Small businesses represent 99.9% of all firms in the United States, according to Small Business Administration (SBA) reports. No wonder that organizations like this describe small businesses as the backbone of the economy. Small businesses employ 57.9 million people, and 47.1% of employees in the United States. Prior to the pandemic, small businesses created 1.8 million new jobs. We need small businesses, and we need them to succeed, not an easy thing to do during a pandemic.
We talk a lot about what small businesses can do to help their businesses survive – and maybe even thrive – during COVID. Many small business owners feel stressed and under pressure to find new ways to market themselves. They’re not alone, though. If you look around, you’ll discover that people and organizations taking up the cause to help small businesses in their communities. Today let’s take a look at how a few of these around the country are supporting small businesses at this time.
This Sunday will find many people tuning in to the Superbowl game. A lot of them will purchase pizza and chicken wings and other food and drink from their local businesses, and that’s great. More entertainment and an additional opportunity to support small business awaits after the game.
Stay or get online after the game for a free music concert hosted by Verizon. Tiffany Haddish plays host to Big Concert for Small Business, a streamed event featuring performances by Alicia Keys, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Christina Aguilera, Eric Church, H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan, Luke Bryan and Miley Cyrus. To view the free concert, go to yahoo.com/bigconcert and click the “Start a room” button. Invite up to three people to share the room with you. While you all watch the concert, you can use the chat feature to socialize and comment on the concert.
“Small businesses are so important and we need to do whatever we can to keep them alive; our communities can’t recover without them,” says Alicia Keys. “I’m excited to be partnering with Verizon and the rest of these amazing artists to not only be able to take the stage and bring that good music and light but to do it for such a meaningful cause.”
Participate by tagging your favorite small business on Twitter using #BigConcertSmallBiz. Wireless users on any carrier can text SMALLBIZ to 20222 to make a one-time donation of $10 to LISC. Moneys collected will be used to support historically underserved small businesses.
Cleveland Cavalier Scores for Small Businesses
On December 16th of last year, Larry Nance, Jr., basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, tweeted, “Hey, Cleveland, Locally owned businesses are some of the pillars of our communities. They have been, and still are being hit hard by this pandemic. In an effort to bring some extra support to them, I need your help!…This is our city, these are our communities, let’s help each other in this time of need!” He followed up with a multi-step plan of helping small businesses in his local area.
Nance raises awareness of local small businesses by wearing their apparel while entering the stadium before a game. On top of that, he auctions off his game-worn jersey and donates the proceeds to the company whose apparel he wears. He doesn’t stop there. He then matches the auction amount. If it’s a day he doesn’t play, he auctions off a teammate’s jersey. If all of that weren’t enough, he donates the apparel he wears and promotes to homeless shelters. And during the campaign, he tweets out a little promo about the business along with photos of himself wearing the apparel.
In February, Nance plans to focus on minority-owned businesses for his first two campaigns to celebrate Black History month. His recent promotions included Magna Wine Boutique and Daybreak Yoga. Nance has also plugged restaurants, coffee shops, a barber studio, auto clinic, and dog training shop. To date, Nance has promoted about 22 businesses and still counting.
Wyndham Championship All Fore Small Businesses
The Wyndham Championship golf tournament supports small businesses in North Carolina by encouraging people to shop at local businesses and then posting a photo with the hashtag #triadtogether. The Triad consists of the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. On the second and fourth Fridays of the month through May, The Wyndham Championship is giving away free swag to people who use the hashtag and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you use the hashtag, you’re entered to win and tagging three friends in your post helps your chances.
Wyndham Championship posted to their Facebook page, “Local businesses employ our neighbors, friends and loved ones and are a big part of what makes our community unique. This year, more than ever, they need our support. We are taking the #TriadTogether Challenge to spend more where it impacts more – in small businesses in our community. Together, we can help the Triad not only survive, but thrive.”
Aaron Rodgers Passes Support to Small Businesses
A football player is also getting into the giving game. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers and a native of Chico, California, donated $500,000 to support small businesses in Butte County. Teaming up with North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF), the money will be used to help both retail and restaurant businesses in northern California. The money benefits local small businesses with less than 20 full-time employees and will be distributed via a grant program.
“I think it’s important we don’t leave the middle class behind because they are the backbone of our society,” said Rodgers. “This is to get people through. … People are in need right now and who knows how long we have to save these businesses.”
This story highlights a few celebrities and large organizations recognizing the value of small businesses in their community and taking action to make a difference during the pandemic. We can all use this as inspiration for how we, too, can contribute. Community members organizing and supporting small businesses during this pandemic brings hope to business owners, community members themselves. Whether you plan a fundraising effort or participate in one, you provide much-needed financial help to keep your much-beloved local stores in business. It could mean the difference between keeping the doors open and shutting down the business completely. Help your neighbor. Support small business.