Local Business Loves Its Community by Giving Back [VIDEO]

BookSmart in Morgan Hill, Calif. is owned by Brad Jones and Cinda Meister and, like many local businesses, it strives to provide a positive environment and to be involved in its community. Brad and Cinda say they look at their business as a third place for people to meet and get away, outside of home and work.

“Our passion is reading and knowledge and we think those are the most important things you can do for a person,” said Brad Jones. “Through that, people can improve themselves, their community, and the world.”

And their passion has been well received by their fans and customers.

The momentum started in July when thousands of fans voted for their favorite businesses around the United States with a chance for them to win grants through LoveALocalBusiness.com. Not only did BookSmart randomly get selected to win the $5,000 grant, but it also won the additional Grand Prize that increased the grant to $30,000.

Brad Jones is a man of his word. He promised his customers that he would use half of the grant money to give back to the local school system, and he is going to award gift certificates to Morgan Hill teachers so they can purchase books for their classrooms. The giveaway will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at BookSmart on 80 East 2nd Street in Morgan Hill, Calif.

“We try to make an impact in the community whenever we can and this event is just one example,” says Jones. “It is important for us to give back to the place where you live and make a living.”

As Kindles and other electronic book readers surge in popularity (and big chains like Barnes & Noble continue to maintain dominance, BookSmart isn’t certain what the future holds.

While the company leverages a Facebook page and a Twitter account to maintain communications with its customers, Meister says, “Our biggest advantage is our staff and personalized service. Matching people with books is very rewarding. To have a reluctant reader get a book in their hand and come back for more is the joy we get as business owners.”

UPDATE: The event was a smashing success, with more than 60 attendees present. “Intuit has put their money where their mouth is with this opportunity,” said Brad Jones at the event. “This grant came at the right time for our business and we wanted to give back to the community.”

Check out our video from the event below. Congrats to BookSmart and thanks for “paying it forward.”

About Troy Marcyes

Troy Marcyes works in customer relations at Intuit and is inspired by the small business owners he talks to every day. In his spare time he enjoys coaching baseball and training in mixed martial arts.
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