As we close in on 2 years operating under a global pandemic it’s important to take a look at what we’ve accomplished and where we can best make an impact moving forward.
Bricks Need Mortar was born from the pandemic to bring our small businesses together in community over competition, to increase visibility and be seen by both, policy makers and customers. We advocate for smart policy and much needed supports for this community, the backbone of our economy.
As a support organization Bricks Need Mortar’s mission is to provide wrap-around support for your small businesses beginning with increased visibility to your small businesses. It can be easy to overlook our accomplishments as our focus is on you. Wrapping up another difficult year, we take note of our achievements to build upon them and best serve you as we continue to forge forward in 2022.
1.- We worked with Oregon Representative Nosse and our partners at Oregon Small Businesses United (OSBU) to successfully pass legislation to extend the repayment deadline for the deferred commercial repayment period to allow for more time for federal relief dollars to reach your small businesses.
2.- We hosted a call with Sen Ron Wyden and Bricks Need Mortar members to share the immediate and longterm needs of our members. We continue to stay engaged with Sen Wyden’s staff following up on your requests.
|3.- We partnered with Kuto to create the first of its kind alternative to corporate gift cards, a single gift card that can be used at now over 400 small businesses. In our 2020 Portland Pledge Holiday campaign we heard from small business supporters that they wanted to give a universal small business gift card where people had a variety of choices of where it can be spent. We found that partner and made it happen|
4.- We proposed a stimulus program to give federal dollars to Portlanders that could only be spent at small businesses. With the City of Portland receiving Millions of dollars in CARES ACT and ARPA funding we made sure that as much of this funding would go to our
small businesses. In September we worked with partners BBPDX, PSU, Kuto and City of Portland to successfully deploy $30K in stimulus to PSU students to spend only in small businesses. This program was successful and will extend into 2022.
5.- We serve on task force & action tables and engage with policy makers at the City, County, State and Federal levels advocating for and representing your small businesses and fighting for equitable access to capital, commercial rent relief, replenishing grant programs and sharing perspective on meaningful policy action.
6.- Working with the Governor’s office and OHA to deploy $10K in small business gift card incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated.
7.- Delivering timely learning sessions and panel discussions to help improve your efforts, efficiencies and impact to your bottom line.
8.- Conducting surveys and sharing easy to digest infographic data on the health of our small business community. We share these with policy makers and with you so you know where you stand in relation to your peers, noting the ever changing environment and realities of conducting business in these times. Next survey out next week.
9.- Bringing Small Businesses together for the Small Shops Big Hearts holiday campaign that included robust paid social media, 5 billboards around the city, OPB radio ads, support from Travel Portland, Venture Portland and our hotels. We surveyed participating businesses and have learned a lot about how and why it worked very well for many and what needs to happen to make it work well for everyone, which will inform our focus for professional development offerings in 2022. Stay tuned for our upcoming series of events.
10.- Conducted coaching sessions in group and one on one to provide ongoing support and experienced perspectives to your businesses. We’ve learned a lot and as a membership organization we’re accountable only to you and your small businesses. As a member driven organization, we are more swift and agile and that’s how we are effective in moving the needle for this community. All of this work was made possible by everyone who chips in as a Bricks Need Mortar member to be in community to strengthen our ecosystem of brick and mortar businesses.
We’ve learned a lot and as a membership organization we’re accountable only to you and your small businesses. As a member driven organization we are more swift and agile and that’s how we are effective in moving the needle for this community. All of this work was made possible by everyone who chips in as a Bricks Need Mortar member to be in community to strengthen our ecosystem of brick and mortar businesses.