Resilience Stories: How a company in Oakland arouses hope in a pandemic
Blaisdell’s business products has been providing office supplies and support to communities for over 70 years. What started out as a small retail business has grown into a multi-million dollar e-commerce business focused on the needs of other local businesses. Blaisdell’s is family owned, family run and certified green. The company’s headquarters are currently in Oakland, California. You are a graduate of the ICIC Inner City Capital Connections program and a valued member of our small business network.
Despite the enormous impact of COVID-19, Blaisdell’s is now delivering more to their communities than usual. The company used this time proactively to strengthen partnerships and use all available resources to support the needs of its local community. Because of the lower number of deliveries, Blaisdell’s trucks are now used to transport weekly food donations from the Alameda County Community Food Bank to several public school distribution locations in Oakland. They have also partnered with leading food industry companies such as Ghirardelli Chocolate and Vistar to facilitate their product donations and deliver to first responders and organizations such as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.
Blaisdell is not only committed to providing support during office hours, but also wants to give extra hands on weekends. Recently, a small group of their employees volunteered to pack 480 backpacks for homeless men and women in the Bay Area. Each bag contained a variety of essential hygiene products, food, and water provided by the Lend A Hand Foundation and several local business sponsors. In addition, they recently teamed up with Roonga to launch a school supply campaign to support distance learning. Schools provide remote resources, but many students still lack basic services to improve their home education.
When asked about their experiences so far, the team said: “It warms our hearts when so many companies work with us to help those affected by the COVID 19 outbreak! We hope that our history of resilience and community support will inspire others to do the same. “
This story is part of our Stories of Resilience series, which introduces small businesses in the ICIC network that focus on doing good in their communities during the COVID 19 crisis. If you are a small business doing the same thing, we would love to hear your story. Please send an email to [email protected]
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