January 2021 - Alliance to Save the American Dream

Viral Bernie Sander’s Mittens to be Auctioned off for Good Cause

January 27, 2021 - Alliance to Save the American Dream

Jen Ellis, the woman behind the viral mittens of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, is using her talent to give back to her community. First seen at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Ellis has since received over 13,000 email orders for her hand-crafted mittens.

Ellis, a 42-year-old elementary school teacher in Essex Junction, has embraced the attention of her handiwork. While teaching an online class on the day of the inauguration, her phone started to ping.  

The messages were all identical, Ellis said in an interview with WION News. “Bernie Sanders is wearing your mittens,” she said. 

Since the viral moment, Ellis has made several pairs of mittens to be auctioned off. 

“Thanks for all the interest in Bernie’s mittens! It truly has been an amazing and historic day!,” Jen Ellis wrote on Twitter. “I’m so flattered that Bernie wore them to the inauguration.” 

“I have heard your requests, and I am happy to tell you that I am making just a few more mittens today and tonight to be auctioned off for good causes,” Ellis wrote in another tweet

The proceeds of one set will go towards a dog rescue organization, Passion 4 Paws, in Vermont. As of this morning, 78 people had bid on them, with the highest offer of $1,776.

Ellis donated a  second pair to the Vermont-based LGBTQ+ youth service organization, Outright Vermont, and can be purchased through CharityAuctionsToday.com. Following the listing, 15 bids have been placed, with the highest topping $2,800.

In an interview with NPR, Ellis shared that she first gave the mittens to Sanders several years ago. Her daughter was attending a preschool owned-and-operated by Sanders’s daughter-in-law. Ellis decided to slip in an extra pair for Sanders while preparing holiday gifts for the teachers. 

The auction opened at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24, and closes Friday, Jan. 29 at 5:00 p.m.

Click here to bid on the pair benefiting Passion 4 Paws.

Click here to bid on the pair benefiting Outright VT.

Click here to bid on the pair for Ellis’ daughter’s college fund.

The Alliance to Save the American Dream is a non-profit organization dedicated to three core goals.

1. Develop an Ideas Factory to give small businesses and industries a centralized place to share innovative ideas that must be considered.

2. Build a unique Resources portal for small businesses to go to for answers or resources that address a wide range of issues or challenges.

3. Offer a new networking opportunity for small business owners to connect while also giving them a platform to share their own personal stories.

For more information, visit savetheamericandream.com. 

Biden’s Push for Raising Minimum Wage Concerns Business Owners

January 20, 2021 - Alliance to Save the American Dream

As part of his administration’s $1.9 trillion Covid spending plan, President-elect Joe Biden is seeking to raise the minimum wage to a uniform $15 an hour across the nation. This package comes on top of the $900 billion December bill and the $2.9 trillion bill from last spring. 

The proposal, named the American Rescue Plan, is the first of two major spending initiatives Biden’s administration will advocate for. 

This would serve as a massive blow to small businesses struggling to survive, specifically those in rural areas and mid-America states. 

A recent analysis published by the Congressional Budget Office found that an estimated 3.7 million workers could lose their job if the minimum wage increases. 

“For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty,” the report stated. “But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall – in some cases, below the poverty threshold.”

Mitch McConnell, set to become the Senate minority leader, blocked a minimum-wage increase proposal that the House passed in 2019. 

Representative Kevin Brady, R-Texas, voiced his concerns over Mr. Biden’s package. “True to form and his signature failed ‘stimulus,’ President-Elect Biden launches yet another economic blind buffalo that does nothing to save Main Street businesses, get people back to work, or strengthen our economy,” Brady said in a statement on January 14. 

The Alliance to Save the American Dream is a non-profit organization dedicated to three core goals.

1. Develop an Ideas Factory to give small businesses and industries a centralized place to share innovative ideas that must be considered.

2. Build a unique Resources portal for small businesses to go to for answers or resources that address a wide range of issues or challenges.

3. Offer a new networking opportunity for small business owners to connect while also giving them a platform to share their own personal stories.

For more information, visit savetheamericandream.com. 

The Barstool Fund

January 14, 2021 - Alliance to Save the American Dream

In just one month, Barstools Sports founder and president, Dave Portnoy, has helped raise over $22 million with nearly 175,000 supporters to save over 100 small businesses (data updates every 5-minutes). 

The Barstool Fund, started with $500,000 of Portnoy’s own funding with the aim of helping small businesses hit by the pandemic. The majority of recipients are bar and restaurant owners, but barbershops, dry cleaners and yoga studios have also received assistance from the Barstool Fund. This includes the 47-year-old The Abbey Bar & Grill in De Pere, Wisconsin. 

“It was flooring when I think of the millions of bars and restaurants in the United States and the thousands who applied for support (from the Barstool Fund),” owner Kerry  Counard said in an interview with the Green Bay Press Gazette. “It’s ridiculous to think they chose the Abbey. I knew it was a big deal, but I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal from our little corner of De Pere.”

