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    Filmmakers Capture Small Business Stories on a National Roadtrip

    By Adrienne Burke | Yahoo Small Business

    Small business owner Sean O'Toole is among the first to be featured in a new short film campaign

    The first two three-minute movies posted to the Small Business Road Trip web site—about a hat shop in Manhattan and a dog grooming boutique in the city’s South Street Seaport—are touching enough to inspire you to start your own business (or perhaps just join the road trip).

    New York independent filmmaker Trisha Dalton and cinematographer John Sears started a 10-week cross-country tour yesterday as part of the “I Am Small Business Proud” campaign sponsored by Spark Business from CapitalOne. Starting with New York, where they hit a dozen businesses before moving on to New Jersey, the duo will travel 7,300 miles and stop in more than 35 cities including Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville, Austin, Denver, Seattle, and Los Angeles “gathering exclusive content and insights into the lives of small business owners.”

    Viewers of their captivating mini-films have already learned how JJ Hat Center owner Sean O’Toole watched his parents bring their business back after the 9/11 tragedy and then traded in his own high-profile law career to carry on the family legacy. And they’ve seen how The Salty Paw owner, Amanda Byron Zink, whose business was inspired by her beloved Great Dane, overcame the devastation that Hurricane Sandy wrought on her waterfront community.

    If you already own a small business, here’s your chance to be featured on film for all the world to see. In a statement released today, Dalton said, “As small business owners ourselves, we’re looking forward to gaining even more knowledge of what makes a small business run and we can’t wait to share the stories and diversity of these small business owners across America. John and I will be talking to many owners, learning more about their passions, challenges, and successes.”

    The filmmakers encourage any one with an interest in business ownership to follow their voyage as they plot their course, their stories, and the money they’ve spent at small businesses (as well as, apparently, the rewards they’re racking up by making purchases with a Capital One credit card) at I Am Small Business Proud.

    To invite Dalton and Sears to come capture your small business story, click on the “Tell Us” button and share why they should, or Tweet them @CapitalOneSpark using the hashtag #SmallBizProud.

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