A lot of Greensboro businesses are struggling due to the pandemic.

However, thanks to a new program from the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, hard times won’t mean having to give up membership in that organization.

Due to the challenges that small businesses in the community have faced and continue to face because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chamber of Commerce is launching a new program called the “Pay It Forward Fund.”

Local businesses that qualify will have their membership dues covered for one year, and they will continue to enjoy the benefits that the chamber brings.

According to chamber officials, Member Engagement Retention Specialist Stephanie Phillips is leading the effort. The fund is being supported by contributions from member companies like Novant Health – which was the first donor.

Kirsten Royster, the president and chief operating officer for Novant Health Kernersville Medical stated that the community has come together during the pandemic in many ways to support each other and this program with the Greensboro Chamber will have a “meaningful impact on strengthening small businesses.”

Organizations, businesses and individuals may donate any amount starting at $25. The various levels of support are:

– Contributor – $25 or more

– Advocate – $450 – Covers one membership

 – Ally – $900 – Covers two memberships

– Leader – $1,350 – Covers three memberships

According to a press release announcing the new initiative, every donor will be given recognition on the Chamber’s website – and additional recognition opportunities are available for higher-level contributors.

Phillips stated, “We’ve noticed while having conversations with our small business members that sadly some of them have had a harder time recovering from the financial impact of COVID-19, despite the ease on restrictions. These small businesses were going to have to cancel their Chamber membership, even though they use it to make connections, promote their business and gain access to resources.”

To learn more or to donate, visit greensboro.org/payitforward.