Main Street SOS to Host Live Launch Party for SOSBend.com Today From 1-3pm

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A Bend-based volunteer organization will host a live launch event for the public at SOSBend.com today until 3pm with the goal of helping local businesses that have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. SOSBend.com allows people to purchase store credit from local businesses currently closed or minimally operating and redeem it at a later time. 

Hosted by local broadcast personality Megan Sinclair, the live launch party will include visits from State Treasurer Tobias Read, Mayor Sally Russell, Secretary of State candidates Jamie McLeod Skinner & Mark Hass, merchants impacted by the closure and special guests.

To view the YouTube page, please click here: youtube.com.

 “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 partnered closely with the Bend Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Community Foundation, Visit Bend, the City of Bend 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. 

 “I think there’s a perception out there that there is a lot of help coming from the federal government and that is simply not true,” said Carrie Douglass, owner of Haven, a co-working space in Bend. “SOSBend.com can help fill the gap we are all facing. By purchasing future credit, people can shore up the businesses that make Bend unique in the immediate term — and ensure they’ll be there when we start to reopen.” 

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 have dramatically impacted tourism, 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.

Main Street SOS is initially launching in Bend. Depending upon demand, the team intends to share the technology and best practices for free with any interested towns or communities.

“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 a 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 continue to spend at these much-loved businesses to ensure we continue to have a vibrant town when the economy reopens.”

About Main Street SOS

Main Street SOS started as a volunteer team of developers, startup executives, students and writers who either live locally or who have strong community ties. It quickly evolved to offer solutions that address the uniquely urgent economic needs of small and medium-sized businesses and the communities they serve around the world. 

Main Street SOS encourages anyone who is interested in contributing time, funds or resources to get in touch by emailing Matt Abrams at matt@sosbend.com.

SOSBend.comyoutube.com

 

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