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Why You Should Value Grassroots Initiatives

The significance of small businesses grassroots organizations contributes to the economy, activism, and volunteerism. Unfortunately, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, local business are feeling the strain.

What are grassroots initiatives?

As UNHCR defines grassroots organizations, they are “primarily made up of civilians advocating a cause to spur change at local, national, or international levels.” They are the local organizations and the small businesses run by people you may know.

These initiatives are successful because they are closer to the people than big organizations will ever be. Therefore, they can reach out to their subjects, listen to their needs, and act on a specific cause.

These groups build their organization or business from the ground-up as they often start with nothing but the will to take their plans into fruition. They have the liberty to choose a cause and innovate their way into achieving this goal.

One great example would be the success story of Flylow. The company began with two people complaining about the lack of ski pants in the market. As they spotted this problem, they came up with the solution of starting a grassroots company to provide skiers with quality pants that will keep them warm, comfortable, and mobile while traversing the mountains.

While grassroots initiatives can be considered as a reaction to larger organizations, the coexistence of the two is essential. For instance, the local government unit may need artists to feature on a local event at a festival. They can contact grassroots organizations to get through artists. As a result, the organization has helped artists get funding and exposure, and the government unit’s event will push through.

Support local businesses and organizations more than ever

getting take out

As the COVID-19 pandemic causes the world to come to a pause, local businesses are most affected in this economy. They struggle to make ends meet, thinking about rent, employees, etc. Some local business owners rely on these to feed their families.

Now that they can’t operate, they are at risk for shut down. According to an NBC article citing a survey, “87 percent of small business owners say they are struggling due to the coronavirus.” Unlike corporations, small businesses do not have billions in funds to support months without operation, so supporting them will help them and their business survive.

Here are ways to support local businesses:

  1. Order takeout. Local restaurants may not be open, but they can serve their customers through delivery apps.
  2. Share on social media. More local businesses are increasing their online presence to announce their available services. Help them spread the word by spreading or posting about them and tagging them online.
  3. Hire freelancers. If you have freelancer friends, chances are they are experiencing the lack of jobs during social distancing. Work-from-home tasks or online transactions can be easily done with technology, so hiring them will be a huge help.

Supporting small businesses and organizations helps more people than one realizes. They help an entire community, a family, and employees to survive this economy.

Sources:

  1. Grassroots organizations are just as important as seed money for innovation. (n.d.). UNHCR.
  2. Terry, C. & Azar, P. (2016). Development organizations within community development initiatives. UNC.
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