Marietta Main Street hosts Give Big, Help Small to support local businesses

Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 2:34 PM EDT
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Marietta Main Street is hosting an event called Give Big, Help Small to support local small businesses. The three-day online giving campaign begins Friday, June 19 and continues through midnight on Sunday, June 21.

The event is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on area businesses. Though more and more businesses are reopening, many are still grappling with the impact of having been closed, and facing continued limitations moving forward.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $100,000 to donate to local businesses, through a combination of corporate contributions, matching funds, and private donations from area residents.

According to Cristie Thomas, executive director of Marietta Main Street, local businesses have reported in two surveys that they have been deeply impacted by the pandemic.

“Businesses have indicated a steep decline in revenue, and actually fear of having to permanently close their businesses due to the level of business disruption that they were experiencing,” Thomas said.

Funds raised from the campaign will be used to help businesses with rent relief, equipment and supply purchases, efforts to protect the health and safety of employees and the public, technical support, and more, Thomas said. After the campaign has concluded, 75 percent of all funds raised will be donated to local businesses, and 25 percent will go toward Marietta Main Street’s efforts to promote community development, advocacy, beautification, and more.

In addition, Thomas noted that the strength of local businesses is important to the wellbeing of the community as a whole.

“We want to make sure that our businesses stay strong and survive this, and ideally thrive” Thomas said. “The strength of our downtown is a direct indication of the strength of our community. When tourists come to visit, if families are looking to relocate, or if employers are looking to open up their businesses here in Marietta, they’re coming downtown to learn about the quality of life and to experience what our community is like. Our businesses contribute a great deal to our local economy, and to the general feel of what Marietta is,” she added.

The event is sponsored by Marietta-Washington County CVB, West Virginia Central Federal Credit Union, Riverview Credit Union, Peoples Bank, and Walmart. To learn more, visit the event’s Facebook page. And to donate, visit Marietta Main Street’s website. Both of those links can be found on the right side of this screen, under Related Links.