A church in Tennessee, the United States has donated $12,500 to owners of three small businesses in the cities of Goodlettsville and Gallatin. "We’re trying to keep people employed rather than having to take care of them when they're unemployed", said Reverend Tim Stutler.
The money helped one business owner to pay the bills. Jenna Rummel said she didn't know where to get the money she needed and couldn't believe it when she received the donation. Due to safety measures introduced to curb the spread of the virus, Rummel had to close her furniture and home decor shop. Although the store took online orders sales have fallen dramatically, by about 75 percent. This forced Rummel to lay off 2 of her 14 employees.
Besides this one-time donation the Goodlettsville church has launched a Small Business Blessing encouraging members of the congregation to support mom and pop stores. Reverend Tim Stutler even proposed to do this year's Christmas shopping not during the winter months, but in May. Local residents are also encouraged to pay for some services in advance like hairdressers or spa salons and tip generously.
"We believe it's a great way to help keep the economy stimulated and keep these businesses open. We love those folks who invested in our community and we want to help them keep their people employed", said Reverend Tim Stutler.
The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in an unprecedented economic global slowdown, the worst since the Great Depression. One in four Americans has filed for unemployment benefits, with the number of people out of jobs now at 36 million.