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Small Business Support Advice from Dave Matthews on Verizon’s #PayItForwardLIVE

March 27, 2020

Inspiration, Wisdom and Small Business Support Advice from Dave Matthews and Verizon

I usually attend a Dave Matthews Band or Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds concert in large, outside, rowdy venues with thousands of other people. The energy of mass crowds is electric and unifying especially when you are with diverse people of similar tastes and passions. I discovered this in 1999 at the 30th Anniversary of Woodstock in my hometown of Rome, New York where I saw DMB (as they are known) perform on one of the hottest July days on the old Griffis Air Force base. It was my first glimpse at the band and their groovy music I’ve come to love. Twenty-one years later, their music simply moves, relaxes, and makes me happy.

I’ve seen them play almost 30 times over the years and made my sons fans. My FedEx guy always says to me when he delivers a flat package, “These must be Dave Matthews Band tickets,” I grin. But last night I didn’t need my Federal Express man to deliver any tickets because thanks to Verizon and #PayItForwardLIVE through Twitter, Dave Matthews entered my home on my big TV screen as I sat on my couch watching with my husband (6’ away!) on the other couch. I had promised myself earlier in the day I wouldn’t watch politics and take a break from bad news about the Coronavirus for one day. To say, I was happy was an understatement.

What I loved most about the Verizon #PayitForwardLIVE concert was the fact its messages are to raise awareness of supporting small business, which has been my career lane for 25 years as a woman entrepreneur. I’ve written small business columns for my local paper for 11 years, produced events for tens of thousands of women entrepreneurs across New York State, and promoted tens of thousands more all in the hope they do business together, make money, and help strengthen the financial buying circle for women today and tomorrow. Everyone knows I support female-only everything, but Dave Matthews and his band are my exceptions to the rule.

Today’s blog post is to share with you some small business suggestions Dave suggested last night to support your favorite local businesses until the Coronavirus crisis is over. Here is what he suggested:

* Look online to see if any of your local coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, etc. have online tips jars. One of Dave’s favorite java joints does, so he contributes to it to help the employees.

* Order gift certificates for future meals from your favorite place to use when we can all gather again. Whether or not you get to use these certificates doesn’t matter, you are “lending” goodwill and financial support to small businesses needing the cash flow now.

* Open a “tab” at your favorite bar or take-out venue. Keep them in business with repeat purchases.

* Try to find ways to look after the businesses you love in your own town because they are part of who you are so ask them how you can help specifically and then do it if you can.

Share these ideas with all the people in your life because we all have different small businesses we frequent so if enough of us financially support our own favorites, we and they can get through this together so our favorite places are there when life and business return to normal.

Dave doesn’t know I love representing women entrepreneurs or he might have said last night, “And according to Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, a 25-year woman-owned business champion in Syracuse, NY, also spend your money supporting women-owned small businesses because they make less than men until we pass an equal pay act or the Equal Rights Amendment.”

Melissa Gardiner with Dave Matthews. The Syracuse trombonist played with the Dave Matthews Band Tuesday night. (provided photo )

I am excited to see Dave perform here in Syracuse at the St. Joseph’s Amphitheater on July 22nd, and hopefully at The Gorge when we make our first trip to Seattle to the band at this iconic venue. I pray the coronavirus is gone by then so I can experience the band live again. Until then I want to say – Thanks Dave. Thanks Verizon. Thanks for small businesses and their supporters. #Love. #Payitforward

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