“We wanted to craft a program specifically to fill the gap that was left by the CARES Act,” said Lindsey Kimball, Director of Economic Development at Hillsborough County in Florida. On June 30, Hillsborough County launched three distinct small business assistance programs to form the Rapid Response Recovery Assistance Program (R3) to do just that.

Each program was designed to provide assistance based on the specific problems small businesses in Hillsborough County were experiencing. Whether it was a rapid infusion of capital, funding to hire more workers, or reimbursements to make your business safer, the R3 programs were created to help businesses keep their doors open after covid-19 forced them to close.

Along with a public health crisis, COVID-19 has brought dire fiscal problems to state and local governments. Leaders charged balancing budgets are figuring out what will have to be cut, and in some places the spotlight is on municipal police budgets.

Police budgets came into focus after the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white officer catalyzed a period of national civil unrest that continues three months later. The call for action is the same across cities: “defund the police.” For a few, means disbanding police departments, but for most, it means reallocating some law enforcement dollars to other community resources.

COVID-19 outbreaks and stay-at-home orders have pushed many small and local businesses to explore e-commerce as a way to sell their products. Earlier this week we explored different e-commerce platforms, ranging from low-barrier to website construction, but many small businesses are looking to leverage new or existing partnerships to sell online. Here are some of the partnership models that we have seen emerge or expand during the first half of the year.

E-commerce has become a common method for small and large businesses alike to sell their products. According to Adobe Analytics, E-commerce has increased by 49% during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, simply having your product on a website does not ensure success- digital marketing has become a vital skill for all businesses choosing to sell their products online, and can help them reach their specific target market or buyer persona. There are several resources that can help businesses learn this skill.


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