Grassroots Stimulus System – Small Business Saving Plans

What if I told you that I have invented a Grassroots Stimulus System providing a solution for a wide range of our political, social and economic inequalities?  My patented pending stimulus system provides a solution to step up efforts around the world to accelerate economic activity and to ensure that those benefits reach everybody in society.  In addition and according to a growing body of research also suggesting that rising income inequality is the cause of social and economic ills, ranging from low consumption to social and political unrest, and is damaging to future economic well-being-, my stimulus system is the solution.

Our Small Business Saving Plans – Stimulus Program

Hundreds of thousands of small businesses are being loss annually in America alone, along with their attending jobs. There are millions of small businesses in America alone that are stagnant, underutilized and undercapitalized and lack access to capital.    For decades, chain, box and internet stores have added to small business’ problems, most notable in inner cities and rural neighborhoods.    Our SBSP is our stimulus program that solves these issues and more.  As a result small businesses will be able to maximize their growth potential and create jobs for everyone capable of working at a living wage.  Neighborhoods historically marginalized now have a stimulus system they can use to create good jobs and revitalize their small businesses and enhance their living standards.

Brief Background

Small businesses today are often confronted with a variety of challenges, not the least of which is cash flow issues resulting at least partially from the umbrella of problems included in the latest recession.  Indeed, when cash flow becomes a problem for a small business, the cost of making goods and services immediately available to customers at the time of payment can be prohibitive. Sometimes small businesses may even resort to writing checks against inadequate bank funds, a dangerous option that sooner or later ends in the downsizing or closing of the business - with an attendant loss of jobs and disposable income spent in the community.  As we both know, job growth is a huge issue, not only in the Pittsburgh area and our entire country, but all across the globe.

My family and I have operated a dry cleaning business in Pittsburgh for many years.  In a changing (and at times declining) economic environment, I attribute my continued success to tenacity and hard work, my ability to forecast business/economic trends, and my willingness to adapt to change - so that my business “not only survives, but thrives.”  To that end, in 1995 I created saving plans for my customers that has positively impacted my cash flow and has significantly contributed to the strength and prosperity of my business.

Business Model for Resolution of Small Business Cash Flow Challenges

In the year 2000, one of the first “chip” cards in North America was introduce.  The “chip” or “smart” card is an electronic programmable card.  In addition to providing an alternative accounting method, it became useful as a tool to collect additional information on my customers, i.e. birthdays, and was easily sync with our online Merchant Data Center.

I began offering my customers our own branded StrongCard™, a Strong Cleaners debit card which customers use to purchase my services with savings up to 30%.  Still today, the StrongCard™ is offered in $100 blocks with a maximum of 10 blocks and saving from 10% to 30% and for commercial accounts the offer is in $10,000 blocks.  The StrongCard™ was an improvement over our previous accounting method and over the years, along with enhancements in technology, develops into a “Main Street Stimulus System.

Essentially, my customer would select the Small Business Saving Plans (SBSP) of their choosing, and the amount of the plan plus the corresponding savings is loaded onto our own branded StrongCard™ and issued to my customer.  Going forward, the customer use the card as a debit card to purchase on all our services.  For example, if my customer choice was the $200 plan with a corresponding upfront saving of 20% or $40, the $200 plan plus the savings of $40 for a total amount of $240 is loaded onto our own branded StrongCard™ and issued to my customer. The cards are rechargeable.

The advantage for my customers is the savings they receive on all our services when they use the StrongCard™ as a debit card at my business.  The advantage for Strong Cleaners is the offset of some capital costs through the up-front cash financing of my business by customers choosing the StrongCard™ in return for my provision of services to them at any point in the future.  This business application has helped address cash flow issues and position Strong Cleaners for future market growth.   

Neighborhood Merchants Band Together

Given my own success with the StrongCard™, I teamed with other neighborhood merchants interested in the same cash flow advantage Strong Cleaners had enjoyed. We began to offer a card that can be used for discounted goods and services at any one of various local businesses.  As with my business alone, our group of local merchants has enjoyed the same benefit from customer cash upfront for goods and services provided later – improved cash flow and a healthier bottom line.

Our customers have benefited from discounted goods and services at a variety of businesses instead of just one.  Equally important, people residing in the neighborhood have become more motivated to spend their disposable income locally, providing the basis for economic freedom within our particular community.

Further Expansion


November of 2011, I founded StrongCard™ International.

