Thanks to everyone who donated and supported this worthy cause.  As of now, we are are no longer accepting donations or applications.   Though we were unable to fully fund the grants, we have been able to provide smaller grants to our chosen businesses.

Let's Bring Back Small Businesses

We believe the pandemic has bankrupted small businesses that deserve a second chance.  We’re on the lookout to find and fund meaningful small businesses around the country.

Join the Rescue Fund community, together we can bring hope and dignity to exceptional small business owners.

Summer Funding Projects

Here are the businesses that we’ve committed to get funding for this summer.   Each business does something extraordinary in how they help their communities and customers.  Give what you can so that we can get them all securely financed so that they can thrive in the post pandemic world.

Aum Yoga

Ann Arbor MI

After 8 successful years, Jessie was forced to shut down her dream yoga studio because of Covid.  The business shutdown last March and has been trying to figure out how to become viable despite its effort to transition online.

Pistachio’s Jewelry

Chicago, IL

Pistachios is a contemporary art jewelry and objects gallery that was in downtown Chicago and has been curating artists from around the world for over 25 years.
The Covid period was brutal for our business.  We were closed for 6 months and had zero rent relief from our landlord.  On top of that, we were looted on August 10, 2020 during the riots. Insurance covered a very small amount of the loss.  Because of Covid and the riots downtown Chicago’s foot traffic dropped to ghost town levels.   Even though we were able to reopen our doors for Christmas season on December 2, it was clear that the lack of customers didn’t make the business viable and we closed permanently in January 2021.  We had to vacate a storefront that we had occupied for 24 years.
While we operate an online store, it is crucial for us to reopen. Many of our clients like to see the product in person. This grant would allow us to reopen and create a comforting environment for our clients.

Chang Lee Tae Kwon Do Center

Dallas, Texas

Chang Lee opened his first Tae Kwon Do Center in 1980.  Since then he has trained generations of black belts, national champions and Olympians.  Chang Lee’s success inspired a half dozen affiliate gyms that are not owned by him but share his name. When Covid hit, government loans and landlord flexibility helped him stay alive for a year, but he is on the verge of losing everything unless he can get funding from somewhere soon.

Champion Gorilla

Bergenfield, NJ

Champion Gorilla is a herb based energy drink that has no added sugars.  It is the mind child of a Jamaican immigrant who imports herbs grown on Jamaican farms that she purchased for this purpose.

When Covid hit, She was successfully selling her product to health food stores and to bars in the tristate area.  She had booked close to $400K in purchase orders and almost all of these POs canceled due to Covid closures.  Many of her customers went out of business.

Her last $100K is trapped in inventory in a NY warehouse waiting to be sold.  She is looking for working capital to jumpstart distribution and to help cover operating expenses in Jamaica.

COVID Rescue Fund in the News

A Seismic Shift for Businesses

Businesses across Michigan have succumbed to the pressures of the pandemic, with devastating consequences for workers and our economy. Today, one man who closed his businesses during the pandemic talks about why those who were sidelined still need our help

David Lin in front of closed Espresso Royale store

ClickOnDetroit – Ann Arbor cafe owner launches effort to revive small businesses lost to pandemic

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of covering this pandemic has been hearing from local business owners how sales have plummeted in a college town that is usually bustling with shoppers… read more

David Lin in front of closed Espresso Royale store

MLive – Pandemic relief fund aims to help revive closed Ann Arbor businesses

It didn’t take long for Dave Lin’s entrepreneurial spirit to kick in after he closed his Bubble Island tea café in Ann Arbor due to the economic constraints presented by the COVID-19 pandemic… read more

Former Espresso Royale CEO establishes ‘COVID Rescue Fund’ for struggling small businesses

“Most of these people have been hit so hard financially that they don’t have resources to go start a new business, and their credit might be so destroyed that no one will loan the money,” Lin said. “So the only outcome for most of these people is to go work minimum-wage jobs, and it’s just a huge mismatch of what their talents are”