Keep Small Strong Initiative Helps Local Companies Evolve During this Pandemic

Updated: Apr. 16, 2020 at 8:07 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The U.S. government’s emergency small-business lending-program is out of money. This morning, the $349 billion program officially tapped out. So what does that mean for small businesses owners who haven’t received their loan now? The hope is that congress can agree on additional funding… and soon. Small businesses owners in Sarasota County do have other options right now. It’s not an endless amount of money though. Instead, resources that will help these businesses stay open and evolve.

“There’s no silver bullet on any of this. It is going to be a combination of looking at your business and how you can re-tool or tweak your business model to see how you can do something differently. Looking at you can keep employed, and what loans you are eligible for because most businesses are not eligible for all. It really is going to be a combination,” said Heather Kasten, President & CEO of Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

Adapting has become the new normal. Business meetings are now done through video conferences, kids have transitioned to online classes, and small businesses are going to have to do the same. Thankfully, there are many out there willing to help.

“It was just like we have to move. We have to help. We are individuals who want to make a difference. This is not corporate-sponsored, these are people who have 20-30+ years of experience in the industry or who are super impassioned and just want to make a difference,” Adam Grohs, the founder of Keep Small Strong, explained.

This new initiative called Keep Small Strong is a group of experts in every industry that is aiming to help every struggling small businesses get back on their feet. The team can set up an e-commerce presence overnight, coordinate local and even nationwide delivery and distribution, and help manage social media accounts.

“We’ve just got some great individuals from all different industries willing to offer up their time and their efforts to set up these things for you without charging a penny or any future revenue expectations attached to it,” said Grohs.

Plus, e-commerce companies like Shopify and shipping providers are also involved to bring down the costs for these businesses as they move into a whole new model.

“It’s not about fame or fortune. This is about making a difference in companies and businesses. Hearing that this has made a huge difference or that they didn’t have to shut their doors. Especially those that say they never realized how important digital was, and that they want to keep up their digital business when they reopen the storefront in the next coming weeks or months,” expressed Grohs.

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