Philadelphia business overwhelmed by Groupon deal launches emergency fund drive

The Mt. Airy business that is on the brink of closing following a Groupon deal will launch an emergency fund drive in hopes of staying alive.

Amy Kunkle owner of Food for All Market told NewsWorks today that she is looking for low-interest loans of any amount. 

The idea came from one of her customers whose background is as a chief financial officer. Kunkle said that she realized she needed to create a mechanism for people who wanted to help her. 

 

Response to her closing

Since Tuesday when she announced the store’s closing, she said people have expressed sincere interest in helping her stay open. The shop’s Facebook page is also attracting some promises of support.

“I’ve had about a dozen people say they want to provide some form of financial assistance,” Kunkle said. A private meeting between Kunkle and her supporters is planned for tomorrow at the store to see whether everyone is on board with the low-interest loan idea.

She doesn’t know how much money will come from these initial supporters but said her $30,000 would allow her to keep paying her bills and $50,000 would put her in good shape.

A traditional bank loan is out of the question for Kunkle. “I still have my loan from opening and I will not qualify for it.”

 

How she got to this point

Kunkle says it was a bad decision when she signed up for a Groupon promotion last year that allowed customers to spend $15 and walk out with $30 worth of merchandise. Food for All sells products for people with various food allergies.

She doesn’t blame Groupon for her losses. “I just was never able to recover after that,” she said of financial situation. A call to one of Groupon’s Philadelphia account representatives has yet to be returned.

Although the Groupon promotion ended in August 2011, Kunkle said her revenues aren’t high enough to even out her cash flow. “I have a stack of outstanding invoices that I need to pay, which I intend to as soon as I sell everything,” explaining why she announced her liquidation sale this week.

 

What’s next

Kunkle said she plans to blast out emails and reach out on Facebook in the coming days with details about her emergency loan campaign. She said she doesn’t have a lot of time to make her goals. Asked whether March 1 was a realistic deadline to raise the needed money, “That’ll be too late for me,” she said.

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