Small businesses are finding a new ally in a familiar name in crowd sourcing: Go Fund Me. The fundraising site has created the Go Fund Me Small Business Relief Initiative, pooling together money from their partners to match $500 goals set by local companies.
Kelly Wiersema, owner of Title Boxing Grand Rapids found the site by happenstance while she was Googling grants and loans for her gym. She’d gotten word days before that Title was receiving a loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but 75% of that loan is mandated towards payroll, and the remainder wouldn’t be enough to cover expenses like rent and utility bills.
“We put all our memberships on hold as soon as we closed so we’ve had no revenue coming in,” said Wiersema. "Now we're going to be going into two or three months where we have to come up with rent with no revenue, then the numbers start to get a little scary."
It shows the depth of the financial troubles small businesses are facing. Wiersema says they had members reaching out offering to donate or keep paying their memberships, but she knew the kindness would go a lot further if it were matched by Go Fund Me.
The campaign is primarily looking for businesses who were negatively impacted, whether directly or indirectly, by government mandates regarding Covid-19. To learn more about donating or applying, click here.