Jenny Beck, an attorney who runs a law firm in Dunedin, New Zealand, knew that many small businesses in her area were in trouble because they depended on tourism. So she got an idea. At the first staff meeting with everyone back from lockdown, the mood was anxious. Some feared possible lay-offs. But instead of salary cuts, the law firm owner gave each of her 14 employees $1,000 in cash. Many wept.
The shocked workers were also given a caveat about the money they received -- pay it forward. They were to spend it all on small businesses, so Beck suggested they take a long weekend, paying for accommodation, food at local restaurants, and tourist attractions, to help start the local economy rolling again.