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Pandemics and Innovation

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

By: RDG Principal Matthew Chambers

"Never let a good crisis go to waste" Winston Churchill It's no secret - people and businesses all around the world are trying to navigate uncharted territory during this global pandemic.  Amidst these challenging times though, many are discovering hope from business pivots and new entrepreneurial ventures, and local businesses and communities are finding new ways to support each other.  Rather than highlight opportunistic toilet paper hoarding and gym equipment price gouging that regular media outlets seem to enjoy doing, I wanted to take an opportunity to celebrate some entrepreneurs dedicated to helping those in need during this trying time.  See these creative ventures and pivots below.

Mask Match is a peer-to-peer volunteer platform to help people with spare masks send them directly to healthcare workers on the front lines who need them the most.  Anyone with spare masks, including high-filtration masks like N95s, surgical masks, and homemade masks can sign-up to deliver or ship masks to healthcare workers closest to them via their web portal. If you have masks, or you're making them, learn more about how to donate here.

Small businesses are crucial to a city's identity, and residents in cities across the country are eagerly seeking ways to support their local favorites.  SupportLocal is dedicated to just that. This site features links to nearly a dozen cities and makes it easy for local residents to place delivery orders or purchase gift cards in an effort to save their homegrown establishments. Want to get your city in on the action?  Build a pathway here

Washhero is the sister company to WashBNB, a company dedicated to providing fresh laundry and linens to AirBNB hosts. When COVID-19 struck and the short-term rental business came to a screeching halt, the founders of WashBNB could have waited for the AirBNB demand to come back, but instead they decided to pivot in an effort to be a part of the solution.  Thus, Washhero was born.  Washhero is a laundry delivery service that provides access to clean laundry for all, even if you're unable to leave your home or pay full price.  The founders believe that clean clothes are a basic human right, and know that while community laundromats are essential, it's difficult to effectively socially distance in such close quarters. Learn more here.

Finally, please indulge me while I "tease" a pretty significant pivot RDG is about to take:  two weeks ago, we unveiled our new website.  It's something we are very proud of and excited about and we enjoyed sharing it with our family and friends.  As part of the unveiling, we also launched Accelerai$e, a new way of generating revenue in these uncommon times.  If you happen to be a Chamber or EDO that's been hit hard by Covid-19, needs revenue now but can't afford the high fees charged by our competitors, take a look and see what you think.  We believe, much like the 9/11 downturn and global recession, that the Covid-19 induced economic recession WILL change our industry; virtual meetings are here to stay, new industries are emerging as the economic leaders, and the timeline for completing the work of campaigns should be faster.  We also believe our clients should reap the benefits of those trends through lower fees and faster campaigns.  That's Accelerai$e in a nutshell.  Call us to learn more if you think this might be a fit for you.    At RDG, we continue to be inspired by the ways that businesses and communities are coming together to support one another.  There are hundreds of stories just like the ones highlighted that give us faith in the future.  What's been the best venture or business pivot from your community?  Drop us a line!  We'd love to hear about it. 

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