HOUSTON - While Texas grapples with how to reopen the economy, tens of thousands of small businesses in the Houston area are struggling with how they'll stay open long enough to participate.
A new campaign, called Houston Rallies, is sharing the stories of some of those entrepreneurs in need, like Pinkerton's BBQ owner Grant Pinkerton. Like a lot of businesses, the coronavirus shutdown has changed everything about how he keeps the doors open. "We probably lost 75% of our business, overnight," says Pinkerton.
Houston ad executive, Thomas Guerrero, and colleagues at his agency, The Lee Group, have been brainstorming on what they might be able to do to help. "We wanted to do what we do best, and give back to the small businesses in this community," says Guerrero.
Houston Rallies premiered with a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle, as a rallying cry for the city's small businesses and those who depend on them for their livelihood. A website, www.houstonrallies.com offers guidance for assistance, and tells the stories of those who are hard at work.
Perhaps most important, for cash strapped businesses that are highlighted, is a full advertising push that comes with the exposure. Guerrero says, "We're giving them 100% 'creative' from our ad agency. That's digital media, that's social media, and that's PR."
It's a welcome lifeline for entrepreneurs, like Grant Pinkerton, grateful for a chance to just get noticed. "There's a lot of messages hitting the consumer, right now, and it's really nice to have people taking time to get to know different business owners," says Pinkerton, "and projecting that to the world, so they can see."
Houston Rallies will continue for the foreseeable future, to help businesses reestablish themselves. Those who like to have their own story told, can express that interest on the Houston Rallies website.