Marietta Main Street Announces Give Big, Help Small Campaign
As restrictions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic begin to lift, the long road to normalcy lies ahead. More than two months of forced closure has taken its toll on small businesses around the country, including many businesses in downtown Marietta. Give Big. Help Small. is a three-day online giving campaign from June 19th – June 21st hosted by Marietta Main Street, a local 501C3 nonprofit focused on revitalizing Downtown Marietta, to raise funds to aid downtown businesses during their time of need.
“The impact of COVID-19 in our community is far-reaching and our local, downtown business community needs our support if Marietta is to fully recover,” said Cristie Thomas, Interim Executive Director for Marietta Main Street. “Though many are reopening, most have lost two months or more of much-needed revenue and will continue to experience a decline with a loss in foot traffic throughout the summer due to event cancellations, a decline in tourism, and more.”
The goal is to raise a minimum of $100,000 through a combination of matching funds, corporate contributions, and private donations, with 75% being used to provide relief for downtown businesses through the newly-formed Downtown Small Business Relief Fund, and the remaining 25% going to Marietta Main Street.
“As small businesses begin to reopen and welcome back customers, we are hopeful about the future but also realize that we still face some difficult months ahead,” said Laura Pytlik, owner of Wit & Whimzy. “Since most of the weekend events and festivals have been canceled for this summer, we have lost a lot of traffic and visitors those events bring to Marietta. We will continue to operate with lower capacities and less traffic, so receiving financial support can go a long way toward keeping our businesses solvent until things are back to normal.”
Any business within the defined C4 district is eligible to apply for up to $3,000 in funding that can be used for rent relief, marketing and advertising, technical training support or equipment and supply purchases. Priority will be given to businesses with fewer than 15 employees and prioritized based on expressed need and category.
Our small businesses here in downtown Marietta need our help more than ever recovering from the COVID crisis.Bobby Rosenstock
Sponsors are critical in ensuring the success of this effort. Sponsors include the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and West Virginia Central Federal Credit Union, with additional opportunities available.
Bobby Rosenstock, owner of Just A Jar Design Press and Marietta Main Street Board member encouraged community members to pledge a donation.
“Our small businesses here in downtown Marietta need our help more than ever recovering from the COVID crisis. Our historic downtown district and our unique family-owned restaurants and shops are the heart of what makes Marietta one of the best small towns in America,” said Rosenstock. “Consider donating to the Give Big. Help Small. campaign, and as businesses begin to reopen do what you can to shop and eat local.”
In addition to providing much-needed relief for local small businesses, the campaign aims to raise funds for Marietta Main Street, ensuring the organization’s doors stay open to take care of downtown Marietta through community development, historic preservation, local events, small business support, downtown improvement, volunteerism, public art, and more.
“The COVID-19 pandemic dealt both our downtown small businesses and Marietta Main Street quite a blow,” said Nate Shahan, Marietta Main Street Board Member. “Three months of lost revenue and events is a lot to make up, and it’s our job as a community to step up and do our part. These businesses are a big part of what makes Marietta so charming, and Main Street does more for the community and our downtown businesses than most people realize.”
The giving begins at 12:00 AM on Friday, June 19th with matching funds to double the impact for the community. Those interested in supporting this initiative at any level are encouraged to contact Cristie Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 740.885.8194. More information can be found on Marietta Main Street’s website.