If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that flexibility and determination are crucial. The Web, a Macon-based work club, pivoted to meet the needs of its members. It also discovered new ways to bring more members into its fold.
For our first Small Business Spotlight, Persons Banking Company spoke with The Web co-founders Susannah Maddox, Elizabeth Schorr, and Jessica Walden.
They shared how their business is surviving and thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is The Web?
The Web, founded in Macon in January 2020, is a membership-based work club. It was designed to support the work-life blend of women through regular programming, community resources, physical work space, and a network of members from all walks of life.
The Web’s Clubhouse is located in downtown Macon and is a hot-spot for freelancers, artists, life coaches, interior designers, and medical professionals to name a few.
Membership benefits include:
- Access to the Clubhouse–a spacious co-working and networking space–
- Daytime access to Society Garden–a Macon beer garden located in Ingleside Village
- Access to member-only events
- Online programming
- Access to the community Slack channel
- Free conference room bookings
- Network printing
- Fast internet
The Web and COVID-19
“We believe this pandemic is more than making us pivot–we have to shift,” Jessica said.
How are they doing it?
The Web moved its existing programming online and created new, online programming with an intentional focus on not only business health, but mental health as well.
It also created a new membership level for those who wanted access to the online programming.
“We wanted to continue to lean on, and learn from, each other. [The pandemic] definitely shifted our perspective of what it means to have a web, especially when you’re on the World Wide Web and can expand your resources and network globally,” Jessica said.
The Web recently reopened its Clubhouse doors, created more workspace to facilitate social distancing, and implemented COVID-19 policies and procedures to help keep its members safe.
Strengthening The Web–One Small Business at a Time
The Web is a cheerleader for small business, and its founders make a point to support local whenever possible, especially its membership.
“We’ve got an amazing network to shop local,” Jessica said. “We’ve stocked our Clubhouse refrigerator with frozen casseroles from the local shop. We’re purchasing floral arrangements and cakes from fellow members. We’re buying each other’s art because it’s bringing us joy right now.”
Jessica noted when The Web opened, many local businesses owners joined in support of that effort.
“When you become a part of something that’s bigger than you, you find connection and comfort in each other’s passions, pursuits, big business dreams and small side hustles,” Jessica said.
Related: How to Support Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Wrapping Up: Lessons from COVID
All three founders shared what they’ve learned from the pandemic.
Jessica learned the value of the pause. “For one, I’m learning to pause intentionally before I chime in on one of sometimes six Zoom calls a day, so I don’t stumble over another speaker! But it’s also easy to have a knee-jerk reaction these days, out of fear. I’m finding it worth the work to learn to pause, tune in, and become an active listener,” she said.
Susannah, publisher of Macon Magazine, learned to do the next right thing.
“For me, that means constant shifting, not planning, worrying, or reacting out of fear,” she said. “As a juggler of so many trades, I am learning to let go of the glorification of multitasking and busy-ness to sharpen the qualities that make me a more productive human.”
“I am learning to lean into what scares me, my curiosity, and my questions of people who think differently. With The Web, I am learning how to be a good steward and to better support a community of goal-oriented, engaged humans so that we all thrive together in the work-life blend.”
And Elizabeth learned to adjust to a new way of life.
“I’m learning that the only way to eat the elephant is one bite at a time. Adjusting to a new way of working, learning, schooling, and living where the rules change daily is overwhelming. It’s also doable. We can adapt. We can do better. We can do hard things. I’ve learned it’s important to surround myself with support and focus on that first ‘bite.’”
To learn more about The Web, visit workourweb.com.
And if you’d like to be featured in an upcoming Persons Banking Company Small Business Spotlight, email Sylvia Enix at firstname.lastname@example.org.