Wow what a month April 2020 has been. With the COVID-19 crisis still in full swing, everyone has been stressed out and are facing crisis burnout!
In Colorado, we are transitioning from a “Shelter-In-Place” order to a “Safe-In-Place” order and I have been limited in practice to serving only “essential visits” over the past several weeks but now we are allowed to see “elective visits”. Statewide and Nationally it looks like we’ve got things under control, but we have paid a very steep price on top of the lives lost.
Unemployment is breaking 20% and small businesses that are “non-critical” have been mandated to close their doors. Many businesses like mine are physically unable to transition to an online service or product, but I am fortunate because I am considered “essential” meaning I can conduct some services and business. Many others in our community who own small businesses have had to completely halt all business, and therefore their means to livelihood.
The federal, state and local governments are stepping up big time with unemployment benefit eligibility expansion, loans, and grants. However, many businesses (including mine) have applied for but missed out on the PPP and EIDL SBA loans, many of the grants including the US. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Facebook Ad Money Grant Program require companies of 3+ employees. I was also recently eligible but denied the City of Louisville Grant, which ended up favoring businesses that have a high use and sales taxes, which as a professional service I’m exempt from sales tax, and I don’t purchase a lot of material so my use tax amount is usually low. Tough news for about 60 businesses in our community that were eligible but denied.
I also think it is fair to say a grant or loan does not make up for lost revenue and momentum in growing or maintaining your business. That being said, every bit of support helps in times like these where it honestly feels like we’ve been bopped on the head with a club and had out feet swiped out from us all at once.
Although our emotions have been extra changed lately, this is no time to lose our cool. We need leaders in our community to guide us through this, and I consider myself a leader. Therefore, I have partnered up with a colleague of mine and another community leader who practices in Boulder, Dr. Alison Bremner.
Together we have founded the Solopreneur Grant: We Got Your Back. We created this grant because we are fortunate enough to be back in practice since April 27th, albeit slow. However many of our family, friends, patients, and community members are Solopreneurs like ourselves and struggling really hard right now, feeling like they are on an island with no chance of rescue. That’s why we’re inspired to create this grant.
The Solopreneur Grant will be $2000, is eligible for businesses with 1-2 employees, and is located in the Boulder-Denver area. Application is super simple, no paperwork needed, just a 2-minute video telling us why do you want this loan, what will you use the money for and how will it impact our community? Videos can be submitted to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to koruchiropractic.com/grant to see the application instructions.
Dr. Alison and I will post the application videos to our social media pages and the video application that gets the most likes along with our approval will be granted the $2,000. We will collect videos through May and pick a winner in the first week of June. Sharing the videos as well as several virtual interviews we will be conducting with applicants will help share your business's "why" and message even if you don't win the grant.
We also know other people will be inspired by this message, just like the “shop small” campaign from AmEx, we all look for ways to support local businesses. We have created a GoFundMe campaign so people can donate today to the grant and support local Solorpreneurs. Our goal is to grow the grant well beyond the initial $2000 and therefore have multiple grants to give out. We’d love your support, and your application, you can do both if you’d like to also!
UPDATE: As for May 6th we are over $3,000! This means we will have at least 2 grants and we are aiming for three. I think we can do it, but now without your support!
We also have over 189 shares on Facebook, but we know we could do more. Please help us spread the word!