Among the fund’s supporters is Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. After donating $500,000, Rodgers told Portnoy that he had been touched by the videos of business owners sharing their stories and has since encouraged his teammates, sponsors and NFL players to pledge their support. 

“We all have charities and stuff that are really important and do great work, but we’re talking about our people. I mean these are our people,” Rodgers said during an Instagram livestream with Portnoy. “This is the backbone of this country, small business and the middle class, that’s taking it on the chin right now, and I want to get involved. I have to get involved. This is real money. This is real change.”

Elon Musk, Tom Brady, Kid Rock and Guy Fieri have also pledged their support for the Barstool Fund. 

Despite little national attention, Portnoy and his supporters are fighting for small businesses and their livelihoods, one door at a time. 

The Alliance to Save the American Dream is a non-profit organization dedicated to three core goals.

1. Develop an Ideas Factory to give small businesses and industries a centralized place to share innovative ideas that must be considered.

2. Build a unique Resources portal for small businesses to go to for answers or resources that address a wide range of issues or challenges.

3. Offer a new networking opportunity for small business owners to connect while also giving them a platform to share their own personal stories.

For more information, visit savetheamericandream.com. 

What You Need To Know About PPP2

January 8, 2021 - Alliance to Save the American Dream

In a bill signed into law on Dec. 27 of 2020, Congress injected an additional $284 billion more into the Paycheck Protection Program. Small businesses will now have more access to aid as many remain to struggle. 

The law not only provides additional loan relief for restaurants and other small businesses, but it caps the size of relief seeking businesses and simplifies the loan forgiveness process for applicants. 

Informally labeled as “PPP2,” the new round of funding is available to first-time borrowers and to those who previously received a loan. 

There are many important details for business owners to learn about and a helpful article outlining the PPP2 guidelines in-depth is available at The Journal of Accountancy.

There are several call-outs in the bill that appear to be very beneficial to restaurants including:

1. Employee eligibility by location similar to PPP1. (see discussion under Eligibility)

2. Maximum loan amount of 3.5 times the average monthly payroll as compared to 2.5.

3. Affiliation rules do not apply consistent with PPP1.

The application form and guidance will be issued in the days to come and loan applications could start rolling out the second week of January.

“People are going to be very eager to get their hands on that money as quickly as they can,” Greg White, a shareholder, and founder of WGN, PS based in Seattle, Washington, said in an interview with Bloomberg Tax. “It was a gold rush last time. It was a dog fight to get at that money.”

The Alliance to Save the American Dream is a non-profit organization dedicated to three core goals.

1. Develop an Ideas Factory to give small businesses and industries a centralized place to share innovative ideas that must be considered.

2. Build a unique Resources portal for small businesses to go to for answers or resources that address a wide range of issues or challenges.

3. Offer a new networking opportunity for small business owners to connect while also giving them a platform to share their own personal stories.

Nine Resolutions For Small Business Owners To Stand By

January 5, 2021 - Alliance to Save the American Dream

With the new year officially underway, now is the perfect time for small business owners to consider their plans for the new year. Below are nine New Year’s resolutions that small businesses should think about. 

1. Have a clear direction. Ask yourself what the end goal of your business is. If you don’t know the destination, you cannot follow a successful path. Write out different goals that you have for 2021 to focus on achieving your vision!

2. Know your customer. To increase sales and find new customers, you have to understand who your customer is. Marketing stems from this very point. Understand their needs and what desires fuel them. This will paint a better picture. 

3. Focus on your channels. It can be challenging managing multiple pages at once. From posting on Facebook to scheduling tweets, it can be a nightmare. In 2021, stop trying to manage too many channels. Focus on those that matter to your audience. Pick the channels that you know matter most to your audience. 

4. Only talk about what matters. In a 2020 Forbes interview, brand strategist Pamela Barba said, “Don’t lose their attention by promoting yourself all the time.” This is crucial advice. Learn about what interests your audience and what they want to see.

5. Reflect on your mission statement. A recent Business News Daily article emphasized the importance of mission statements. As a business owner, you need to understand what makes you stand out and what your values are.

6. Pinpoint your niche. Competing as a small business comes down to what your niche is. What audience will love your product the most? Focus on these customers and plan your message and budgets accordingly. 

7. Learn something new. Running a business is more than a full-time job, but learning something new can help fuel innovation and expand your horizons. 

8. Plan to save time. Administrative tasks may seem tedious and time consuming, but taking control of your accounts will save you time in the long run. 

9. Engage with your customers. Make the time to engage with your existing customers more in 2021. Spark conversations in your store and send them surveys. Use these tools to seek honest and genuine feedback that you can act on it. Your business will grow from this. 

The Alliance to Save the American Dream is a non-profit organization dedicated to three core goals.

1. Develop an Ideas Factory to give small businesses and industries a centralized place to share innovative ideas that must be considered.

2. Build a unique Resources portal for small businesses to go to for answers or resources that address a wide range of issues or challenges.

3. Offer a new networking opportunity for small business owners to connect while also giving them a platform to share their own personal stories.

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