-of-mind with us, and are the driving force behind any new initiative that we undertake with our business. In our efforts to continuously... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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