SOS Bend website launches, aims to support local businesses

The website SOS Bend officially launched at an online event Tuesday where city leaders virtually gathered to speak about the importance of keeping local business alive.

SOS Bend is an online initiative to support Bend businesses who are struggling with the impact of COVID-19. People can purchase store credit through the website and provide businesses with much-needed cash flow.

“These businesses, as we’ve all seen from press reports, the media, in talks with our neighbors, we know they’re really hurting and struggling,” Matt Abrams, SOS Bend’s co-founder, said. “They don’t have a significant cash runway to run with. They need to be supported right away.

On the website, pledgers can search for a local store or restaurant. If the business is an SOS Bend participant, anyone can pledge a certain amount of money to go to the business. The business will provide the pledger with a gift card or store credit.

SOS Bend organizers said $115,000 had already been raised for local establishments by Tuesday afternoon.

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