Your community wants to help: The Small Business Relief Initiative
Right now, we are all adapting to daily, if not hourly, changes in the health and business landscape, while fighting for the prosperity of families, businesses, and the economy. One thing that remains steadfast is an incredible sense of community and support– which is exactly what inspired the Small Business Relief Initiative.
As things unfolded with COVID-19 here in the United States, we were immediately awed by our employees, partners, and communities – all these groups were anxiously and actively searching for meaningful ways to support small businesses.
One of our employees decided to check in with a local business owner who owns a deli across the street from Intuit’s headquarters. He learned that due to the shelter-in-place mandate and having to close his doors indefinitely, this business owner feared he would not be able to keep his doors open and retain his staff for more than a month. So, this employee went home, started a GoFundMe campaign and spread the word with several Intuit® team members – together, this campaign raised more than $20,000 in less than 20 hours to help carry this business through this unprecedented time.
This sparked an idea. What if we scaled this to thousands of small businesses, leveraging our network to secure sponsorships to fund a mega-pool of money to match donations, and use our own marketing dollars to promote the initiative, and in turn, connect people who are searching for ways to directly help small business owners who are facing unprecedented challenges?
We turned to GoFundMe to co-launch the initiative, seeding an initial $1.5 million to provide matching “micro-grants” to qualifying small businesses. The Small Business Relief Fund will provide one-time, $500 matching grants to qualifying small businesses that start a campaign, use hashtag #SmallBusinessRelief in the campaign description, and raise at least $500.
Our employees and partners went to social using the hashtag #SmallBizRelief to spread the word with their networks and, together, we’ve established a place where those who are searching for a way to help can stop in and support their local watering hole, hairdresser, neighborhood gym, and more.
We’re also putting additional QuickBooks® marketing dollars to work, including social media and TV advertising, driving compassionate members from communities around North America to find and support the businesses they love at this critical point of need.
We know that this campaign won’t be for everyone. There are businesses who have said they aren’t comfortable asking for money and there are others who have reached out and said this effort will help keep the lights on and their employees on payroll. And, we’re finding that more often than not, faithful customers of these small businesses and well-intended individuals have the desire to spend their own time to start a campaign on behalf of small business owners (with their consent, of course). Both sides feel more comfortable sharing the campaign with their social networks as it was created through an act of compassion and it shows that we’re all navigating this new reality together.
As an accounting professional, we recognize that you are guiding your clients through uncharted waters, while also dealing with the realities of running your own practice. If you have clients with an urgent need for community support, or need help for your small business practice, we invite you to start a campaign. If not, you can still be a part of the initiative by sharing fundraisers you care about to drive donations and build momentum for the entire initiative.
How it works:
- Visit Small Business Help to start your free GoFundMe page or find a business to support.
- Share your fundraiser with your community, using #SmallBizRelief and tag Intuit Accountants (on Facebook and Twitter) to spread the word.
- Learn more about how the Small Business Relief Initiative will support these fundraisers, boosting contributions from your supporters.
Together, we know we can generate millions of dollars in funding that will go directly in the pockets of small business owners to help save jobs and stay in business. And we won’t stop here. The United States government is making hundreds of billions of dollars available to small businesses to help keep them afloat. We’re actively exploring ways to partner together so our capabilities and technology platform can help small businesses get access to these funds quickly.
There is no perfect solution for this unprecedented situation, but we know we can’t face this alone, which is why we are working together with our employees and our partners to ensure we have the greatest impact on those who need it most – together.