Business Bits

Business Bits

Business Bits

AFC donation benefits Oregon Food Bank

Employees at American Family Care locations in the Portland metro area recently showed their support for Oregonians affected by wildfires by collecting money for Oregon Food Bank. Contributions from 80 AFC employees, along with a match by the company, raised $8,650 when the nonprofit food bank is seeing increased demand for its services.

Year-over-year, Oregon Food Bank already was serving more Oregonians in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, the recent wildfires that destroyed more than 4,000 homes in Oregon resulted in even more individuals and families facing food insecurity, according to Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank CEO.

“In the face of extraordinary challenges, Oregonians have come together in extraordinary ways. … With the support of community partners like AFC, we can ensure all of us emerge stronger from the crises we face,” Morgan said. 

AFC Urgent Care was founded in 1982 and now has more than 200 centers and 600 in-network physicians providing care for nearly 3 million patients across the country. AFC Portland opened in 2011 and now owns and operates five urgent care centers in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.

Portland-based vodka brand enters distribution agreement

Nebula9, a Portland-based artisanal vodka, is about to expand its presence in Oregon with one of the country’s leading wholesale beverage alcohol producers.

In mid-November, the vodka brand announced that it had entered into a distribution agreement with Republic National Distributing Co./Youngs Market Co. (RNDC/YMCO). The new partnership kick-off Jan. 1 with an initial placement of Nebula9 in 276 liquor stores in Oregon. RNDC/YMCO is expected to increase Nebula9’s presence in restaurants, bars and clubs.

Part of a new breed of flavored craft vodkas, Nebula 9 is infused with organic apple cider vinegar and distilled four times. The vodka targets health-conscious adult consumers, touting that it is gluten-free and sweetened with organic agave nectar and organic stevia leaves rather than sugar. The 71-proof vodka, which boasts a 35% ABV, comes in six flavors, including pomegranate and lemon ginger.

Gift-givers favor shopping local this holiday season

Nearly 75% of shoppers say they plan on spending their holiday gift-giving dollars supporting local small businesses, according to a recent survey conducted by digital marketing agency Adtaxi.

The survey, conducted on Oct. 2, collected responses from 824 adults across U.S geographic regions, ages, genders, and income levels. Forty-five percent of respondents plan to spend less money on gifts this year than the amounts spent last year. Meanwhile, 35% plan to spend the same amount and 20% plan to spend more. 

Shoppers are split in their feelings about in-store visits, with 50% of survey respondents saying they felt online ordering and curbside pickup were the safest ways to shop during the pandemic.

The number of shoppers who said they plan to shop entirely online this year was even higher at 62%, with 52% of shoppers indicating they are paying more attention to online advertising this year compared with last year. The survey found that shoppers looking to buy holiday gifts respond most to search and social ads (30%), followed by email and newsletters ads (20%), daily deals (18%), and streaming and pre-roll videos (12%). 

A growing number of small, independent retailers have added e-commerce to their websites to reach customers during the pandemic. However, catching shoppers’ eyes and dollars during the upcoming holiday season will take some extra effort and ingenuity, according to Yael Zlatin, Adtaxi’s director of e-commerce.

“Entering the eighth month under some form of lockdown, this data clearly shows the opportunity for small businesses to reach captive digital audiences,” Zlatin said. “Still, at the crossroads of a monumental election and a uniquely challenging holiday shopping season, marketers will have their work cut out for them to break through the noise. Success in this crowded market will depend on a highly adaptive and targeted digital strategy.”

Zlatin also noted that 68% of people surveyed by Adtaxi indicated they find it helpful when businesses address the pandemic in their advertising. That number is even higher for people who have some reservations about in-store shopping. 

“While consumers are hesitant when it comes to in-store shopping, an overwhelming majority want to support small businesses, and many would prefer to do so online. With so many small businesses relying on holiday shopping to make ends meet, this is not an opportunity to be missed,” Zlatin said. “(Our survey results provide) a first look at how businesses can best compete for holiday expenditures — by leveraging e-commerce to overcome unfavorable perceptions of cost or inconvenience, and by speaking empathetically to the current struggles many families are facing.”

Business Bits
American Family Care and its employees recently donated more than $8,000 to the Oregon Food Bank to support Oregon families affected by recent wildfires.