With small businesses across the country failing and government relief efforts stalling out, the private sector is stepping up to lend a hand.
Capital One Business and GoFundMe are backing a new, $50 million effort to throw a lifeline to struggling small businesses called Small Unites that launched Monday (Aug. 31), according to an announcement.
At the core of Small Unites is an online “financial support platform” designed and operated by GoFundMe that gives consumers looking to support small businesses different ways to provide help.
Donors can give money directly to small businesses, with the ability to pick and choose through a “centralized hub” listing firms with verified fundraisers, or they can give to a newly-created Small Business Relief Fund.
Under a third option, donors can find minority-owned businesses in their own communities to give to through the National Urban League's Entrepreneurship Center Program.
In addition to Capital One and GoFundMe, the National Urban League, Ogilvy and HundredX are also playing a major role in the small business rescue effort.
In particular, HundredX has designed a platform to channel social media support from small business supporters who may not have cash to spare or who want to help out in other ways.
Supporters can use the online platform to write reviews about the local businesses they want to get the word out about, with the ability to create and post reviews in about a minute. HundredX, in turn, has agreed to donate $2 for every review — or “every piece of qualifying feedback” — up to $1 million.
The Small Unites campaign follows on the heels of a similar effort launched in March by Intuit QuickBooks and GoFundMe.
“Small business is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy — 44 percent of U.S. economic activity is generated by small businesses and 80 percent of American small businesses have been impacted by the pandemic,” said Brad Jiulianti, head of small business card at Capital One, in a press statement. “While the show of support for the small business community from major corporations and individuals alike has been extraordinary thus far, we needed a single support group like Small Unites to bring everyone together.”