America’s hard hit small businesses have petitioned Congress to change their designation from “for-profits” to “not-that-much profits” and allow them to collect donations and issue tax receipts.
“Our small businesses have been so battered by the economy that they actually make less than many of the charities in their communities. So, we want government to allow us to act like not-for-profits,” said Hollis Snidely, CEO of Americans Who Love Small Businesses, at a press conference in the nation’s capital.
Small businesses want to be allowed to ask customers and even employees to give them donations to keep them afloat. The plan would see gigantic money jars appear next to cash registers across the country. Many want to hire full time fundraisers. Some small businesses also want to use direct mail campaigns and launch full-fledged capital campaigns to repair their buildings.
“We need charitable donations even more than most US charities,” said Snidely. “Without fundraising support we estimate that tens of thousands of small businesses will close in the next year.”
In a study, the group found that even a modest fundraising campaign would save tens of thousands of small business jobs and create 10,000 new fundraising jobs. A survey found that Americans were sympathetic to the plight of small business and would likely give generously to local “mom and pop” stores and manufacturers. However, the survey found that Americans would only give a limited amount to larger businesses like Kmart and Walmart, and only during sales.
The group plans to launch a public advertising campaign featuring stories of small business owners who ask for donations to keep their stores open.
US charities are welcoming the initiative, hailing it as proof that non-profits must be doing something right for a change.
“The fact that small business want to be like us is a major acknowledgement that perhaps we’re not the inefficient, ineffective organizations people think we are,” said Dibble Brewer, CEO of the League of Big Honking Charities. “We heard about this and thought, hmmm, maybe we’re not losers after all.”
The new designation, if granted, would label all US small businesses as “not-that-much profits”. An alternative being proposed by some in Congress is “small business charity cases.”