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Non-profit supports small businesses trying to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 9:26 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 09:45:26-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - For entrepreneurs just starting a business, they're faced with the challenges of doing it amid a global pandemic.

“It’s definitely caused me to run my business very lean, look for different types of resources that are not readily available now since the beginning of the pandemic," said Derion Woods, the Co-Founder of WindMeal, a delivery service that gets produce from the hands of local farmers to local restaurants.

“The farmers market attendance was lowering so I was trying to figure out what I could do to help local farmers," said Woods.

Woods started his business in January of 2020, right before the pandemic began. He's been able to continue development through help from Startup Tucson.

Startup Tucson is a non-profit that gives small business owners the resources to not only grow, but start their businesses.

“Some of our Tucson businesses are really struggling right now," said Liz Pocock, the CEO of Startup Tucson.

She and her team at Startup Tucson started what's called an 'Ecosystem Guide' to help small business owners who need guidance, but can't get it in person because of the pandemic.

“The guide is really meant to help startups and founders understand, depending where they are in their business where they can find co-working, who can help them in their training, who can help them with mentorship, who can help with fundraising, when should they join certain member organizations," said Pocock.

Erica Yvgne, the founder of of Bralessly, said she's had to rely on services from Startup Tucson to continue growing her business, despite the pandemic.

"I can’t go out and do in person events, pop-ups, fairs, all of that just to get my name out," said Yvgne.

Pocock said anyone who needs help growing their small business or starting one can get help through Startup Tucson.