Taylor Swift’s endgame? Helping as many people as she can during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After donating thousands of dollars to individual fans facing financial hardships during the global health crisis, the pop star is stepping up her game to save a beloved business in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.
As small businesses around the country close amid state-ordered lockdowns, Swift reached out with direct help for Grimey’s New & Preloved Music, which has served Nashville music lovers for 20 years.
The record store and concert venue shuttered earlier this month in response to the mayor’s stay-at-home order, leaving many of its employees in financial jeopardy.
Enter Swift, who quietly offered staffers “direct relief” and paid for three months’ worth of health care for all employees, giving the music landmark a fighting chance during unprecedented times.
“We were very surprised, and I would have to say amazed, that Taylor Swift reached out to us through her publicist to offer some relief during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Doyle Davis, Grimey’s co-owner, told Rolling Stone. “I didn’t even know we were on her radar, but she really stepped up to help after the recent tornadoes that struck Nashville and middle Tennessee, and now she’s trying to help a beloved small business in her city.”
Doyle called the singer’s donations a “huge deal” for the business, which he feared might go the way of many other small businesses being devastated by the economic collapse caused by the pandemic.
“Now I have some peace of mind as we apply for [Small Business Administration] loans to pay rent, vendors, and other expenses,” Doyle said. “This assistance from Ms. Swift helps give us a real shot at coming back on the other side of this.”
Swift has a long history of generosity. She created her own foundation to help Tennessee recover from 2010 flooding and has made sizeable contributions to causes that include disaster relief, education and LGBTQ equality.
The Grammy winner revealed on her Instagram stories earlier this month that she’s been contributing unspecified amounts to the World Health Organization and Feeding America during the coronavirus crisis.
She also finds ways to make a difference for individuals. In recent days, many fans have come forward to tell how Swift reached out via social media after seeing posts about their struggles on Tumblr, where the singer regularly communicates with her fanbase.
Swift has donated $3,000 to 20 fans to help them make rent and pay other bills, according to Rolling Stone.
And for others, Swift urged her massive following not to be complacent and to stay home amid the pandemic.
“Guys - I follow you online and I love you guys so much and need to express my concern that things aren’t being taken seriously enough right now,” she said on her Instagram stories.
“I’m seeing lots of get togethers and hangs and parties still happening. This is the time to cancel plans,” Swift wrote, adding: “Don’t assume that because you don’t feel sick that you aren’t possibly passing something on to someone elderly or vulnerable to this.”