Newark-based Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) launched the Small Businesses Need Us initiative to mobilize and activate business professionals to pool expertise to help small businesses survive and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses face tremendous uncertainty as state and local leaders determine when and how to re-open an economy that has been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business owners will have to figure out how to operate in an environment with fewer customers transacting business on-site, and with the ever-looming threat of new shutdowns should the death toll surge again.
Jill Johnson, IFEL CEO said, “While financial capital is critical in this crisis, small business owners also have to steady the ship and consider new destinations. We are calling on business professionals to volunteer their expertise and skills to help small business owners address immediate needs, create pivot strategies, and develop a plan to operate in a social distancing environment. It’s time for us to get off the sidelines and get in the game to help save small businesses.”
According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, small businesses comprise 99.7% of U.S. employer firms and account for nearly 50% of private-sector employment. Through the Small Businesses Need Us initiative, volunteers are organized into cross-functional teams and matched based on the needs of each business. All work is done remotely via phone and video conferencing. Volunteers can choose short projects, a set number of hours, answering questions online, or offering in-kind products or services. Business professionals may apply individually or through partner Adopt-A-Business corporate volunteer programs. Learn more and sign up at SmallBusinessesNeedUs.org. #SBNU
Business professionals can offer their knowledge and skills in key areas including: Accounting/Bookkeeping, Copywriting/Content development, Restaurant management, Human resources, Marketing/PR/Social Media, Merchandising/Packaging, Operations, Sales strategy/Sales training/Presentation development, Strategic consulting/Business model reinvention, Supply chain management, Technology hardware/software, Website development, and more!
Johnson said, “Just as medical professionals are on the front lines saving lives, business professionals must join together to save our small businesses. Already capital-starved small businesses in our most resource-poor communities are facing the threat of extinction. If we don’t act today to pave the way for economic recovery, tomorrow may be too late to save for the vast majority of small businesses and the jobs they represent.”
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