Our success stories – Persevering in a complex city during a perilous year

We drive economic growth and social equity throughout Jerusalem by helping thousands - men and women, Jews and Arabs, secular and religious - acquire the skills and know-how to successfully build small-to-medium-sized businesses, and thereby gain economic independence for themselves and for their families.

We did not choose the pandemic. We woke up one morning and it was everywhere. What we did choose, however, was not to waver. Lockdown or no lockdown, MATI did not close its doors for even a single day. Instead, we pivoted to help small businesses everywhere in Jerusalem survive an unprecedented situation.

Most businesses were forced to let some if not all their employees go. Their revenues plummeted. Unemployment across Jerusalem skyrocketed, with the hardest hit being those most on our radar: women, new immigrants, Haredi neighborhoods, and the Arab community in East Jerusalem. And then there was everyone else.

Our offices were inundated with calls for help. Hundreds a week. So we decided to deplete our resources. Investing in additional manpower, we sat down individually with struggling businesses to and the short term solution that would keep each one afloat. We converted our programs to online formats and added crisis- management features.

And we initiated the launch of two community-wide e-commerce sites on which 600 stores now conduct business. Most especially, we facilitated the immediate approval of loans that rescued businesses in Jerusalem from bankruptcy.