SOSBend Encourages Local Businesses to Claim Their Business Online by Going to SOSBend.com
A Bend-based volunteer organization launched an app today to help local businesses that have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. SOSBend will allow people to purchase store credit from local businesses currently closed or minimally operating and redeem it at a later time. Right now the group is encouraging businesses to sign up.
“We must act now to help the local businesses that make our community special stay afloat,” said Matt Abrams, an organizer of Main Street SOS, the volunteer group behind the effort. “People are desperate to do something but they feel overwhelmed when it comes to where to go or what to do. SOSBend.com is our attempt to answer the question, ‘How can I help?’”
The community-focused financing platform was built in coordination with the Bend Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Community Foundation and a cross-section of civic organizations and businesses. SOSBend.com provides a trusted, secure way for customers to continue to spend at their favorite establishments, while immediately delivering funds to local businesses at no additional cost.
According to the US Census Bureau, Deschutes County alone is home to almost 200,000 people and 7,000 businesses. Many provide services to the 2.5 million tourists who visit the area annually. Travel restrictions aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19 are dramatically impacting tourism, and further amplifying the economic impact on Central Oregon. SOSBend.com is designed to reach those visitors, making it easy for them to preserve a favorite vacation destination.
“At first we just wanted to help the neighbors we know are hurting,” said Gavin Burke, who started Main Street SOS with Abrams. “But it was obvious from the beginning that other towns and cities were facing the same urgent problems. We’ve fielded inquiries across the state and as far afield as India. We want to share this with everyone. After all, we are all in this together.”
“We all have our part to play in keeping our town and local businesses afloat in this crisis,” said Abrams. “Go to SOSBend.com and claim your business so that you can be part of this vibrant town serve your customers when the economy reopens.”