Mayor Jonathan McCollar announced Monday the start of Statesboro’s “Love Ur City” capital campaign that he hopes will help small businesses and families that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the help of local businesses and community leaders, the campaign is set to run through June 1, 2020.
“The nation has felt and will continue to feel a significant impact from the COVID-19 pandemic,” McCollar said. “As we’ve started to settle into what may very well be our new normal, I couldn’t help but wonder if our community will ever be what it once was – with small businesses thriving and families reaping the benefits of a robust economy.”
McCollar went on to explain that he thought it was imperative to create a capital campaign to benefit the citizens of Statesboro that have been most affected financially by COVID-19.
“Statesboro is a tightknit community,” he said. “When one of us is hurting, we all are. I am confident that our city will come together during this time to offer support to those who need it most.”
The mayor recognized that pulling off a project of this magnitude would require help from leaders within the community. Many of these leaders have already pledged donations or volunteered to raise funds.
Scottie Davis, owner of Statesboro’s Davis Marketing Company, donated the services of her team and resources to promote the capital campaign through the creation of a logo, website, promotional video and more.
“When Mayor McCollar approached me to help with the capital campaign, I recognized, as a small business owner myself, that a campaign like this could have a significant impact in Statesboro,” Davis said. “Many families and businesses are reeling from COVID-19 and the devastation it has caused. If offering my support could help bring even a temporary relief to those affected, I knew it was something I had to do.”
Roy Thompson, Bulloch County Board of Commissioners chairman and owner of Statesboro Floor Covering Services also plans to lend his support to the campaign.
“I, as a business owner in Statesboro, appreciate the fundraising efforts of the city to help businesses trying to re-open,” Thompson said. “Personally, I’ve been trying to buy locally as much as possible during this time to support every business in Bulloch County.”
With many businesses forced to temporarily close or substantially modify services over the past few months, there is a fear that some Statesboro businesses might never be able to fully recover from losses sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By acting on a vision and creating the "Love Ur City" campaign, Mayor McCollar has established a valid way for business leaders to help take care of our own,” said Skip Alford, Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce president.
The Love Ur City campaign proceeds are set to benefit two funds: the Statesboro COVID-19 Family Relief Fund and the Statesboro COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund. The family fund applications and grants will be managed and administered by local nonprofit United Way of Southeast Georgia while the small business fund will be handled by Georgia Southern’s Business Innovation Group (BIG).
Businesses that are selected for the grant will receive up to $2,500 and selected families will be awarded up to a $500 grant. Statesboro citizens looking to apply for grant funds will not be expected to pay the monies back. Applications for grant funds will be made available to the public after the campaign donation period has ended. Applicants will be required to meet several criteria to be considered for one of the grants.
Those who wish to learn more or donate to the capital campaign can visit lovestatesboro.com. Donations to the campaign are tax-exempt and can be made to the City of Statesboro, which will transfer the monies to its partners for administration.