Next, Loans for Lemonade Stands?

The New York Times:

When banks declare in advertising that they want to help small businesses grow, just how small do they mean?

A campaign for a bank in Colorado is taking that assertion down to the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny level.

The campaign, for the FirstBank division of the FirstBank Holding Company, is centered on eye-catching outdoor signs that advertise businesses offering services like baby sitting, piano lessons, math tutoring and wedding entertainment – enterprises typically far too small to afford public promotions that big.

The sponsorship of FirstBank is revealed by a logo on the billboards along with the words “We care about small business.”

The campaign is being expanded to offer small businesses free services like advertising, online and offline; Web site development; and listings on an Internet directory.

The services are to be bundled in what First Bank calls the DotFree small-business package.

The new campaign for FirstBank is emblematic of efforts by banks and other marketers of financial services to stay the course during what is widely considered to be the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Photo by The New York

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