gofundme toronto

Toronto neighbourhood raising money for struggling local lesser-known businesses

A Toronto neighbourhood has started a GoFundMe to help local struggling lesser-known businesses, especially ones that don't translate to curbside pickup, takeout or delivery models.

The #KRVLove Business Relief Fund was started this week by the admin team of the Kingston Road Village Residents Association Facebook group to "help out some of our more unique and lesser-known businesses. All businesses have taken a huge hit in the last 12 months, but some are having an even harder time," according to the GoFundMe.

Businesses that will receive funding from the initiative must fall within boundaries east of Main to Warden, and from Gerrard to the south side of Kingston Road. 

"If you are a business and would like to be considered you can reach out in confidence to any Admin member of the group. Additionally if you know of a business that you think may need a little extra help please let one of us know on Facebook or you can message Aaron Bradley here through the campaign," reads the GoFundMe description.

"We will post a list of businesses that will be receiving funds once it's been decided," Bradley explained to blogTO. "Some examples would be hair salons, barbers and retail stores that depend on browsing or drop in as opposed to essential items."

They're hoping to raise $3000 by the end of January, with the possibility of keeping the idea going as long as needed.

"One of the awesome admin team, Heidi Tsao, has been doing Green Door posts amplifying our local businesses and someone suggested a specific business to her and mentioned that they were concerned about them and suggested she may be able to highlight them," says Bradley.

"We realized there were more than a few businesses in the same situation. Not to take away anything from restaurants and some other retail businesses in our neighbourhood, but some businesses are completely closed. No takeout, no, or very little, curbside or even 100 per cent closed due to lockdown restrictions."

The Green Door Instagram account shows Tsao's illustrations featuring local business owners which she has tacked up to her front door.

"Between GreenDoor and the #KRVLove shopping contest we held before Christmas, we have been doing our best to encourage residents to frequent our locals, but in some cases, it wasn't possible so we came up with the idea of starting a GoFundMe to try to help them directly," says Bradley.

"We can talk about how great our restaurants are and encourage everyone to order more frequently to help them out but we didn't have a way to directly help some of the lesser profile businesses so we decided to try this method."

$870 of the group's $3000 goal has already been raised within 24 hours. 

"It's an amazing mix of people who are very vocally active in the group and members whose names we don't see post as often. It's great to see so many different members coming together to help," says Bradley.

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