SOURCE: Jan's Deals

Jan's Deals

June 08, 2009 11:44 ET

Entrepreneur to Give Away $3.74 Million in Advertising to Small Businesses for Launch of

Jan Stuart Once Staged a Hunger Strike on Wall Street to Protest Policies That Hurt Honest Businesses; Now He's Putting It All on the Line to Help Small Businesses Struggling in Today's Economy

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 8, 2009) - Entrepreneur Jan Stuart has seen the highest highs and the lowest lows of the business world. Recalling how he built a multi-million dollar business, only to see it fail due to the Wall Street Crash of 1987, his newest project -- -- is offering $3.74 million in free advertising to small businesses struggling in this economy, as part of his own stimulus package.

Currently in launch phase, is an online community portal that directly connects potential local customers and clients with deals offered by local businesses, in real-time.

"In the late 80s, I felt like I had it all," said Stuart. "I created a highly successful, internationally distributed product line of men's care products. Then the market crashed, and I was wiped out. I know what small businesses are going through, and it hurts me, because I've been there. The economy's collapsed and they're struggling. I started to think, how can I help them?"

The answer was the creation of Jan's Deals, connecting local businesses with customers who seek local deals by simply searching a zip code. When they sign up, businesses list their local deals and discounts and get to edit and change them with instantly. Stuart sees the success of small business having a ripple effect across the recovery of local communities, and is waiving the initial subscription fee of $299/year for a three-month period for the first 50,000 small businesses that sign-up, totaling about $3.74 million in free advertising.

The offer can be viewed here:

That kind of deal is attractive to small businesses looking for an effective and inexpensive way to target the consumers who are most likely to spend money on them. Considering that advertising each deal on flyers can cost more than $50 to make and run off copies, and a lot more to do direct mail coupons, only to see them end up in trash cans, taking deals to consumers directly online (and being able to update them multiple times a day) makes sense. Yet, many small businesses aren't doing that.

According to Nielsen, by June of 2008, 220 million+ people had internet access. But, more than half of all small business owners aren't using the internet to market or advertise their business, according to American Express.

The ability to help small businesses bring in more people via online marketing is what inspired Stuart, who once staged a widely-covered hunger strike on Wall Street, to protest the policies that led to the '87 crash that crippled his business.

"You have to put it all on the line, for what you believe," said Stuart. "The economy won't recover until we help out the small business owners. The last time the economy tanked, I spent my last dollars to rent a Winnebago and go on hunger strike to stand up for what I believed. This time, I'm willing to give up $3.74 million to get small businesses and communities revved up again. But, hey, at least I still get to eat this time."

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