A Force for Local

A Force For Local is a volunteer campaign that enables anyone to support our local businesses

When it comes to supporting local businesses, we all have a role to play. With the Force for Local, we've partnered with Equalyze to match individuals with various skill sets to local businesses that need technical assistance, a specific project completed, or simply increased capacity during the holiday season.

Force for Local Volunteers can donate any number of hours per week, and small businesses are connected to assistance free of charge. Learn more about the program for both Individuals and Small Businesses below!

Join the Force

Individuals: How You Can Help

Force for Local participants are matched with a Small Business, and then volunteer their skills and advice for anywhere from 2-10+ hours per week (you decide!) Below are some areas that small businesses need help with, but everyone can help small businesses, no matter your skills, experiences, or background.
Local Pickup & Delivery
If you have a car or bike, you can help businesses compete with larger companies by helping them offer delivery of their products.
Social Media Marketing
Are you an Insta native? Love using Twitter? Help promote local businesses to your online networks.
Content Creation (Graphics, Photos) 
Can you design graphics or take a great product photo with your phone? Put your skills to work helping improve the digital marketing of a local business.
Professional or Business Services
If you're a lawyer, accountant, developer, or other service provider who could support local businesses, sign up to offer free support to struggling stores.
Website Development
Can you design or build a great website or e-commerce platform? Put your skills to work for a local business in need of a revamped digital presence.
You're Supported

The Force For Local is Here to Help

When you're a part of the Force, you are never alone. You have direct access to the other Force for Local members and the Equalyze team, so that you can always get the support you need to support small businesses.

Individuals: Join the Force
Local Businesses

Don't Struggle Alone: a Force for Local is here to help

Businesses: Sign Up for Free

Does Your Business Need a Force?

If you are a Baltimore-based business who is in need of social media support, a new website, content creation, or other local services, sign up to be included in the free Force For Local Program.

You will be paired with a Force for Local Volunteer, free of charge, who will work with you to increase your capacity, complete a project, or provide technical assistance

Businesses: Sign Up Now
"Baltimore's small businesses can benefit from community support throughout the entire year - not just the holiday season. This fellowship program will provide a wonderful opportunity to apply your digital skillset and make a tangible impact for a local business."
Pava LaPere, Chairwoman of Emergence Baltimore
“What an amazing work!”
Suzanne Scott
Types of Support

What does your business need help with?

Especially during COVID, digital content and social media marketing are necessary for making sales in today's online world. If your business is struggling to create digital content or execute on social media strategy, a Force for Local volunteer can help with:

  • Graphic Design (Flyers, images, etc) 
  • Product Photography
  • Short Video Creation
  • Social Media Management & Campaigns

Having a well-designed website is vital for customers spending money online, and ensuring that online orders get processed efficiently on the backend is important for optimizing your business' workflow. If you are in need of a new website, ecommerce store, or a more automated digital setup, Force for Local volunteers can help!

  • New Website (non-store)
  • New ECommerce Site
  • Improved Digital Workflow and Processes

The Force for Local network is comprised of individuals from all backgrounds with a ton of different skill sets. While the availability of volunteers isn't guaranteed, here are a few other services that a volunteer may be able to help with: 

  • Accounting or Legal Questions
  • Local Pickup or Delivery for Customers
  • Technical Assistance with resource Applications
  • Submit your own project!
Businesses: Sign Up Now
your community

Meet the Force

Tom Powell
Chief developer at Google
“A successful marketing plan relies heavily on the pulling-power of advertising copy. Writing result-oriented ad copy is difficult, as it must consumers to take action.”
Heather Miller
CEO of Spotify
“Grabbing the consumer’s attention isn’t enough. You have to keep that attention. This is where your benefits come into play or a product description that sets your offer apart from the others.”
Maria Parker
Designer at Webflow
“How you write your advertising copy will be based on where you will place your ad. You’ll need a super catchy headline.”
The force behind the force

Equalyze is Dedicated to Supporting Small Business Owners

Equalyze is a platform that connects small business owners to local college and university students who can provide low-cost services, such as marketing management, content creation, accounting support, and more. Equalyze has partnered with Emergence Baltimore to spearhead the Force for Local Campaign, in order to help Baltimore businesses through the holiday season and beyond.

More About Equalyze
Force For local

Frequently Asked Questions

Individuals: What Happens After I Sign Up To Join The Force For Local?

First, you will receive access to our Force for Local Onboarding Guide + Toolkit. This will explain the next steps and provide additional resources for you to hit the ground running. Then, we will explore our database of small businesses to see if there are any who are in need of the skills that you have or services you can provide. If there's a fit, we'll match you with the small business via email. After that, we'll follow up periodically to ensure that everyone has the support and resources they need.

Individuals: Can I Work With More Than One Business?

Potentially! We encourage all of our volunteers to have an initial conversation and trial period with their partner business. But if it appears not to be a good fit - or you would like to work with an additional business - just reach out to the Force for Local team (forceforlocal@gmail.com) letting us know. We will then do our best to find your a more fitting or additional partner business.

I'm a Local Service Provider or Corporation, how can I get involved?

If you are a service provider (such as a marketing agency, accounting firm, law firm, etc) or another local company or corporation who wants to support small businesses, fill out this form. The Force for Local process is similar to that with individual volunteers - we'll ask what you can offer local businesses, and facilitate a connection if there is a good fit.

Businesses: How Do I Get A Force For Local Volunteer? Is there a cost?

Fill out this form to first be added to our Buy Local Navigator. At the end of the form, check the box that says Are you interested in being connected with a volunteer from our Force for Local program? and then fill out some additional information which will help us to find a volunteer with a compatible skillset.

Businesses: Are there restrictions for who can participate?

Any small business in Baltimore city is eligible to participate, although preference is given to those who have been negatively impacted by COVID, are at risk of shutting down, or otherwise demonstrate need. Businesses can submit any type of project, but we can't guarantee that there will be a Force for Local fellow who can assist with it. If that's the case, we'll try to match to you a fellow who can provide other types of meaningful support