We were all excited to apply to Fast Company's new recognition program, "Brands That Matter." After all, we've long believed that what we do at Batch is more than just the stuff we put in boxes. Nearly every item we sell is made by a small business and comes with a story of hard work, family, community, and hustle.
But then we saw the price tag just to apply: $495 (and that's the discounted rate).
Thanks for the opportunity to buy advertising disguised as prestige from you, Fast Company. It's the Who's Who in America scam for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Same to you, Inc. and your list of 5,000 fast-growing companies. We'll use that application fee to pay for employee healthcare or make a donation to a local charity we support.
I know magazines are struggling, especially with fewer bored air travelers not spending $5 at Hudson News while delayed in transit. But, trying to convince small businesses to spend hard-earned income (which has been harder to come by over the past year) to apply to be on a list (that people will glance at once and then toss in the recycling bin) is laughable and harmful.
Small business stories need to be told and shared. The outlook in 2021 isn't any better than it was a few months ago as many small shops are doing their best to hang on. On average, 800 businesses are closing daily. Those who are left are trying their best to be smart with each penny and applying to a list won't help them.
So here's the deal: We're announcing our own recognition program called Slow Company. We're looking for companies that have been around for at least 7 years (like us) and grown steadily over time. Do you know a company that gives back to its local communities, pays a decent wage, creates jobs, and facilitates economic growth? It doesn't have to have to have robots or drones; just a good business that does alright and is a good community member.
To apply, just send me an email and tell me your story. I'll select my favorites and share their story on our blog and social media. No, we don't have the reach of the big magazines (yet) but we also won't charge you anything. In fact, we'll even send you a gift to congratulate you and your team for growing a business and modeling corporate citizenship.
We believe in the power of small businesses to change lives and communities and will keep doing our part to support as many as possible in as many ways as possible.