In 2010, I was working in New Orleans after the oil spill where I interviewed several small business owners to see how the spill affected their day-to-day operations. I learned first-hand that small businesses face a sharp decline in sales immediately after the disaster. So sharp, that according to the Insurance Information Institute, up to 40 percent of small businesses never reopen after a disaster.
Now, the way that government organizations often help small businesses get back on their feet is to offer a low interest loan. The trouble is, it’s the wrong approach. The business owners I talked with were not interested in taking on more debt because they were already highly leveraged. And if there are no customers, there is no ability to pay back the loan. And while there are many options to give after a disaster— through clothing and canned good donations as well as sending money — there isn’t a single avenue dedicated to helping small businesses.
That’s why we created the Recovery Pledge social enterprise platform that directly connects small businesses with caring shoppers and customers after a disaster. By targeting our purchasing power and buying goods and services from businesses in distress - it enables us to stabilize their sales, allowing small businesses to survive and eventually thrive.
Recovery Pledge encourages small businesses to join the platform before a disaster occurs. Then, once a disaster has occurred, the marketplace is activated which allows folks from all over the country to simply redirect their consumption behaviors to small businesses in need. And in doing so, we will help stabilize the mom and pop shops of Main Street, USA. What’s so exciting about the Recovery Pledge targeted spending platform is that it doesn’t end after you spend. We enable consumers to follow the disaster recovery process through the eyes of the business owner until they receive the item or render the service they purchased.
It’s an online recovery solution that connects caring consumers with hard working business owners in their time of need. Please contact me to sign up for the Recovery Pledge social enterprise platform.