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A new program from the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce is helping the area’s smallest businesses where they need it most right now: Their pocketbooks.

“The COVID-19 crisis is wreaking havoc on Main Street small businesses across the United States,” says Dougan Sherwood, president of the Haverhill Chamber. “The Greater Haverhill Chamber has set up a new fund to drive desperately needed cash into these local mom and pops.” 

Thanks to the program, people who shop at the participating businesses will get 25 percent off their purchase up to $100. They can find more details and participating businesses on the Haverhill Chamber’s website.

People can also help by donating to a GoFundMe campaign that the Chamber created to fund the initiative. It will will use the fund to repay the businesses that provide a 25 percent discount to their customers.

“This fund will allow the Chamber to offset any purchases from participating businesses with a 25percent discount,” Sherwood says. 

He notes that “local face-to-face Main Street services,” like restaurants, bars, coffee shops, barbershops, hair salons, massage therapy services, auto repair shops, dry cleaners, and many more “are living on the brink.”

“These entities, usually sole proprietorships or businesses with fewer than 25, 10, or even five employees are running out of cash or already broke,” Sherwood says. 

Among the participating businesses is the Haverhill-based massage therapy studio Stress Solutions. In addition to the 25 percent discount offered by Chamber program, Stress Solutions is also adding an additional $10 discount for those purchase and donate a massage to front-line workers like doctors or grocery clerks, says Stress Solutions owner Lorryn Lederman Kinkaid, a licensed massage therapist and wellness educator.

The program is a lifeline for those small businesses that are struggling the most right now.

“This gives me hope that when we are all allowed to reopen, our customers and clients will be able to access us with these prepaid discounted gift certificates,” says Kinkaid, who is the sole proprietor of Stress Solutions. “It also helps us to pay our overhead while we are closed. The Chamber’s generosity and effort by itself is heartwarming during this challenging time.”

Sherwood says the program will run for as long at it has funding.

“Please consider giving,” he says. “Then go shopping!”