At Hello Alice, we stand alongside every small business owner in America during the coronavirus pandemic. Like many of you, we’ve been impacted by event cancellations, team anxiety, and financial loss.
Today was supposed to be the start of one of our favorite events of the year, SXSW, in Austin, Texas. We were counting down the days to kick off Business for All, a national movement inviting you to access $200,000 in grant dollars (apply for funding here), supported by top-tier mentorship in a variety of fields. When we learned of the cancellation, we created plans B, C, D, E, F, and G, and finally had to call it.
Our hearts were trying to stick it out, but our minds finally gave in to the responsibility of containment efforts. But this didn’t stop us from our mission of supporting small business owners in the ways they need it most, so we’re doubling down on our efforts to bring every resource we can to our community.
This started with our CEO, Carolyn Rodz, driving her SUV to Austin to pick up the thousands of dollars of small business products we were going to promote during SXSW. We’ve transported the products back to our headquarters so we can share them at future events and do our part to strengthen these small businesses. Shaka Tea, Lola Snacks, KaKookies, Junita’s Jar, H Factor Water, and Siren Snacks, we have your backs!
During her trip to Austin, Carolyn spoke to as many entrepreneurs as possible to see how we could help. Reda Hicks, founder of GotSpot, and Denise Hamilton of WatchHerWork, hosted a room of rapidly adapting and supportive women entrepreneurs at Texas Female Founders day. Conversations about COVID-19 addressed how to keep revenue flowing, contracts from being canceled, and employees calm, productive, and healthy.
The owner of T. Doka Swimwear was supposed to launch her innovative swimwear line in time for spring break. While travel plans have been thwarted all over the world, adding to her complexity is the fact that her fabrics are from Italy and her manufacturing is executed in China. T. Doka is a prime example of what entrepreneurs are facing right now, at a stage of business where every day and every penny matters.
While picking up our SXSW products, Carolyn spoke with another Austin small business, El Famoso, a warehouse and logistics company. They’ve seen an uptick in the number of returns and redirects in orders, not just with SXSW being canceled, but as a result of events nationwide being impacted.
It is these stories that sparked Team Alice’s commitment to launch a central resource hub for small business information and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding, technology, and informational resources are being created and shared daily, and we want to ensure you have every opportunity at your disposal to keep your business operating seamlessly during this turbulent time.
We’re working through the weekend to set up a resource center that will point to financial assistance opportunities, government programs, discounts, tips, and a community for small business owners to share information.
We are with you, rain or shine, in pandemic or in health. Join us next week when we get the resource center up and running. Together, we can still ensure #BusinessForAll.
Above Image: We were originally planning to have a Business For All truck serving snacks from small business owners at SXSW. When the event was canceled, our CEO Carolyn Rodz drove three hours each way to pick up the snacks and drinks we ordered so we didn’t have to cancel on our small business vendors. Here she is pictured with her packed car!