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Here Are Legitimate Fundraisers Helping Damaged and Destroyed Small Businesses

Three ways to help entrepreneurs and small business owners.


Small businesses across the country were already teetering due to COVID-19-related closures of non-essential businesses. And then, on May 25, a Minneapolis police officer was caught on tape crushing 46-year-old George Floyd's neck while he pleaded, "I can't breathe," shortly before being pronounced dead in a crime that has since been deemed a homicide by the county medical examiner. More than a week of protests in dozens of cities have subsequently convulsed the nation, causing collateral damage to many small businesses who were already struggling to find a way forward as quarantine restrictions eased. 

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For anyone looking to assist those businesses to get back on their feet, whether through rebuilding or replenishing of inventory, there are numerous, legitimate fundraisers that have launched within some of those communities. The below is just a small sampling of how to contribute to the restoration of fellow entrepreneurs' storefronts and livelihoods in hard-hit regions over the coming days and weeks. Each initiative is overseen by a recognized nonprofit or community leaders and/or is verified as a credible GoFundMe user, and contributes proceeds to a multitude of businesses. If you want to direct us to similar wide-reaching efforts in your area, tweet us @entrepreneur.

Related: Black-Owned Restaurants and Businesses You Can Support Right Now


We Love Lake Street was started by the hyper-local nonprofit Lake Street Council, and as of this writing has raised more than $3 million to help revitalize the heavily impacted Lake Street business district. One hundred percent of proceeds go to getting affected small businesses back on their feet.


City activist Ja'Mal D Green, who founded the criminal justice-reform nonprofit Majostee All-Stars, has been answering the call for businesses damaged or destroyed on the south and west sides of Chicago in particular. As of this writing, they are still climbing toward their $30,000 goal.


Organizers from the Dane County Boys & Girls club note in their appeal to raise money for downtown Madison that half its businesses are minority-owned and 70 percent are owned by local entrepreneurs. As of this writing, they are more than halfway to their $200,000 goal.

Related: Here's How Business Leaders Are Responding to the George Floyd Protests

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