From Hashtag
To Movement.

Heeding
the call.

As the sudden disruption of COVID-19 spread through the country and the world, the technology company GoDaddy found themselves on the front line of this battle. In the early weeks of 2020, they began to hear from their customers about the drastic shocks small businesses were enduring.

The company has long focused on championing a community of people they call everyday entrepreneurs — think small business, sole proprietors and local philanthropies — which gave an early window into how the crisis cut across every culture and type of independent endeavor.

Standing with those who are struggling.

To provide aid and support, GoDaddy quickly expanded its own website to include COVID-19 resources for small businesses, tagging it #OpenWeStand on their social platforms. “We knew our customers were in uncharted territory,” says Cameron Scott, GoDaddy Chief Brand Officer, “and what they needed most were new ways to get found, new ways to sell and lots of community support.”

To raise awareness about the resources, the GoDaddy creative team made a short film and enlisted Donald Sutherland’s voice to give the spot a reassuring vibe. The #OpenWeStand hashtag and accompanying film garnered powerful response on social channels, seeing three million shares and views in the first week of its release. That early buzz signaled to GoDaddy this initiative could expand far beyond their walls, into a broad coalition of enterprises in support of struggling small businesses.

Watch the film

Rallying around a new approach.

The coalition’s site, OpenWeStand.org, has become a home for expert advice, services and special offers to ease the financial stresses of this crisis. Equally important, it houses a unique community element where small and independent businesses can share information, encouragement and new solutions to assist each other with the common challenges they face.

“The response from our partners was remarkable,” says Rachael Powell, OpenWeStand.org Program Director. “GoDaddy was the first to reach out, but partners in turn reached out to their partners. We are thrilled at how quickly this has become a coalition effort, united together for small business around the word.” What started as a hashtag is on its way to becoming a movement.

Three tenets. One mission.

The coalition of partners joins together under the #OpenWeStand tenets:

Open

Providing resources to help businesses stay open, even when their doors must remain closed.

We

Showing small businesses that we’re in this together.

Stand

Pledging to small businesses worldwide that the coalition will walk the walk, helping them weather this storm, wherever and however they can.

Join the movement.

The rules for small business success have likely changed forever, but regardless of how this challenging period plays out, #OpenWeStand will be there. “We feel a kinship with everyday entrepreneurs,” says Fiona Parkin, Executive Creative Director at GoDaddy, “which is why we crafted the pledge to support them over the long term."

The movement is an opportunity for all enterprise companies to take a pledge to help small businesses of the world adapt and thrive. Independent entrepreneurs looking for help (or looking for ways to help) should join the community, and everyone who visits is invited to proudly display the #OpenWeStand ribbon on their social channels to show their support, too.