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Nonprofit Main Street Relief (MSR) announces new public, private partners

Nonprofit Main Street Relief (MSR) announces new public, private partners Thomas Leemon

Nonprofit Main Street Relief announced on Thursday new partners in its mission to help small businesses reimagine work amid COVID-19. New partners include organizations from the public and private sectors, including national partners Square, a financial services company focused on building tools to empower businesses and individuals to participate in the economy; Hello Alice, a one-stop shop for grants, loans and resources for women entrepreneurs and business owners from underrepresented communities; Finli, a technology platform that provides integrated financial solutions for neighborhood schools and studios;

RetailWire, a news outlet providing industry news and analysis; Independent We Stand, a national small business directory; and community partners like Long Branch Free Public Library in New Jersey as part of their small business assistance programMichigan Community Resources, a nonprofit that provides a comprehensive array of services for navigating through legal and community organizing issues; The Merchants Fund, a Philadelphia charity established in 1854 to provide charitable gifts to business persons facing financial hardship; and CommonWealth Kitchen, a Boston-based food business incubator.

Partnerships can take several different forms and often include small business referrals, co-hosted programming, content-sharing and more.

“We are rapidly growing small business engagement and outreach through partnerships with libraries, nonprofits and corporations,” said Nika Duan, director of strategic partnerships at Main Street Relief. “Main Street Relief works side-by-side with partners to offer more resources and more expertise for small business owners when they need it most.”

"In response to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on small businesses, we at the Long Branch Public Library developed the Back to Business program,” said Kate Angelo, a Community Engagement Specialist at Long Branch Public Library. “Partnering with Main Street Relief has allowed us to offer our community a connection to experts around the nation who can provide in-depth help during such a difficult time. As we strive to let our community know they are not alone, they can be reassured that the Long Branch Public Library and Main Street Relief are both in their corner."

“We really appreciate being able to partner with Main Street Relief to offer some extra guidance to the neighborhood business we serve,” said Kim Tartavull, Finli’s Director of Growth.

More than 100 people from across the country have joined Main Street Relief’s volunteer network and its mission of helping small businesses respond to and recover from COVID-19. Volunteers have helped small business owners with financial management, sales, marketing, technology and operations.

Small businesses have praised Main Street Relief and its volunteers for their support and expertise.

California designer Nathalie Tierce said, “In this stressful time of COVID-19, it was cathartic to find a sympathetic, knowledgeable volunteer from Main Street Relief to answer my questions about my PPP and EIDL applications. She asked pertinent questions about my business to point me in the right direction of other relevant resources. The whole process helped me solidify my strategy going forward.”

Pennsylvania restaurant owner Alex Knechtl said, “This crisis has really laid bare how lonely the road of small business can be, and MSR is what we all need during this time. The most amazing part of MSR was to connect with someone willing to listen. I am trying to guide my parents through a complete collapse of the only business model they know and frankly, I have no idea what I'm doing. It's a bit like throwing spaghetti at the walls. Connecting with someone who was willing to listen to ideas and offer suggestions was a great comfort.

Illinois bakery owner Pascal Berthoumieaux said, “This is the first time since the beginning of the crisis that I felt the support that I was looking for.”

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