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Change in tack

Grow Your Business Day events to be online this year

USPS will begin offering “Virtual Grow Your Business Day” events in May to help small-business owners stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Postal Service is taking a different approach to reach out to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Postmasters and local business development specialists have been provided materials to help them host online Grow Your Business Day events during the first week of May, which has traditionally been observed as National Small Business Week.

USPS wants Postmasters and business development specialists to work with chambers of commerce, U.S. Small Business Administration offices and others to invite local small businesses to attend a “Virtual Grow Your Business Day” event using the Zoom online meeting platform.

Postmasters will host the events and have been asked not to make a presentation, but instead to invite attendees to talk about how they are holding up and what challenges they are facing.

“This is not really a sales pitch,” said Lou DeRienzo, small-business senior sales specialist at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

“These events are about having the local Postmaster and business development specialist show that we care about our business customers and want to help ensure that they are able to stay afloat during the crisis and be able to come back strong once the danger has passed. If we are willing to listen to their concerns, we may be able to assist them and not only grow new business, but strengthen our bond within our communities.”

The small-business sales team is hoping to have more than 2,000 Virtual Grow Your Business Day events take place in early May and throughout the summer.

The U.S. Small Business Administration postponed National Small Business Week, which was to have been May 3-8, after the spread of the coronavirus prompted a national health emergency. Governors in several states issued stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, which forced many businesses to close and disrupted the operations of others.

“The Postal Service has always been there to help small businesses and we want them to know, as our new TV commercial says, that we’ll continue to be there for them,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters. “We want to help save Main Street USA and build loyal customers who won’t forget that we reached out to them in their time of need.”