Entrepreneurs Message: Small Businesses Overcoming COVID-19 by Helping Local Communities.

By Maritza Huerta
The Twins Public Relations

As the result of COVID-19, it is no longer business as usual for the millions of small businesses across the country. According to a new poll by the Small Business Majority, 9 in 10 small businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. The poll found that 41% of small business owners have experienced a revenue decrease of 50% or more, and 33% of small businesses have closed up shop. Even with these staggering numbers, the small business community is showing incredible resilience, developing innovative solutions to move their businesses forward and finding opportunities to help others.

This year marks the fourth anniversary of my company, The Twins PR, a public relations firm with the mission to change the way minorities are portrayed in the media. The majority of our income is generated by securing media coverage for our clients’ signature events throughout the country. As states began implementing stay-at-home orders, we quickly felt the impacts on our business. Within 24 hours, three client events were canceled or postponed, dramatically decreasing our projected income.

Instead of focusing on our own company, we reached out to our circle of friends to brainstorm ways we can help the broader small business community.
 
In less than three days, we partnered with Support Latino Business – a nonprofit focused on helping Latino-owned companies- to organize a webinar to share resources available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. We reached close to 3,000 people who heard expert advice from Google, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Aspen Institute and other national organizations.
 
Additionally, we launched a weekly Instagram LIVE series called “small biz, Big Story” to serve as a platform for entrepreneurs to share their personal stories and promote their companies. During one of the LIVE chats, Giuseppe Lanzone, Co-Owner of the restaurant Peruvian Brothers, announced a GoFundMe campaign to help provide free meals to essential workers. Within 10 minutes, viewers donated $300, which will provide 30 meals to people on the frontlines.
 
According to the Pew Research Center, almost 50% of Hispanics say they or someone in their household has taken a pay cut or lost a job – or both – because of the outbreak, compared with 33% of all U.S. adults. While the national, state and local governments worked to provide financial assistance, my colleague (and twin sister) and I knew some families did not have time to wait for a stimulus check. So we launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for 10 Latina domestic workers in Maryland who had lost more than 50% of their weekly wages. Through the generosity of online donors, we were able to raise $4,000 — exceeding our initial $3,000 goal. 
 
I share these stories because it is important to highlight the way our community shows up for one another. While we remain uncertain about the future, we find so much hope and inspiration from seeing small businesses support their local community, and at the same time, the local community supporting small businesses. This is how we will overcome the COVID-19 crisis, together.
 
For more information visit https://www.thetwinspr.com/
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