SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – During the coronavirus pandemic a Sioux Falls ad agency has found a unique way to support businesses and nonprofits.
Business owner DeAnn Echols manages well in the Great Outdoors, but COVID-19 pushed her and many other businesses into uncharted territory.
“Pandemic was not on my radar screen for business plans… at all,” Owner of the Great Outdoor Store Echols said.
While traffic and sales declined drastically these past few months, they’ve kept afloat thanks to their many connections in the community and by shifting their business model to online.
“We’ve always had a really good social media presence and a good relationship though email with our customer base,” Echols said.
One of their frequent customers is owner of Epicosity Eric Sivertsen.
“I did have to buy a few things a week ago, so they got it all ready for me, they brought it out to my car, it was completely safe, they were all wearing masks, I mean, they were all doing the responsible things,” owner of Epicosity Eric Sivertsen said.
Inspired by their efforts he donated $250 to them as a part of his team’s 5:5 initiative.
“I just bought gift cards because I know, in the future, I’m going to use that,” Sivertsen said.
Five thousand dollars was divvied up across his team and they each were tasked to donate it to a business or nonprofit they’re passionate about.
“People are just coming up with some amazing ideas on how to help others and to engage in the community, and it’s really heartwarming” Echols said.
All they ask in return is a chance to sit down with them by means of video chat and share how their business has been managing. They post the videos online in hopes to extend their reach and create some new connections.
“I think it’s good for us to connect with people and understand what their story is,” Sivertsen said.
“Any time we can get that extra exposure to people that don’t know who we are or what we do is always… very appreciated,” Echols said.
They also donated another $5,000 to the One Sioux Falls fund.
“The most inspiring thing is to se the courage of these businesses, the owners, the employees and their courage really inspires me to get out there and to keep going,” Sivertsen said.
So that one day, we can all find ourselves back on some familiar ground.
So far, they’ve uploaded 14 videos with the the final 6 being release over the next week. You can see those videos and how those business & nonprofits are adapting by visiting their website.