COLORADO SPRINGS — In part two of ‘Overcoming COVID-19’, we looked at how some local businesses are being more innovative, and finding new ideas to keep their doors open during the statewide stay-at-home order.
For part three of the series, FOX21 Digital NOW is highlighting the resources available to small business owners, and a really simple way for community members to show their support.
ServiceIndustry.tips is a website that is accepting tips for out-of-work service industry employees. 72,000-some workers are signed up in about 275 cities across the U.S., including right here in Colorado Springs.
Aaron Maynard, a local admin for the website told FOX21, “in Colorado Springs, we have about 650 workers signed up; as of [Monday], we’ve got almost sixty thousand page views since we started, and almost a thousand tips have been given in just Colorado Springs.”
That’s a lot of traction for a site that was launched less than one month ago, by a group of people in the restaurant industry, who saw a need.
100% of tips donated on the site go to the affected worker, a responsibility admins take on, by checking to make sure the people who are signing up for help, actually who they say they are.
The premise is simply: giving back to an industry that works to support its community.
Like the time you got bagels donated for a fun run, or when your organization collected proceeds from burger sales for a fundraiser.
“You know restaurants are always asked, ‘hey can you donate this, can you do this for us’, and finally there is a way that people can give back to those people who helped them,” Maynard said.
And offering support to local organizations has far-reaching effects.
Laurel Prud’Homme is Vice President of Communications with Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs. She says to think of the downtown area as the city’s core. A strong core, she reasons, affects the entire city. Just as the strength of an individual’s core affects their entire body.
It’s not just about local retailers, she clarified, but other businesses downtown, and the quality of life across the region.
“Whether you live at the north end of town or the south end of town, it’s important that our downtown is economically strong because it truly does benefit everybody,” said Prud’Homme.
To that end, there are many resources now available to support local businesses, whether you are a consumer or an owner.
“We want to support businesses, and we want to support people, we want to support the community,” said Lauren Mckenzie, owner of the creative services firm REN Creativ, which jumped to action to create a locally-focused website.
Supportthesprings.com identifies which businesses are open, where they are, how to buy their products, how to volunteer for them, and how to donate to organizations that will help them.
It also collects resources for businesses such as help in applying for grants for loans and how to access unemployment benefits.
“People are definitely seeing the need here,” said Maynard, “and we love the fact that these people who are near and dear to us are being helped, and are being acknowledged, even if it’s just a couple of bucks at a time.”
Nearly 110,000 individual tips have gone out now unemployed restaurant workers in Colorado Springs. And you can help, even with an amount as small as a dollar that you donate when you make a drink at home.
Sometimes, just knowing someone out there cares about you is all you need.
Continue to follow ‘Overcoming COVID-19’ with FOX21 Digital Now for more on this pandemic’s effect on Colorado Springs.
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