The Team

Eric Strong

Established in 1930, Eric Strong is currently the CEM of Strong II Dry Cleaners – a third Generation family owned business, which has been in business for over 87 years. Eric is Founder of StrongCard International and Inventor of StrongCard™ Stimulus System, patented pending. He is a Vietnam Veteran and a 74’ graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a BS degree in Administrative Management & Science from the Graduate School of Industrial Management. His corporate background includes 14 years with US Steel & Supply as a manager in Industrial & System engineering, Marketing, Planning, Sales and Operations.   He has experienced business growth in a distressed neighborhood and has grown his business without a traditional loan in the past years. Through his decades of professional experience and passionate approach to business, Eric will continue to work laboriously to ensure the patent pending Grassroots Stimulus System achieves its objective.


Joann Forrester

Joann Forrester is a partner in SI Business Associates and Price it Perfect™. She is an award winning business consultant with over 30 years in consulting experience in cost analysis and growth. She has facilitated over 40 million dollars in growth funds for small business. Through her rich entrepreneurial experiences, Joann is primed to excel in her role as Cost Analyst for StrongCard™.


Joanne Quinn-Smith

Joanne Quinn-Smith (Techno Granny) is the owner of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates. She has been an entrepreneur for over 30 years. Joanne is a Branding Expert and talk cast host. Most recently, she won the National SBA Journalist of the Year award, and is also an Award Winning Platform Builder. Joanne was also an American Business Awards Finalist Best Web Site or Blog for Positively Pittsburgh Live. Through her endless years of experiences and success, Joanne brings her omit skills to StrongCard as the Marketing Guru.

James Martin

James Martin is a Pricing Specialist. He is a 4th generation family business owner and is a Co-Developer of Price It Perfect™ Cost Control Solution. With over 30 years in business consulting experience, James knows the ins and outs of a successful business operation. James is a former United States Army Tank Commander. Through his leadership and decades of business experience, James is primed and ready to serve as Cost Analyst for StrongCard.

Our Grassroots Stimulus System has a fully integrated business application that includes 21st century marketing tools, a real-time gateway, proprietary software and a 24/7  professional team of business owners to support the program.  Our local experience has demonstrated that this program represents a “Main Street” sustainable stimulus program that benefits consumers, small businesses and neighborhoods.

The system provides a grassroots solution for a wide range of political, social and economic inequalities.    One main reason this business application works has to do with its simplicity:  It represents balance – it benefits the whole and not the few.  As Steve Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.  But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Moving Mountains - StrongCard International Expansion

How does a Small Business use the Grassroots Stimulus System?

The core of our Grassroots Stimulus System uses a proprietary stimulus program - small business saving plans (SBSP). Essentially, the SBSP provides small to medium size businesses, a solution to: | Fund their Business without the Cost of Borrowing | Increase Cash Flow | Increase Brand Identity | Achieve Optimum Facility Utilization (OFU) | Customer Loyalty and Retention | Market Advantage | Network Benefits | Build Cash Reserve | 24/7 Professional Support | Dedicated Administrator |.

The SBSP is a stimulus program providing each business with saving plans for their residential and commercial customers with a standard upfront savings of 10% to 30% on future sales.  The SBSP are issued by the business in blocks of $100 to $1,000 for residential customer and in blocks of $1000 to $10,000 for commercial customer.  Specifically, customers choose the SBSP of their choice from their preferred neighborhood business, and receive an upfront saving. The SBSP plus corresponding savings are loaded onto the business' branded rechargeable debit card.  The debit card is strictly for purchases only.  The customer then can make future purchases using the debit card from their preferred neighborhood business that issue the debit card, as well as, from participating businesses within the network.  As an example, if a customer chooses the standard $1,000 SBSP with a corresponding saving of 30%, then the dollar amount of the plan, $1,000 plus the dollar amount of savings, $300 are then loaded onto the business' branded rechargeable cashless debit card reflecting a total purchasing power of $1,300.  The customer's cash purchase from the SBSP stays with the issuing business.  The cash from the SBSP stays with business and used to build cash reserves and offset their costs without having to borrow.  The methods and system of your patent-pending GSS provides small to medium size businesses a solution to further stimulate economic activity and generate money to fund their businesses without having to borrow.


The distribution of our patent-pending GSS to franchise responsible groups, regionally and geographically, such as civic organizations and small business associations.  The goal is to create and administer to a global network of license small to medium size businesses, as well as, professional businesses to support our StrongCard™ network of small to medium size businesses.

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