Homebase recently opened an office in Houston, and many of our employees and their families live in Houston. We also are lucky to count many merchants in and around Houston as our customers. When Harvey hit, our entire company’s thoughts and priorities shifted to support the employees and businesses affected by the storm.
We are grateful that our team members and their families are safe. Several of them had flooding in their homes. Many evacuated. One of our customer success employees offered her home to another team member, and they stayed together through the flood.
Our merchants have surprised and humbled us by the care they have shown for us. To our merchants, in Houston and around the country, thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and concerns. We have been so grateful.
Many of our merchants in Houston have suffered. We saw over 85% of our Houston customers closed on the Friday before the storm hit, and most were still closed well into this week. We know that even a few days of lost revenue can have a devastating impact.
In the wake of Harvey, we plan to show our commitment to our merchants in Houston. We are automatically waiving all fees for our Houston merchants for three months. We also are offering to set up GoFundMe pages on behalf of any business affected by the storm so they can raise donations from the many generous people across the country who want to help. And we will promote the area businesses that we work with who have opened their doors to start serving their community again.
Our resolve to help all of our customers, in Houston and around the country, has never been stronger. Houston is home to our customer success team, which answers questions from all of our merchants and assists them in using our tool. During the storm, we continued to respond to customer questions. As one team member might lose power, another team member would log in and take their place. Our San Francisco staff pitched in, and teams from Engineering to Marketing set their to-do list aside and answered customer questions to bring relief to their Houston teammates.
We are dedicated to our employees in Houston, our merchants in Houston, and the small business community more broadly. We know others have the same dedication. Please consider donating to the GoFundMe pages we’ll set up and to other charities, like the American Red Cross, that are doing such critical work. Of course, if you live in the Houston area, please frequent the small businesses you love. They need customers and your support now, more than ever.
Together, we will help Houston rebuild and be as strong as its residents and businesses, who make Houston a great place to work and call home.