PATCH LAUNCHES "PATCH PARTNERS" TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES

PATCH LAUNCHES "PATCH PARTNERS" TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES

Program will feature exclusive content for Patch advertisers,
website of curated small-business insights

June 4, 2012 -- Patch, AOL's platform of local news, information and engagement sites, has launched Patch Partners, as part of its continuing efforts to support small businesses and the people behind them. In addition to exclusive content aimed at empowering, enlightening and inspiring Patch's advertisers, the Patch Partners website, launching later this month, will serve as a resource for all small business owners, with insights curated from Patch's 850+ sites as well as the web at large, in-depth interviews with business leaders, and tips to help build, sustain, and grow small businesses.

Exclusive Patch Partners benefits for Patch advertisers will include discounts from other local and national businesses; a welcome kit highlighting all the ways to effectively promote and strengthen their businesses both online and off; and tips, tools and strategies surrounding the unique opportunities and challenges facing those who own and/or manage small businesses.

"Patch Partners is another way for us to enhance the Patch experience for our advertisers - who are truly 'power users' on Patch - and offer support for other small business owners as well," commented Andrew Margie, Vice President of Revenue & Business Engagement at Patch. "It has always been part of our mission to serve not only as a news and information source for our communities, but also as a platform for local businesses to connect with their target customers and each other."

The Patch Partners newsletter and website will also feature interviews with business leaders who have achieved large-scale success after starting from scratch. The inaugural interview features Ian Murray, co-founder of vineyard vines, an American apparel and accessory retailer founded in 1998 by Ian and his brother Shep, who cut their ties with corporate America to start making ties that represented The Good Life. Products are now sold through a seasonal catalog, online at vineyardvines.com, in over 600 specialty and department stores and currently at twenty one free-standing stores nationwide.

The launch of Patch Partners comes on the heels of May's announcement by AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong that Patch will command between $40 million and $50 million in revenue this year. In Q1, Patch drew its highest traffic to date and now serves over 10 million users per month, as the Web's #5 local/regional property (comScore, April 2012). In just over three years, Patch has grown from 3 to over 850 sites in 23 states and now employs nearly 1,000 professional editors in those communities.

About Patch.com
Launched in 2009, Patch more than tripled its UV traffic between December 2010 and December 2011 and currently serves over 10 million users (comScore, April 2012). With the mission of becoming the most trusted source of local news and information via a platform of hyperlocal sites, Patch is managed by local professional editors and photographers. Patch is also the premier online destination for residents who want to participate in discussions, post announcements and event information, share their perspectives via Patch's "Local Voices" blogging platform, and get involved in their communities. In addition, business owners and advertisers benefit from Patch's unique ability to reach new and existing customers. Serving as the eyes and ears for what is happening at the grassroots level across the country, Patch is now in over 850 communities in 23 states plus Washington, D.C.

PATCH contacts:
Janine Iamunno janine@patch.com 212-274-2282
Joe Wiggins joe.wiggins@patch.com

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