help keep hello hello books small but powerful

It was not an easy choice to make, asking for help like this. (*Everyone* needs help right now, and part of our job as a bookstore with a mission is to direct you to places that are worthy of all of our support, and commit bookstore resources to them.) But the days and nights I've been in the shop by myself since we closed to the public--packing up orders while my brain whirs, working on how we can reinvent our business model for the fourth time in a week--I've looked around the quiet shop, which we've worked so hard to make feel like a home for so many, and felt like yelling: "I don't want to give this up. I don't want to lose this." And it's that voice that compels me to put aside fear of judgement and guilt and...just ask. 

We will not recklessly open our doors earlier than it's proven safe to do so; of course we want to stay in business, but much more, we want to keep the most vulnerable in our communities and our families safe. We don't know if federal grants for small business relief will be a reality any time soon, and taking on a loan from the SBA (no matter how "low" the interest) is just another way to add debt and destabilize us, borrowing against a very unsure future. 

I've been so moved by the flood of online orders we've gotten since having to close our doors to the public, and we're thankful to each and every person who has supported us in this way. With just two staff members working for the foreseeable future (on separate days, to minimize contact) bills coming due, payroll to maintain as best we can, staff we want to be able to re-hire, and no solid sense of when we'll be safe to open again combined with the very low profit margin built into every order we need to becomes clearer every day how unsustainable this is. Small stores like mine don't have much of a cushion in the best of times.

Donations to this campaign will flow directly back into the business in the form of meeting our payroll commitments, maintaining our website to guarantee access to online ordering, utilities costs, bill payments, and creating a pool to be able to hire back staff members on leave as soon we're able to. We hope to raise enough to qualify us for a small grant from GoFundMe's Small Business Relief Fund , and that will further help us weather this crisis. We want to be there on the other side of this tunnel, and we want you there with us.

If you're able to donate to this fundraiser in any amount, we thank you. If you love the shop but can't donate, consider sharing it with friends and family who can; we thank *you*, too. In so many ways, we're all in this together.

-Lacy Simons
Founder, owner & operator of hello hello books 
Small but powerful since 2011
Rockland, Maine

    • $500 
    • 20 mos
  • Elizabeth Michaud 
    • $100 
    • 21 mos
  • Judith Riff 
    • $25 
    • 21 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 21 mos
  • David Long 
    • $20 
    • 21 mos
See all


Ell Hello 
Rockland, ME
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