STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - The stacked chairs in Three Tree Coffee tell the story. Philip Klayman and his staff can only serve curbside delivery and pickup orders.
“Not a lot of people out in public. And obviously we can't have people sitting around the house. So it's a pretty significant hit,” Klayman said.
Chris Gohagan saw something on Facebook and decided to give money to a local business to add something to their customer's order for one day.
“One day turned into two, two days turned into three and it kept rolling. And here we are,” Gohagan said.
It's picked up steam with CORE Credit Union making grants to three more businesses for this week alone.
Here's how it works; Business A donates $100 of goods or services to Business B and the credit union matches that. Business B divides that up as promotional extras to the next so-many customers. Then they team with the credit union to gift forward to Business C.
“We changed it and added the pay it forward. That way, we had it where it wouldn't stop,” said Julie Morrison, with CORE Credit Union.
Community leaders say it's vital for small businesses to survive.
“Even in a tough situation, we still need to talk. We still need to do business with each other because that's the key to recovery,” said Skip Alford, with the Statesboro/Bulloch Chamber.
And keeping customers connected.
“I'd rather have ten customers each buy something than one customer buying one big thing. Because at the end of the day, we all want to be around,” said Don Borowski, with Stateboro’s Best Running.
They hope more communities copy this plan, too.