Dubbed “Dollars for Doylestown,” the initiative encourages supporters to use the website giveandgetlocal.com
to funnel cash directly to business owners, via e-gift cards.
“They need cash flow to survive,” said Mark Schmukler, co-owner of Sagefrog Marketing Group, who, along with Suzanne Morris, started the effort in Doylestown. “We patronize these businesses … and were feeling bad for the town’s eateries and merchants,” Schmukler said.
Sagefrog got the ball rolling, with the first e-gift cards to a few small businesses. By Monday, Schmukler said, there were 100 merchants signed up. “It’s a universal idea, really, it’s simple to do,” he said.
To participate, a customer can visit the website and make a contribution of any amount. “It’s like a cash advance, explained Schmukler. “It can be the difference between a business making it or not.”
For Jay Sullivan, who owns Native Café, the initial injection of money meant a lot.
“We’re very appreciative of Sagefrog’s support during this time,” he wrote to the agency. “As a new business especially, every little bit helps. We hope this initiative will catch on and local businesses will prevail through the support of our community.”
Kendall Bajek, owner of Empanada Mama and Nourish, was also very grateful for Sagefrog’s e-gift card.
“Thank you! Sooooo Much!!! It had a really powerful and positive impact on our business today,” she told the company.
“This pandemic is an opportunity for people and companies to step up however they can with empathy and urgency to support their community…even small gestures in times like these make a difference,” said Schmukler, in a statement.
Hoping to lend much-needed financial support to small businesses struggling to stay afloat, a Doylestown-based marketing firm launched a program that offers the public a way to steer cash to merchants, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.