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Loyalty bond program helps CLE businesses bounce back from COVID-19

Buy a bond, get more money back in gift cards
Pope's Kitchen
Posted at 9:49 AM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 18:48:37-04

CLEVELAND — As COVID-19 continues to make an impact on small businesses throughout the country, some companies are getting creative to find more sources of income.

Honeycomb Credit is a crowdsourcing platform that helps small businesses get connected to investors and get off the ground. The businesses are in various states, with a heavy focus on Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Clark Pope with Pope’s Kitchen is a local Cleveland company that creates artisan cocktail sauces, cocktail mixes and other bar products. Pope’s Bloody Mary mixes, cocktail syrups, hot sauces and barbecue sauces are sold throughout stores and restaurants in Ohio.

“Our motto is this is how you would make it if you had time,” said Pope.

The company is now 5 years old and on the verge of expanding its inventory, but when COVID-19 hit, it put those advancements on hold.

Pope said when he was first getting off of the ground, he worked with Honeycomb to connect him with various investors.

“We were able to raise $50,000 and what that program did was provide a lot of capital for my company to grow,” said Pope.

That crowdsourcing is the heart of Honeycomb Credit, but in the wake of the pandemic, the company recently launched the “loyalty bonds program.”

It’s similar to a maturing gift card. If you buy a loyalty bond to create an impact with a business now, you will earn 1.3 times on gift cards over the next 2 years.

For example, if you bought a $100 gift card, in the end, you would get $130 worth of gift cards.

Pope’s Kitchen launched its loyalty bond campaign on June 3 and it will be live until July 3.

To contribute to his campaign click here.

Pope said he will be using the money from the campaign to launch new products.

“This is awesome because cash flow is key. If I can’t pay my bills, then I can’t survive. If I don’t have money to buy bottles or labels, I can’t get the product out to sell to bring in more money,” he said.

But he said it’s not just about the money, it’s about the public’s confidence that your company will get through these tough times.

“You’re betting on this company being around 2 years so that you get your benefit back. People are literally saying, money where your mouth is, ‘we believe in what you’re doing. We believe in supporting local. We believe that your product has benefit and value,” he said. “It’s really very powerful to know that there are people out there who are supporting you.”

To look at other companies participating in the loyalty bonds program click here.

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Reopening Ohio
Gov. Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio have established a plan to begin reopening Ohio businesses starting May 1. Below is a timeline of the businesses allowed to reopen.

May 1: Medical care – non-essential surgeries and procedures that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed beginning May 1.
May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses that were ordered to cease activities may reopen on May 4, as well as general office environments.
May 12: Retail establishments and facilities will be allowed to reopen on May 12.
May 15: Salons, barbershops, day spas, tanning facilities, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and piercing businesses. Restaurants will be allowed to serve patrons on outdoor patios. More details here.
May 21: Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service. Read more here. Campgrounds will be allowed to reopen. Read more here.
May 22: Horse racing will be allowed to resume, with no spectators. Casinos and Racinos are not included in the reopening. Read more here.
May 26: Gyms, fitness centers, regulated pools, recreation centers and studios will be allowed to reopen, with new requirements. Non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues, such as golf, baseball and tennis will be allowed to resume. BMVs across Ohio will reopen, but government officials encourage citizens to utilize the BMVs online services when possible. Read more here.
May 31: Day care centers will be able to reopen in Ohio. Read more about the plan to reopen day cares here. Day camps and summer camps will also be allowed to operate. Details on that here.

While these announced reopenings encompass the majority of the businesses, agencies and events closed and canceled by the state's orders, the governor has not yet made an annoucements on when K-12 schools in the state will reopen, nor when places of public amusement, such as theme parks, gambling businesses, skating rinks, movie theaters, and others will be allowed to reopen. See a full list of indoor and outdoor places that remain closed here.

Click here for more details on the state's "Responsible RestartOhio" plan.