A Vancouver entrepreneur has formed a new fund to help small businesses in BC impacted by COVID-19.
Tom Wang, serial entrepreneur and active investor, created Together Fund just days after BC announced its three-week “circuit breaker” emergency restrictions in late March.
“I didn’t think it was very fair what the government did to restaurants,” said Wang in an interview with Daily Hive.
“The owners have already bought all of their food, they have to pay their staff and rent. So I wanted to do something, but how can we help? It’s very simple – they need money.”
“My e-commerce business was not affected by COVID-19, so I’m very grateful. When we’re in a good position, it’s important to give back.”
Small businesses that were affected by the recent three-week restrictions can submit an application plus a brief video for consideration. Businesses must also be based in British Columbia, have been operating for at least six months, and must have at least three employees on active payroll.
Wang and a team of volunteers, including business professionals, finance executives, and entrepreneurs, review each application and make their selection based on the level of urgency.
As of April 7, Together Fund has raised over $20,000 from over 80 supporters, including donations from the public, Wang’s e-commerce students, and $10,000 from Wang himself.
“How much the business will receive depends on their need, and the funds can be used for rent, employees and other important items,” said Wang.
“Approval will occur within three business days and approved businesses can expect an immediate transfer of funds.
“We are a private organization and are filling the gap for small businesses that are being neglected. I want to support as many people as possible.”
Together Fund provided support to its first recipient this week – Scandicilious in East Vancouver.
The Scandinavian breakfast and lunch eatery received funding that will go towards paying employees, rent, and construction of a much-needed roof for their patio so people can eat outside when it’s raining.
“All small business owners share the same DNA,” said Wang. It’s time to give back and support those who are negatively affected during this time. We need to reach back and help others.”
Donations and applications to the Together Fund can be made online.