Company Name: OneRez
Official Website: http://www.onerez.com/
What do they do? OneRez is a database of hotels and car rental companies that qualify for the US government’s definition of “small and disadvantaged businesses” (SDBs). Government departments and contractors can use this database to fulfill their SDB requirements easily. It’s the only SDB database for the travel industry.
Are they a business-to-business (B2B) company, or business-to-consumer (B2C)? B2B
Founder(s): Brian MacKenzie, OneRez President & CEO, has a background in federal government contracting.
Date Founded: 1998
Presentation Notes: OneRez thinks that not only will having a list of small business hoteliers, car rental agencies, and other travel-related companies benefit governments with SDB requirements to fill, it will also provide people who try to be socially conscious when they travel with another way to be responsible – by supporting small, local businesses. OneRez is the only small business database in travel, and they call themselves “the source for socially responsible travel.” The system also allows business owners to post information about themselves (similar to a Facebook profile), so travelers can learn more about a hotel owner before they choose that hotel. Major chain hotels that operate with a franchise model have endorsed OneRez. They charge an annual membership fee, but that’s not the whole revenue model.
Why should/shouldn’t travelers care? Eco-travel is increasingly popular, and anyone for whom that is an important part of travel planning no doubt understands that supporting local businesses is a great way to be a socially responsible traveler. The idea of OneRez, therefore, is an interesting one. But frankly when they said that a major chain hotel could qualify to be listed as a small business because it was a franchise model, it felt a little less genuine. Certainly, it would be easy to skip over those hotels by name, but it might be reason enough to question the whole list – that and the membership fee, which may by definition keep out some small business owners.