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Erika Heeren, President

The Small Business Marketing Studio

(332) 600-5443

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New York – Military spouse Erika Heeren founded The Small Business Marketing Studio (SBMS) to provide military spouses, first responder spouses, and veterans with progressive careers and training in marketing and communications. The start-up pairs military-affiliated marketing professionals with businesses and non-profit organizations in need of marketing support. All positions are entirely remote work-based and designed to adapt to the uncertainty of the military lifestyle.

Military families have been struggling to make ends meet both in and after time in the service. A 2019 Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) survey showed that 1 in 8 military families suffer from food insecurity. According to the latest Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Report, more than 37% of military families reported feeling uncertain about their financial future. Overall, military families report difficulty making ends meet at twice the rate of civilian families in the same survey.

Heeren asserts that this rate of financial instability could be solved, in part, by a greater focus on sustainable military spouse employment. This concept is the catalyst for The Small Business Marketing Studio.

For military spouses, maintaining a stable civilian career while their service member is active duty is prohibitive due to the requirements of a military lifestyle. Military families of all core branches will move every two to three years, or around eight to twelve times during a military career. Combined with a lack of consistent, affordable childcare, this creates a situation where military spouses are statistically more likely to give up on their own long-term career.

“As a nation, our all-volunteer military force is only as sustainable as the family units behind the service members. When the military family cannot maintain financial security, the service member leaves the military. The long-term impact of military life on families must be considered to encourage the retention of qualified service members. This task cannot lie wholly on the shoulders of military leadership – we need the help of our local business communities as well.”

Erika Heeren, Founder & President of The Small Business Marketing Studio

Combining a passion for small business development, and the need for military spouses and transitioning veterans to find sustainable employment – The Small Business Marketing Studio seeks to connect these two demographics for mutual benefit. The start-up consists of four programs, each designed to empower more businesses to be veteran and military spouse friendly employers with less risk.

1. The Virtual Marketing Professional Program: Businesses are paired with a trained marketing professional from the military family or first responder family demographic. That professional works within the business to help them with their marketing needs.

2. The CMO Project: Experienced, executive-level military spouses and veterans are placed in rapidly growing enterprises in need of a talented addition to their C-Suite.

3. The Internship Program: Military spouses and veterans who have recently left the service gain “boots on the ground” experience in marketing to build their resumes. They work with real clients and gain on-the-job training from other veterans and military spouses with more experience in the field.

4. The Scholarship Program: A portion of all profits from The Small Business Marketing Studio go toward an annual scholarship program designed to help military spouses and veterans continue their education in the marketing field. Scholarships can be used for certifications, conferences, and other accredited activities.

“We consider first responder families to be part of the military family community – and we have to look out for each other. Many of these first responder spouses are subject to an uncertain schedule when their significant other is a police officer, firefighter, or EMT – just like military spouses. The need is great for them as well, and we want to help them succeed.”

Erika Heeren, Founder & President of The Small Business Marketing Studio

About The Small Business Marketing Studio

Founded by award-winning marketer Erika Heeren, The Small Business Marketing Studio is a New York-based marketing agency that connects military spouses, first responder spouses, and veterans with small businesses in need of marketing support. For more information about The Small Business Marketing Studio, please visit