For the past five years, Sierra Business Council has participated in a regional fundraiser called the “Big Day of Giving” for our mid-year fundraising campaign. This campaign, along with our End of Year campaign that happens in December, is vital in supporting SBC’s triple bottom line efforts and increasing our capacity to take on additional projects that serve business innovation, climate action, and regional advocacy on behalf of the Sierra.
This year, as you’ll likely expect, our Big Day of Giving campaign will look a little different than in years past. How could it not, coming at a time when unemployment rates are soaring to unprecedented numbers, Sierra businesses are doing everything they can to stay afloat, and the future of our economy hangs in limbo as we wait for this state of emergency to pass?
And yet, here at SBC, we are optimistic about 2020’s May 7th Big Day of Giving and it’s potential to increase our programmatic capacity and provide support for our project areas that have been, to put it mildly, stretched thin. We are hopeful that our network of community members—the same network that is out buying gift cards from their favorite gear shops, picking up takeout from their favorite restaurants, and keeping their social distance to ensure the safety of our essential workers and at-risk community members—will also show up to support the work being done by SBC.
Our mission at SBC is centered around helping the Sierra approach adversity in proactive and positive ways in times of prosperity as well as in times of crisis. Today, we are providing the region with critical emergency economic support, guidance and resources to coronavirus-impacted businesses and nonprofits in the Sierra Nevada.
Since the crisis began in early March, SBC’s Sierra SBDC has fielded, on average, 70 calls a day from panicked business owners across seven Sierra counties. We’re delivering technical assistance on various federal and state resource programs available, packaging loan applications, developing cash flow strategies and adjustments, and more. SBC has pivoted our own priorities and strategies, placing our focus on helping businesses survive this declared economic disaster and planning ahead for strong recovery when business resumes.
The small towns and rural communities of the Sierra are gritty and tough, but the impact of coronavirus on the area is already staggering. SBC helps businesses, community members, and even our landscape shoulder the burden. In the weeks and months to come, the work this organization does will only continue to become more important to sustain life as we know it in the Sierra. Our mission has always been to empower the Sierra Nevada to become the best place to raise a family, seek adventure, learn, engage in community, grow a business, and find meaningful work – something we are as committed to as ever in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
We will get through this pandemic and come back even stronger and more resilient in the Sierra if we come together and do it as a community, which is why we applaud and encourage our community in showing up for us on May 7th of the Big Day of Giving.
To donate anytime from April 20th through May 7th, visit our Big Day of Giving page here.
Images of downtown Truckee during coronavirus shelter-in-place closures courtesy of Word After Word Books and Melissa McKinstry.