05.28.2020|Inside Verizon

A lyrical look back at Pay It Forward Live.

By: Andy Choi

How 70 million livestream views bolstered our support of small businesses.

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After nine weeks, tonight marks the series finale of #PayItForwardLIVE, the livestream series sponsored by Verizon that featured big name celebrities in support of America’s small businesses.

With top musical artists like Janelle Monae, Chance the Rapper and Luke Bryan, as well as video game battles between celebrities, NASCAR drivers, NFL stars and pro gamers, the series garnered more than 70 million livestream views.

More than 400 small business owners are set to receive up to $10,000 each through the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund, all to help them meet payroll, pay rent and address operational needs. And the good news is spreading fast. Our first round of small business grants made headlines in New York City, Richmond, VA, Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Bozeman, MT, just to name a few.

Grant recipients included April Coop, owner of Annabel Lee’s restaurant in Jacksonville, IL. “If it hasn’t done anything else, it’s made us just realize what we did have,” said April. “We are very thankful for that. And for Verizon for doing this for us. It’s amazing.”

For tonight’s series finale, be sure not to miss the musical artist who kicked things off nine weeks ago, Dave Matthews, as he returns for an encore performance.

Speaking of nine weeks ago, it was about that time that we started this show, Up To Speed Morning Edition. We hope you’ve enjoyed watching. Tune in tomorrow to hear about the big changes we have in store for the future.

Tell us what you think of Up To Speed.

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