I Challenge You

I’m not expecting this virus to go away anytime in the near future. As my business is my livelihood, I’m going to fight for what is right. When I look back, I want my kids and grandkids to know how we walk the walk and talk the talk.

Despite being in a bedroom community, one person can make a difference.

Not Holding Back

When I look back at COVID-19, I want to be able to say I did everything possible to help my communities. I posted an “I Challenge You” video on Thursday, April 9, 2020. The post being shown is on LinkedIn, but I posted on other social media platforms too.

I’ve spent money on ads to promote it too.

Our company is owned by a person of color (me), women-owned (Rebekah), and veteran-owned (me). Therefore, I’m asking to support businesses like mine. We’re small and agile who want to earn your business, but we know these are difficult times for any small business.

I believe every small business wants to earn your hard-earned money. We don’t need a handout. This is a free-market economy, so the consumer decides which is why I wanted to bring more awareness to the people behind the scenes.

However, the ‘behind the scenes’ are the majority of the time working both in and on their business every day. I don’t want to speak for every business owner out there either. In my experiences, the work of the business is never over.

If it’s a restaurant, more than likely, that’s the case. They want to ensure every walk-in will have a great experience and come back for more.

Support Local

We’d love it if the local consumer made every intention to support local business owners. The local economy needs small businesses like ours to survive. We’d love to thrive, but we know these are unprecedented times. More than likely, bigger businesses can be stretched more.

Our headquarters in Vancouver, WA, which is five minutes north of Portland, Oregon and three hours south of Seattle. Typically, we’re not associated with the great Pacific Northwest but we are and we love it here. On a side note, some people think the NW is for Northwest but then I correct them and tell them it’s my initials.

Back to the point, I’m making.

I’m asking you to help by supporting these companies because supporting local isn’t the norm. You don’t have to buy anything if it isn’t in your budget. There are several ways to support these local businesses, such as:

  • Like their social media page.
  • You can like their social media posts.
  • Share their business pages on your feed.
  • Buy a gift card from them.
  • Go to their website and peruse their webpages.
  • Give them a review on Google.
  • Send them an email and send them good vibes.
  • You can also call and ask if there is anything you can do to help them.
  • Or, you can wait to finish reading and help me add to the list.

You don’t need to be a superhero.

Do what you can. We can all do some sort of social good.

If you really don’t feel comfortable supporting any of the businesses above, support local community companies you may know of within the area.

Make a Difference

For me and my company, we’re doing all that we can to continue to live the dream of helping others. Our goal is to make a difference. We dream big and proud of it.

Please don’t also take this as me saying, “don’t support big box stores.” Absolutely, not. I used to work at those large chains and they employ local people. Without sales, there are no hours. I always worked my main job so I could do the side hustle.

When I started my nonprofit (aka, side hustle) 15+ years ago, all I wanted to do was help teenagers not make the same mistakes I made. I worked full-time jobs while running the organization. It wasn’t easy, but I know I was making a difference.

I believe we all receive the opportunities to help others, but fail to do it because we may not succeed. Here we are in the spring of 2020 with almost all of us under “Stay Home” orders from our state elected officials. The whole world is under some sort of quarantine and isolation efforts.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be safe and taking the right necessary precautions. We have already lost too many people from this horrible virus. It’s all about using what you have in your own inventory, and preceding with whatever is in your comfort zone.

So if you asked me how you can make a significant difference, I will say the following.

During this #COVID19, please support businesses that are owned by people of color, women, and veterans. As you support these people, please share a picture on one of your social media platforms and use the hashtags below. Feel free to even tag me to say you did it.

#IChallengeYou (just added now)

I challenge you to make a difference during this COVID-19 time!

As you see, I even made a podcast too because it doesn’t have to be directly in my hometown. All small businesses need to thrive. This is about us helping one another.

Local Recommendations

If you’re one of my social media followers, you’ve seen me post the companies I’ve supported within my local area. However, the Vancouver-Portland metro area is spread out. During this pandemic, it’s hard to know which companies are open and those who’ve closed.

The majority of the companies I know are restaurants.

I want to create my own list of the companies who are veteran-owned, women-owned, and owned by people of color. I’ve noticed some don’t have social media accounts. Like any other small business, the companies are run by themselves, similar to my company. We may be small, but we don’t give up.

Here are some of the companies I’ve supported since the COVID-19 “Stay Home” orders:
Abbey Creek Vineyard & Winery (Portland, OR) – wine
Amaro’s Table (Vancouver, WA) – good comfort food
Cason’s Fine Meats (Portland, OR) – butcher shop
Goldies BBQ (Vancouver, WA) – BBQ restaurant
Hue Noir (Portland, OR) – makeup chemist (but selling hand sanitizer)
Java House (Vancouver, WA) – coffee shop
Kafiex Roasters Coffee Lab (Vancouver, WA) – coffee shop
MADdogs Gourmet Hot Dogs (Vancouver, WA) – healthier comfort food restaurant
Northwest Book Pros (Vancouver, WA) – bookkeeper
Po’ Shines (Portland, OR) – comfort soul food
SEwNAW Podcast – our bi-weekly podcast

Here are the recommendations that were sent to me:
Akadi (Portland, OR) – Traditional West African food
ANC Movers (Vancouver, WA) – moving company
Carol Parker Walsh (Vancouver, WA) – career & executive coach
Chai Thai (Portland, OR) – Thai food
Grand Cru Hospitality (Portland, OR) – food caterer
Pita House (Vancouver, WA) – a Mediterranean restaurant
Pho MeKha (Portland, OR) – Vietnamese/Cambodian food
Share the Flame (Vancouver, WA) – equity consultant
The Corporate Strategist (Vancouver, WA) – image and business consultant
Urban Kingdom (Portland, OR) – a T-shirt printing retail store
Wajan (Portland, OR) – Indonesian food
Ya Hala (Portland, OR) – Lebanese Cuisine food

Do you have any other recommendations for me?

If you do, I ask you to please send them to me at info@nwebsterllc.com. You can also direct message me on my social media.

Stay in Touch

In the coming months, we will begin to see some of the collateral damage done by this virus. Please keep a positive mindset of helping one another.

Let’s support each other financially by supporting local small businesses that keep our communities thriving.

For those who are looking for more, I run a group called Connected that meets on a regular basis. Let me know if you have any questions on LinkedIn.

I write this because my business is personal because this service is for the advancement of all humanity. My failures and successes are for your gain. No strings attached.

Nathan A. Webster, MBA
Mr. Social Entrepreneur
Consulting | Marketing | Websites

Updated: April 20, 2020 – 9am PST

Author: nathanwebster
From a US Marine to nonprofit executive director, I've been fortunate to do a lot of stuff. My quick history is I’m a brand marketer with a background in social good. In the process of running a small educational nonprofit, I learned the value of storytelling and digital branding. That’s how I got involve in marketing, websites, consulting via my podcast as well, and being an adjunct business professor at the local community college.

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