Share the Wealth: Fundraiser to benefit Shepherdstown businesses
SHEPHERDSTOWN — On Friday, Shepherdstown Shares announced its first initiative to directly help local small businesses survive the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The initiative, Share the Wealth, is a fundraiser in which people can donate $25 to Shepherdstown Shares and receive a $20 coupon that can be used at any participating Shepherdstown business. A Share the Wealth sticker will be visible on the front windows of participating businesses, to signify where they can be used. The fundraiser will continue through April 15.
“Helping our businesses helps the people who are struggling. We can preserve jobs, perhaps even bring some back, and keep the town attractive to visitors who will bring in fresh dollars,” said Shepherdstown Shares President Marianne Davis. “Some of our businesses have been wounded more than others, but they all could use whatever we can drive their way. We simply want to give our donors a chance to refocus on small, independent businesses in our home town.”
According to Shepherdstown Shares board member Mark Kohut, almost all of Shepherdstown’s small businesses have agreed to participate in the fundraiser.
“We noticed . . . the decline of businesses in our town. Up to 12 have closed, all (except the realtors), are down in sales,” Kohut said, mentioning the board talks to local business owners on a regular basis, to keep abreast of their situation.
The $5 not included in each coupon’s value will be used by Shepherdstown Shares to invigorate the local economy in other ways, Kohut said. Each coupon’s value will then be reimbursed to the business at which it was used.
“We hope to add some business money to the town as we can,” Kohut said. “The end date (April 15) was set so that the money gets spent fast. That is part of the meaning of a stimulus. We have heard how slow business has been this winter, so we want to help now!”
While other ideas for stimulating the local economy are being discussed by the board, if the fundraiser works well, it may be held again, according to Kohut.
Multiple $25 donations may be made by the same person. Donations may be made to Shepherdstown Shares via PayPal, but Shepherdstown Shares must be notified of the donation’s intention before it is given, so they know to send a coupon to the donor. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1780, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.
“Some of our businesses have been wounded more than others, but they all could use whatever we can drive their way,” Davis said. “We simply want to give our donors a chance to refocus on small, independent businesses in our home town.”
For more information about Shepherdstown Shares and its programs, visit shepherdstownshares.org.