Because of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic affecting America, local businesses have been forced to close their doors to customers and adapt in various ways to keep operating – restaurants have added delivery and curbside services, breweries have become bottle shops, and retailers have hastily added ecommerce options.
Many of these businesses face uncertainty as to whether they’ll be able to reopen once all of this is finished. A few have already thrown in the towel.
Now more than ever, local businesses are in desperate need of community support. That’s where Help Local Thrive Again comes into play.
The initiative, launched by Andy Allen of Corner Lot Development Group and Chris Himel of Lifestyle Marketing, strives to help local businesses gain back their livelihoods and stay afloat during this time of crisis.
“Andy reached out to me and asked how quickly could we get a website up to support these local brands that have been hit the hardest,” says Himel. “Luckily I have an incredible team and a day later we put the website up with 15+ brands committed.”
Well over two dozen businesses are now participating after just over a week, with more expected in the coming days. Allen and Himel have partnered with Money Pages to help them all establish ecommerce functionality, allowing them to offer gift cards and merchandise as a way to keep supporting them while they’re closed.
Each participating business will match the first $500 it sells in gift cards with a $500 gift card donation to local first responders and medical workers. The first two gift cards – from Safe Harbor Seafood and the local Fish Camps chain – will be delivered to first responders tomorrow, according to Himel.
The initiative encourages local residents and businesses to help out in one of three ways: by buying gift cards at participating locations, by buying merchandise from participating businesses, or by donating to help grow the initiative.
Lee & Cates Glass has already joined in as a sponsor, and our team at The Coastal has agreed to sponsor the initiative as well.
“It’s been a tough few weeks so any positivity we can push out to the world is amazing to be a part of,” says Himel. “A lot of love and thanks to everyone who has helped us with the movement. We plan to continue growing it for as long as we need to.”
To learn more about Help Local Thrive Again, to become a sponsor, or to view the list of participating businesses and visit their gift card purchasing pages, visit helplocalthriveagain.com.