By Ryan Feldman
Over the course of the last three months, once-stable businesses are now facing uncertainty due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through no fault of their own, small-business owners have been forced to furlough or even fire staff, with others having to shut down completely.
In the state of Virginia alone, as of May 19th the credit shortfall following PPP disbursements was $2.8 billion with an expectation that 52% of small businesses nationwide will be out of business within six months.
Even more troubling, minority-owned businesses are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Although only comprising 37% of the labor force in February of this year, minorities accounted for 58% of the newly unemployed on March 14th.
Out of difficult times, comes the opportunity for all us to find ways of creating positive energy going forward.
The pain of the moment is real, but how we react will be the testament for the future.
Just over a month ago, The Rocket Factory along with Activation Capital, Elevation Advertising, Profit Optics, and the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation united to form the idea that has become SparkJam 2020.
It was our collective concern around the dire need for small businesses to get back on their feet and continue to provide jobs, services, and opportunities for the communities in Virginia.
By bridging our technology ecosystem and our small business community our goal is three-fold:
Find innovative solutions to Virginia’s small business operating challenges
Raise money and get it quickly in the hands of Virginia’s small business
Continue to raise positive awareness for the need to support our statewide economy