Between quarantine restrictions in some states, social distancing measures, and consumers self-isolating, small businesses are under severe financial pressure.
Millions of people across the United States see this need and are stepping up to help. Some are doing their best to order takeout and local delivery. Others are becoming active online and organizing people to help for a cause.
Consider starting a crowdfunding site to give your supporters a way to mobilize support during these tough times.
In crowdfunding, you share your story and need to your audience and they donate to your cause or invest in your business idea. It’s a way for people all over the world to hear your story and possibly give you money. The bigger your audience, the less each individual needs to chip in.
Crowdfunding platforms allow you to create a page about who you are and why you are doing this. We have some advice on how to use online tools to boost charitable donations, but the top one is this: tell your story.
Asking for money is difficult, and it may be even more difficult to be vulnerable enough to open up about your story. But letting people get to know what’s going on in your business is powerful. And, it moves people to action.
GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund
GoFundMe, an #OpenWeStand partner, works for many small businesses and situations because, unlike other platforms, there is no fee to use it and you can keep all you raise, other than a standard transaction fee to cover credit card processing and the safe transfer of funds.
The Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. Grants will only be available until the fund is exhausted, so it’s important to get your fundraiser launched as soon as possible.
What do I need to do?
To be eligible for a grant from the Small Business Relief Initiative, you need to meet the following requirements from GoFundMe:
- Have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Be independently owned and operated.
- Not be nationally dominant in your field of operation.
- Intend to use funds to either help (a) care for its employees/workers or (b) pay ongoing business expenses.
- Raise at least $500 for the business through your own GoFundMe fundraiser, which fundraiser it started because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Have no fraud reports made against you.
Only one grant is allowed per business. All business fundraisers and grant recipients must comply with GoFundMe’s terms of service.
If you want to support a local business, start by searching the Small Business Relief Initiative fundraisers here.