Small businesses in the community of Southport were hit hard when the lockdowns went into place for the COVID-19 Pandemic. Southport Cares felt called to do what we could to help. We are so indebted to the people and businesses that have made Southport what it is today… They have contributed so much to our community and we felt it was our time to lift them up as well. The initiative started with our first responder volunteers bringing gift cards to local salons and barbershops as a token of our appreciation, to show them that their community was with them in this trying time for their business.
It snowballed quickly.
WECT highlighted first responders helping local business owners, and then WWAY picked up on the story as well. We were blessed with a huge influx of interest and generous donations, which we were able to immediately put back into the community, moving on from barbers to bistros as we brought donations and gift cards to eateries of all types across Southport.
In just two short months, we were able to provide gift cards and checks to 42 local Southport businesses. But the community’s care kept growing, and so we kept showing up at restaurants doors. The support and the love of the community was overwhelming.
With the community’s help, first responders were able to donate 132 gift cards and checks worth over $17,000 to local barbers, stylists, restaurants and tour companies. As one recipient said, “It is not about the gift – it’s about the giving”.
We tip our hats to the local businesses and employees who have done so much to overcome the challenges of COVID19 that continue today. Our goal as first responders was to band together with the local community to let these businesses know that we were there with them.
The donations and support from the community allowed us to touch more people and businesses in town. Let’s continue to support our local businesses and make it easy for them as they try to serve us while keeping patrons and employees safe from the spread of the virus. Here are a few cards and pictures showing what it meant for local businesses that we came together to support them during these times.