Press Release

2022 Small Business Spotlight to Help 100 Diverse Entrepreneurs Reach Nearly 100M Households

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October 6, 2021: Applications are now open; the program’s third year includes live features on QVC, HSN, and QVC2, an option for qualified companies to sell with Zulily, and more

West Chester, Pa.: Qurate Retail Group℠, a world leader in multiplatform video commerce and ecommerceis expanding its Small Business Spotlight program yet again to further support entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups by giving participants more opportunities for national exposure on QVC®, HSN®, and Zulily®. Applications are now open. Qurate Retail Group is part of Qurate Retail, Inc. (NASDAQ: QRTEAQRTEBQRTEP). 

At least 100 diverse businesses will be selected for the program in 2022, adding to the approximately 160 small businesses that will have participated in the program by the end of 2021. The 2022 participants will appear live on-air on QVC, HSN or QVC2 during one of seven heritage and recognition months in 2022: Black History Month (in February), Women’s History Month (in March), Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and National Military Appreciation Month (both in May), Pride Month (in June), National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), and National Disability Employment Awareness Month (in October). As retailers, QVC and HSN serve 11.6 million customers in the U.S. and reach 94 million households via broadcast channels and millions more via digital, streaming, and social platforms.  

New for 2022, online retailer Zulily is proud to enable shoppers to make a difference through specially curated shoppable events during each featured heritage and recognition month, with products from the selected Small Business Spotlight businesses that meet certain sourcing requirements. Every day, Zulily delivers millions of versions of its app and website with thousands of new products for customers to discover at unbeatable prices, for themselves, their families, and their homes.

 “Thanks to our passionate customers and our robust retail platforms with unparalleled reach, we have unmatched opportunities to support the small business community – the engine of the economy – and help these entrepreneurs grow their companies,” said Ian Bailey, Senior Vice President, Communications and Community. “Small Business Spotlight is our signature program for increasing opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs who are outside of our current vendor family. By 2025, we intend to have featured at least 500 diverse small businesses through this program as part of our commitment to elevate underrepresented businesses and products across our brands, invite a broader consumer base, and support equity in all its forms.” 

The innovative Small Business Spotlight program offers diverse small businesses on-air and digital exposure through QVC’s, HSN’s, and Zulily’s platforms, along with various other pro-bono in-kind services. Qurate Retail Group initially launched the Small Business Spotlight with the National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation in May 2020 to help small businesses challenged by COVID-19 and conducted a second phase later that year with 40 Black-owned businesses. In 2021, Qurate Retail Group and the NRF Foundation increased the number of selected businesses and focused the program on supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs.

Many Small Business Spotlight entrepreneurs have reported double-digit or even higher increases in sales, new customers, and/or customer contacts as a result of their participation in the program. Kevin Gatlin, founder of Playtime Edventures in Charlotte, N.C., said that in February 2021 (the month he appeared on-air in the Small Business Spotlight for Black History Month), his sales surged 300% over the prior month and his website traffic increased 1,900%.  On the day of Kevin’s airing, his customer calls more than tripled.

“The Small Business Spotlight program was truly a ‘lifesaver’ for my company,” said Kevin. “When COVID hit and our customers went on lockdown, we went from growing to struggling in a matter of months. The Small Business Spotlight program helped us to pivot to retail and survive. The on-air exposure on QVC and HSN allowed us to introduce our special bedsheets to millions of people and capture sales at the same time. In addition, the exposure led to other business opportunities and connections that are elevating our company to a whole new level.”

The application website opens today, and small businesses may apply on an ongoing basis. Applicants who wish to be considered for Black History Month in February 2022 or Women’s History Month in March 2022 are encouraged to apply by October 25, 2021, as these applications will be prioritized for review due to planning and production requirements. More details on eligibility and criteria, as well as the application link through RangeMe (a leading product discovery and sourcing platform for retailers and suppliers), are available at https://www.rangeme.com/quratesmallbusinessspotlight.

To qualify, a business must meet the program’s eligibility requirements, including:

  • employing 100 or fewer workers,
  • being 51 percent owned by an entrepreneur of a diverse background, and
  • having an ecommerce capability and social media presence.

Small Business Spotlight is just one way Qurate Retail Group is working to support and advance underrepresented groups on its leadership team and across its workforce, vendors/suppliers, customers, and communities. Small Business Spotlight also builds on the company’s longstanding foundation of supporting small businesses. Over the years, Qurate Retail Group has helped entrepreneurial brands become national and even international success stories through the power of live video storytelling, discovery-driven shopping experiences, and loyal customer community-building.

About Qurate Retail Group

Qurate Retail GroupSM comprises seven leading retail brands – QVC®, HSN®, Zulily®, Ballard Designs®, Frontgate®, Garnet Hill®, and Grandin Road® – all dedicated to providing a Third Way to Shop®, beyond transactional ecommerce or traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Globally, Qurate Retail Group is a world leader in video commerce, among the top ecommerce retailers in North America (according to Digital Commerce 360), and a leader in mobile commerce and social commerce. The retailer reaches approximately 218 million homes worldwide via 14 television networks and reaches millions more via multiple streaming services, social pages, mobile apps, websites, print catalogs, and in-store destinations. Qurate Retail Group combines the best of retail, media, and social to curate products, experiences, conversations, and communities for millions of highly discerning shoppers – bringing joy, inspiration, and humanity to shopping. Qurate Retail Group also curates large audiences across multiple platforms for thousands of brand vendors. Headquartered in West Chester, Pa., Qurate Retail Group has 26,000 team members in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Japan, Italy, Poland, and China. For more information, visit www.qurateretailgroup.com, follow @QurateRetailGrp on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or follow Qurate Retail Group on YouTube or LinkedIn.

Qurate Retail, Inc. (NASDAQ: QRTEA, QRTEB, QRTEP) includes the Qurate Retail Group portfolio of brands as well as other minority interests and green energy investments.

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