A message from our Director of Business Development, Julie Parisi:
Dear NewBo City Market guests and supporters,
As I sit down to write this message and ask for your support this Giving Tuesday, I feel fortunate in that I get to address a group of sympathetic eyes and hearts. Please indulge me as I write to you all straight from my heart as a champion of small business and as NewBo City Market's Director of Business Development.
Our Shopkeepers have been through a lot this year. When the pandemic hit us like a tidal wave eight months ago, we all had to adjust. I am immensely proud of our entrepreneurs as they made those adjustments, gritted their teeth, and made it through a challenging several months. Then, late this summer we were all slammed with a derecho, which devastated homes, routines and, again, small business activity.
My team and I have tried our hardest keep our community engaging with our organization and our small businesses; all despite everything 2020 has thrown our way.
Now here we are in the “most wonderful time of the year,” when holiday shopping should be at an all time high; a high that can sustain many of our Shopkeepers through an inevitably dark, cold few months in the early new year. Yet, we face another slow down as people begin hunkering down at home again.
I could throw some statistics at you about how spending your dollars at small, local businesses means that money stays within the local economy longer, but we all already know that...
Instead, I want to tell you about Blanche who owns Pinoy Cafe and LeShawn who owns Shawnniecakes and how they put their trust in me when I told them I would hold their hand as we jumped off the proverbial entrepreneurial cliff together.
Working with these two women has been some of the most rewarding work.
Blanche has two young children; Shawnnie three. Despite the challenges of caring for and teaching children at home as schools have switched to online learning while simultaneously running a household, they have also stayed focused on running their businesses. During the last few months they’ve come to my office, their eyes wide with fear asking, "how do we make it through?" I don’t have the answers.
None of us have lived through these circumstances before and there isn’t a pandemic playbook... But of course, it doesn’t stop us from trying new things and reimagining the best way forward.
I know that NewBo City Market will do whatever it takes to support our small business community through thick and thin by continuing its mission as a nonprofit small business incubator and community gathering space.
This mission cannot be accomplished without community support in the form of patronage and generous donations that allow the Market to continue operations even through the darkest of times.
I also know there are many organizations in need this year but I hope you'll consider donating to NewBo City Market this Giving Tuesday. Your donation, no matter its size, will help Cedar Rapids' small business community so that they may continue to thrive after the pandemic subsides.
Sincerely & Locally Yours,
Director of Business Development