National Small Business Week is traditionally the first week of May in the U.S.. While COVID-19 has prompted the postponement of the official Small Business Association (SBA) celebration, it’s important that we recognize and express our gratitude to small businesses everywhere … more so now than ever.
For 75 years, U-Haul has partnered with local small businesses, the lifeblood of our do-it-yourself moving operation. Small businesses across the U.S. and Canada comprise the U-Haul Dealer Network, representing more than 90% of the truck- and trailer-sharing locations in our organization. In exchange for serving their communities’ moving needs with our essential services, U-Haul neighborhood dealers earn commissions off rental equipment transactions at their business, boosting their incomes and sustaining their ability to employ local workers.
The very first one-way U-Haul customer was directed to deliver their trailer to the nearest local service station at their destination, holding a recruitment offer for that service station to join the U-Haul network. Today, more than 20,000 small business owners have opted to join U-Haul in a successful partnership to increase their own resiliency in expanding and contracting economies, as well as ensuring the equity of access to convenient, reliable and affordable shared-use mobility options.
U-Haul is extremely grateful to the small business teams that continue to serve DIY moving customers during this challenging time. We can’t predict what the coming weeks will bring, but we have never been more proud to support your efforts.
Developing small businesses in West Virginia
In West Virginia, we are teaming with The Conservation Fund to take our appreciation one step further. U-Haul has partnered with The Conservation Fund since 2007, offering our customers an opportunity to donate at checkout to plant trees, build urban parks and support green economic development–with 100% of donations going directly to these efforts.
Recognizing that economic development is vital right now, a portion of 2019 U-Haul customer donations will be used to support small business development across West Virginia. This support will come from The Conservation Fund's small business fund affiliate, the Natural Capital Investment Fund, in the form of loans, technical assistance and capacity building to small businesses that revitalize downtowns, grow local and healthy food systems, enhance sustainable tourism, increase access to clean energy and more.
The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in West Virginia, driven by small businesses employing nearly 50% of the state’s workforce. To those small businesses, The Conservation Fund, Natural Capital Investment Fund and the local U-Haul Team members and customers who contribute to this effort, we sincerely thank you.
Small businesses continue to drive our country forward through their resourcefulness, creativity, adaptability and innovation. To our neighborhood dealers and all small businesses across North America, U-Haul honors you.
Watch the video below to learn more about what’s happening in West Virginia and how U-Haul is partnering with The Conservation Fund to help.