WINTER PARK, Fla. - A Christmas tree delivery business from Central Florida is getting a little help from Facebook to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Treedrop, LLC, based out of Winter Park, received a $2,500 grant to help with business expenses and $1,500 in advertisement credits from the social media giant. They received the money as part of Facebook’s commitment to award $40 million in grants to small, black-owned businesses in the U.S.
Treedrop Co-Founder Courtney Jasmin said they are grateful to receive the grant and used part of it to create a new video advertisement to raise awareness about their company.
"Giving us advertising and marketing dollars is a big way to help because we’re an online platform. [The video helps us share] that we got this grant, which is a big deal, and now I want you to know who we are," Jasmin said.
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Treedrop is a full-service Christmas tree delivery company. Jasmin said people can buy a Christmas tree on their website and they will deliver and set it up.
Co-Founder Jerry Jasmin said they deliver trees across Central Florida, telling FOX 35 that "over the past 4 years, we’ve delivered trees to Winter Park, Winter Garden, Windemere, [and] Sanford."
Jasmin said he discovered the Facebook grant while scrolling on the social media site and decided to apply for it.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, the Jasmins said they were not sure if their young company would survive. The National Bureau of Economic Research found 440,000 black businesses shut down in the U.S. in 2020 from February to April.
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"I remember having a very tough conversation around this time last year," his wife said. "We didn’t even know we were going to be able to come back."
Thankfully, the Jasmins said Treedrop ended up having its best year since opening four seasons ago. They said they sold out of Christmas trees.
"It’s just a testament that you have to keep going," Jasmin said.
The couple said the Facebook grant is helping them with business expenses and the new ad is helping them stay visible and open for business even in the off-season.
They hope people will see their new ad and keep Treedrop in mind once the Christmas season begins.
"I still go out to people’s homes and shake their hands and just introduce them to Treedrop. Just to let them know we’re here, we’re real. It is truly our first baby," Jasmin said.
The Jasmin's said they have already received a few inquiries about their business since posting the new ad.
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