The past few months have been, well, a whirlwind for all of us. The global coronavirus pandemic drastically changed the way we live, work, shop, and even communicate. While local and state economies are taking steps to reopen and return to a (somewhat) normal way of life, many small businesses in Michigan are finding that the months-long shutdown had a severe financial impact on their company. As an organization with a strong focus on community, we knew that we had to do something to help out.
After our involvement in the community crowdfunding initiatives ‘Lansing Has Heart’1 in downtown Lansing and the ‘Small Town, Big Hearts’1 in Brighton, we decided to keep this momentum going and take a turn at hosting a campaign. We’re happy to announce that we just launched the Great Lakes Giveback crowdfunding initiative to support small businesses in Michigan.
“All communities have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At Lake Trust, our purpose is to make a difference in the lives of our members and the overall community. The success of small businesses enables a better Michigan for all residents. We felt it was important to aid in the restart of the state’s economy during this critical time,” explains DeAndre L., Community Impact Manager and Executive Director of the Lake Trust Foundation.
Hearing Their Stories
On June 1, we opened applications to businesses who wanted to join the Great Lakes Giveback campaign. From antique shops to art studios to frozen yogurt cafes, we heard countless stories of how the pandemic impacted companies across the state. We selected 75 businesses to join the Great Lakes Giveback based on need and the business story they shared with us. Special consideration was given to businesses with 25 employees or less. A Lake Trust business membership was not required to apply.
“Small businesses are a key fabric of communities and the Michigan economy. Our small businesses are resilient and are there for their neighbors during hard times."
"At Lake Trust, we are proud to launch the Great Lakes Giveback campaign and help our small businesses as they begin to bring our state back from the effects of this pandemic,” says Amanda H., Community Engagement Manager at Lake Trust.
1:1 Matching Funds
Now thru July 31, we’re doing a 1:1 match on crowdfunded donations up to $1,000. This applies for all 75 participating businesses, which means that an extra $75,000 in matching donations will be distributed in our communities! Of course, each business is welcome to set a goal over $1,000 to try to raise additional funds.
If you’re not familiar with crowdfunding, it’s the process of raising small amounts of funding from many different people. Usually, an individual or organization pitches a project or initiative online and asks people to support the project with a donation. After the campaign period ends, the funds are distributed to the project owner.
How You Can Help
We’re hosting the Great Lakes Giveback on Patronicity1, an online crowdfunding platform. Each participating business has created a campaign page with a story about who they are and why they are seeking funds. Find a project that speaks to you or check out a business story in your community. Any amount that you can donate to the participating businesses will be a huge help!
Of course, we understand that money is tight right now too. If a donation doesn’t fit in your budget, there are still plenty of ways you can help out. Like or follow Lake Trust on Facebook1, Twitter1, or Instagram1, and share our social media posts about the Great Lakes Giveback to spread the word! Or, share the Great Lakes Giveback page on Patronicity1.
DeAndre reminds us: “The Great Lakes Giveback program allows all of us an opportunity to directly support those small businesses impacted the most by the pandemic.”
Together, we can make waves for small businesses.