Powered by Capital One Business, GoFundMe, HundredX, the National Urban League and Ogilvy, the initiative inspires consumers to make cash donations, shop small and socially promote their favourite small businesses
'Small Unites', a national initiative to provide immediate support for American small businesses facing immense economic challenges, launches today. 'Small Unites' is an advocacy program designed to rally consumers and communities across the country to champion the local small businesses they love and uplift them as they look to re-emerge and thrive in the new normal.
By visiting the website, any consumer can make cash donations, buy products and services and promote their favourite business on social media platforms. Consumers can also start their own fundraising initiatives for their preferred small businesses.
Representing a $50MM collective investment of time, resources and donations, this diverse coalition of brands, industry executives, media partners and local leaders has come together to create 'Small Unites' to uplift the small businesses that enrich our communities and that account for nearly 50% of private industry employees in the U.S. Capital One Business, GoFundMe, HundredX, the National Urban League and Ogilvy have united to help consumers take immediate action, in the easiest way possible for them, and financially support the small businesses they love and rely on, deepening the consumers’ sense of community and optimism.
'Small Unites' is designed to meet people where they are, with limitless opportunity for participation. The program offers easy, actionable, and effective ways to help reinvigorate small businesses across America. To make a big impact, everyone just needs to do one small thing.
Donate, Shop, Share: The 'Small Unites' Financial Support Platform
'Small Unites' provides consumers with numerous ways to join in, including a small but powerful way to donate to and buy what they love from the businesses they love. By accessing smallunites.org, donors will have three fundraising options, all powered by GoFundMe. Donors will be able to find a centralised hub of small businesses with verified fundraisers to give directly to, or they can choose to give to an overall fund, the Small Business Relief Fund. Donations to the relief fund are tax deductible and will be issued out to qualifying small businesses as matching grants through GoFundMe.org, the nonprofit and charitable arm of GoFundMe. Donors will also have the option to support the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Centre Program, through which consumers can find minority-owned businesses in their local communities to support.
The National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Centre Program provides minority entrepreneurs across the country with training, mentoring, and technical assistance to help their businesses expand and thrive. Contributions from donors will enable these entrepreneurs to establish new ventures, continue to grow their businesses, and create and preserve jobs.
'Small Unites' acknowledges that in this time of financial insecurity and uncertainty, many people who want to help may not have the means to donate cash to or pre-pay for services from the small businesses they want to support. That’s why HundredX has stepped in to create an innovative opportunity for people to contribute without cash. Via the HundredX platform, users leave private reviews about great local businesses they know.
When they do, HundredX will contribute up to $2 for every piece of qualifying feedback to causes supporting small and minority-owned businesses, up to a program cap of $1,000,000. Individuals can provide each review in around 60 seconds, so 50 different opinions can quickly create up to $100 of impact.
Participants can also show their love on social media, where they will receive a shareable badge to demonstrate their dedication to supporting 'Small Unites', making it easy to refer and recruit others to participate. Consumers can also highlight their favourite small businesses and those businesses’ heroes: the small business owners and employees.
Get Involved, Get Support, Get Resources: Small Unites Resource Centre
More than just a financial advocacy program, smallunites.org serves as a robust content and resource centre for the exchange of business advice and marketing best practices for owners and entrepreneurs across the country. After signing up on the website, small business owners will receive a Small Unites toolkit, which will include small business guides and how-to's from Ogilvy on marketing, public relations, social media, B2B and direct-to-consumer communication so entrepreneurs and small business owners can understand the importance of telling their stories to their local communities. They will also be able to spread the word about their business and their participation in the 'Small Unites' program.
“Small business is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy – 44% of U.S. economic activity is generated by small businesses and 80% of American small businesses have been impacted by the pandemic,” said Brad Jiulianti, head of small business card at Capital One. “While the show of support for the small business community from major corporations and individuals alike has been extraordinary thus far, we needed a single support group like Small Unites to bring everyone together. Capital One Business is proud to support the small businesses which unite our communities, especially when they need us most.”
All Businesses Unite for Small Ones
Small Unites is currently powered by a coalition of brands, including Capital One Business, GoFundMe, HundredX, the National Urban League and Ogilvy. While many large corporations have launched stand-alone programs that require consumers to qualify to support small business, 'Small Unites' offers a comprehensive and inclusive platform, allowing all types of companies to leverage their own initiatives, provide access to leadership and talent, and more. Most importantly, 'Small Unites' creates an environment where big businesses can support small ones, and small businesses can support other small businesses, regardless of the competition. Additional corporate sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks.
To spread the word, Ogilvy has launched a 'Small Unites' national creative campaign that empowers consumers to take action and support small businesses in ways that are easiest for them, whether that’s with social media or online platforms. At launch, a film will be released that uses projections on storefronts, warehouses, and city buildings to illuminate all that small businesses give to our communities and encourages viewers to join small’s big comeback. Throughout the campaign, people will also be encouraged to share stories and messages of support for small businesses they love, using #SmallUnites. New stories will be curated and featured in content and projections in cities across the nation, shining a spotlight on how small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities and the true inspiration for the American dream.
“What inspires me every day is our ability as creative and marketing strategists to create movements that transform communities and tackle issues head on. Being able to do that with Small Unites in partnership with this diverse coalition of people and brands has been an honour,” said Andy Main, global chief executive officer of Ogilvy. “Now more than ever before, actions hold more weight than words, and this creative campaign and work from the Ogilvy team demonstrate our collective long-term commitment to elevating the small business nation from the ground up. It’s not only about storytelling, but also using our craft to support small business owners the best way we know how.”
To learn more and make a difference, visit the website or Instagram and Facebook and raise awareness of the program using #SmallUnites.