On Monday, March 6th, the crowdfunding campaign of the Bamberg Unverpacktladen started. “The last three years of crisis have demanded a lot from us and we are struggling to survive,” it says on the Facebook page of “Unverpackt Bamberg.”
“The constant financial fears and worries are getting us down. We can’t and don’t want to continue like this.” Alina Minier, the owner of the store, explained where the problems lie and how the money from the campaign should be invested.
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“Half of the customers lost”: Bamberg Unverpacktladen launches crowdfunding campaign
The financial worries started during the Coronavirus pandemic. “It was difficult in general. Not only for Unverpacktläden, but all small businesses were in a tight situation during the crises,” says the owner. Planning for the campaign began two months ago. “Customers encouraged us to start. They said they would support us.” For now, she said, the situation is still stable. “The numbers are still okay. We are just barely on the cusp of paying operating expenses.” But “financial fears are real and an issue with us, too,” she explained.
Before the pandemic, the store was doing brilliantly. “There’s no comparison at all. We lost more than half of our customers because of the pandemic.” Since January, the business has been a little better. “We definitely notice an upswing. There have also been customers back who haven’t been in business for a while.” According to her, in the first month, “it went better than the Christmas business. That’s unbelievable since that’s usually when things are at their best.”
One example is the café in the store
“Our daily soup was always sold out. During the pandemic, of course, we had to close our café, and after that it was slow again.” Now it’s experiencing a second boom. “We realized that we had too little space, we would spend some of the money on new tables and a new counter area.” The owners would like to “build a second leg” through this. Likewise, the assortment is to be increased. “We want to offer again everything that people are used to buying from us.”
“Below that, it’s not worth it”: that’s how much money the store needs – donors get quid pro quos
The project will run through the website Startnext. “We have set ourselves €10,000 as a goal. Anything less than that is not worth it. This gives us a financial cushion and we can continue without hesitation,” said Minier. It’s not the first crowdfund the store has launched. “On the same date six years ago, we also did a campaign,” Minier explains. That raised €45,000, according to her.
“At that time, we had virtually no start-up capital; with that and a loan, we financed the store.” So she is “very optimistic that we will reach our goal.”
Through the crowdfunding campaign’s website, interested donors can choose between different “quid pro quos,”
For example, value vouchers can be purchased “that can be redeemed in the store for three years.” In addition, he says, there are a few specials in return, such as drinks and various meals, “which you can pick up by donating.” Financial security is also offered by the owners. “If we don’t get the €10,000 together, every donor gets their money back”. It would be “unfair to people if we take the money and in a year we have to close,” Minier said.
A free amount can also be donated, he added, but that too only through the website. “We’re open to anything. If anyone interested wants to find out more, they’re welcome to come by. We’ll show them everything and what they’re donating to,” she continues. For now, she says, the crowdfund will run for 30 days. “We have now set ourselves a deadline of April 09th, 2023. However, we have the option to extend this once.” The campaign also has no limit, he said. “It’s an open-ended one. The more that is donated, the better.”
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First published in inFranken.de, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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