For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher Girdwood (517) 230-5288

Creating Consumer-Driven Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Valencia, Calif - September 24, 2014 - When disaster strikes, small business owners watch sales plummet. Earthquakes, floods, or man-made disasters can wipe out a customer base that took years of work to build. Recovery Pledge solves this problem by connecting small businesses with customers immediately after a disaster.

Christopher Girdwood witnessed the turmoil small business owners experience while he worked in New Orleans during the 2010 Deepwater Oil Spill. In a disaster, nonprofit groups like the Red Cross can bring in needed water, canned food, and blankets and the federal government can provide low-interest loans. Customers are lost, though, and local businesses are devastated.

"Companies can't pay back a loan, even a low-interest one, if there are no customers," says Christopher, a native of Detroit, Michigan who works in economic development and urban planning.

He is based in Valencia, California and his solution is Recovery Pledge, a social enterprise that connects small businesses with customers around the nation.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, up to 40 percent of businesses affected by a natural or man-made disaster never reopen. Christopher believes consumers will direct their buying habits to support disaster-stricken companies if given the opportunity.

"A private sector approach to disaster recovery can compliment the work of charitable organizations," he says.

Local businesses in New Orleans and those he has met in Los Angeles have responded with enthusiasm.

The next step to make Recovery Pledge a viable platform on a national scale is the development of an e-commerce site allowing consumers to purchase from the businesses that sign on. Shoppers can purchase recovery pledges, which are vouchers for the goods and services small businesses sell on a daily basis. This creates operating cash despite a disaster.

Shoppers will be able to follow the business in its recovery process and the website will show where in the country the purchases are made.

Recovery Pledge is in the final two weeks of an Indiegogo.com campaign to raise $7,500 to build the social enterprise platform.

"The goal is to stabilize sales. This also sustains a tax base and helps the entire community."

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER GIRDWOOD
Christopher's professional background in public-private partnerships with the Department of Defense and work with the International Economic Development Council in Washington, D.C. makes him an ideal interview on the topic.

Contact him directly at 517-230-5288 and via recoverypledge.com or the Indiegogo Recovery Pledge campaign page.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

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We're happy to report that we've received some great support on our campaign thus far. We raised 25% with 26 days to go. 

We'd like to ask you to share the campaign with friends, family and small business owners in your community.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/consumer-driven-disaster-recovery

Thank you for your support!
Chris & Marta
 
 
We believe that one of the greatest benefits of crowdfunding is the process of building up the perk structure. You can get very creative and offer your supporters something useful in return for their contribution to your campaign.

We are currently one week into our crowdfunding campaign and it's been so fun to see which of our perks are the most popular.

We invite you to take a look at our campaign and if you like it, go ahead and pick up a perk for yourself.

As always, thanks for your support!
Chris and Marta