Deadline approaching for Support Small Business car tag initiative
Published 12:26 pm Monday, October 25, 2021
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Alabama is only 140 pre-commitments away from getting a new car tag that will fund grants for small business owners across the state.
The Shop Local Support Small Business tag needs the 140 online pre-commitments by the end of this weekend, Oct. 31, or the tag will fall through.
The tag itself costs $50 and if the initiative falls through, refunds will be distributed.
The money raised from the Shop Local Support Small Business tag will go to Main Street Alabama.
The non-profit will use proceeds to support workshops for main street businesses while also making much-needed grants available.
“Many of us have experienced a time when a pharmacist stayed late to get a prescription ready or was the first to buy an ad in the football program,” President and State Coordinator Mary Helmer Wirth said. “It’s time to show your appreciation by registering for this car tag. This is an opportunity to show supporting small business is a priority in your life.”
Hoover City Councilman Casey Middlebrooks said the car tag idea came from a group of Jefferson County Councilors who regularly discuss impending issues.
Leaders saw the custom tag as a way to support local businesses after the pandemic hit in March.
“We felt Main Street Alabama had the statewide presence and resources to facilitate support to small businesses throughout the state,” Middlebrooks said.
“A $500 grant makes a major difference to a small business,” Boll Weevil Soap Co. owners Chad and Kendra Wester said. “$500 is a new coat of paint, a new point of sale station or even a starter website. 2020 taught us every penny counts. We hope other people consider getting this tag.”
Pat Miller, owner of Taming of the Ewe, a Yarn and Tea Boutique in Gadsden, echoed these statements about the value of $500 to a small business owner.
“I think it is important to make sure that your store is maintained,” Miller said. “It would enable me to make necessary repairs for painting and replacing rotten wood.”
Main Street organizations immediately jumped into action during the pandemic.
Main Street helped small businesses with curbside pickup, online ordering/marketplaces as well as organizing events to encourage people to shop in person.
Many events were strategically developed to support social distance and shopping outside of smaller, brick-and-mortar shops.
Despite pandemic struggles, small business growth across Alabama is at an all-time high.
According to the Secretary of State, from March 2020 to June 2021, just under 60,000 people registered a business in Alabama.
For comparison, 15 months before the pandemic, roughly 35,000 people formed a business.
To learn more about purchasing the Shop Local Support Small Business tag, visit Main Street Alabama’s website, Mainstreetalabama.org.