10 years in! At this point in our history we’d invested $100 million in quality-job-creating companies, and provided 215 companies with pro bono advice. In 2008 PCV took our theory of change one step further, starting to show how investing in small, local businesses and prioritizing quality job creation over excessive shareholder profits can recession-proof an economy. 2008 was the year that America’s economy tipped into recession, yet our companies had job growth levels at 12% — while similar companies in all states reported average declines.
We’ve proven that we can create successful, double-bottom-line businesses where traditional models fail. Historically, small businesses have been our country’s reliable growth engine. In thriving and challenging economies, small businesses have employed more people and created more growth.
Even though our economy was on precarious footing this year, we kept pushing the ball forward on improving the lives of working Americans. We piloted a new innovation in healthcare with the VIDA Card initiative – pre-paid MasterCards for our small businesses’ employees to use for medical expenses and co-pays. Far from an ideal solution, it was a way for philanthropists and investors to offset the rising healthcare costs for workers at companies that couldn’t yet afford full employee-sponsored healthcare plans.
Maura, an employee of Farmacia Remedios, faced a frightening medical emergency. “I had to have surgery on May 21st. I needed laproscopic surgery to have my gull bladder removed which is very expensive.” In the past, as an hourly worker with few resources, Maura would not know where to turn to pay for the surgery. Now, thanks to Farmacia Remedios decision to enroll with VidaCard Prepaid MasterCard®, Maura got the care she needed. “I used VidaCard to pay for the office visits and a portion of the total bill.” Now fully recovered, Maura praises the benefits of VidaCard “Es rapido, es facil y todos acceptan.” (It’s fast, it’s easy and everybody accepts it).