Keeping doors open despite the challenges of an ongoing pandemic is the goal of Small Unites, a new national movement and advocacy program supporting small businesses.
The $50 million effort launched on August 31 is powered by a coalition of companies including Capital One Business, GoFundMe, the National Urban League, HundredX, and Ogilvy. Small Unites hopes to encourage people to “donate, shop, share” in support of their favorite small businesses, according to a statement.
The program offers a toolkit for small business owners.
“Small business is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy—44 percent of U.S. economic activity is generated by small businesses and 80 percent of American small businesses have been impacted by the pandemic,” Brad Jiulianti, head of the small business card at Capital One, said in a statement.
Through Small Unites, visitors can use GoFundMe to give to the Small Business Relief Fund, find a centralized hub of small businesses with verified fundraisers, or locate minority-owned businesses in their local communities where they can shop or donate.
Donors also have the option of giving to the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center Program, which provides training, mentoring, and technical assistance to minority entrepreneurs across the country.
The program is designed to help small businesses “re-emerge and thrive in the new normal,” as COVID-19 continues to limit commerce with social distancing requirements and possible future lockdowns “challenge their ability to return to pre-pandemic revenue levels,” according to the Small Unites website.
Some people may be unable to donate, but by using the power of social media, they can still help businesses earn funds. Through a portal on the Small Unites site, users can link to HundredX and leave private reviews about great local businesses. For every piece of qualifying feedback, HundredX will donate up to $2 to small and minority-owned businesses, adding up to $1 million total.
By sharing a special badge or using #SmallUnites on social media, people can help extend the reach of the campaign, urging others to participate.
For small business owners and entrepreneurs, Small Unites offers a resource center with business advice and guides from Ogilvy on marketing, public relations, social media, B2B, and more.
“What inspires me every day is our ability as creative and marketing strategists to create movements that transform communities and tackle issues head on. Being able to do that with Small Unites in partnership with this diverse coalition of people and brands has been an honor,” Andy Main, global CEO of Ogilvy, said in a statement.
“Small Unites is a new advocacy program designed to rally support for small businesses by giving everyone simple, easy ways to Donate, Shop or Share on behalf of the small businesses they love,” Jenn Garbach, Vice President for the Small Business Card Brand & Acquisition Marketing for Capital One, said via LinkedIn.
On Wednesday, September 2, Garbach will be a featured speaker at Dallas Startup Week’s virtual Women of Innovation Summit.
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