You’re invited to stand with us on Viva Giving Day: Our goal is for 1,000 people to donate to Viva on March 7, 2021 to show how many good people value personal Freedom and #JusticeForViva. No gift is too small or too large.
We want to stay open and continue to provide the special place Viva is in our community. But we need your help to spread the word about Viva Giving Day with all your friends and followers and to donate on March 7. If we raise enough money to cover our expenses (including operating, utilities, and legal), we will donate the remainder to other local small businesses.
As you know, the past year has been detrimental to small businesses, and ours is no exception. In addition to decreased sales due to lockdowns and economic uncertainty, Viva was wrongfully accused of violating health regulations, even though we’ve passed all health inspections, including often-changing COVID-19 protocols. Pima County deliberately targeted us and added us to their “Wall of Shame,” resulting in death threats to our family and staff, hateful social media comments, and fake reviews, and further decreasing shop traffic. You can catch up on the story in the videos, below.
A little of our history
Viva Coffee House opened in October 2018, with the goal of providing ethically sourced, locally crafted coffee in a warm, welcoming environment.
From the beginning, Viva has been a community hub, devoted to serving others. From dessert nights to car shows, to superhero events and painting nights, we’ve gotten to know people’s stories; we’ve delighted in randomly giving free gift cards to those needing a lift, supporting local teams, providing the perfect space for people to meet, connect, and feel like they have a home away from home. Viva is family-owned and family-oriented. We feel so blessed to be part of such an incredible community and grateful for the many customers who have become like family!
Why aren’t you getting help from federal programs or other grants?
We have, unfortunately, fallen outside the guidelines we’re aware of, which do not factor in the revenue growth needs of a new business. The truth is, if we had sustained the high losses required for these programs, we would already be closed. We worked twice as hard last year just to remain open, and we are still struggling to catch up. Across-the-board price increases for supplies and labor have compounded the challenge.
Why should I donate if I already go in to purchase coffee?
Supporting our business by coming in for coffee and treats is awesome, and we are grateful for each person who does. Giving Day goes above and beyond to unite voices of Freedom across Tucson and our nation, and to extend extra support to Viva to keep the business operating. Daily transactions help cover the cost of doing business. Additional donations will help pay back rent and utilities, and cover legal fees.
Did Viva break the law/were they out of compliance with health regulations?
Viva has a strong history of diligently upholding health and safety standards and has always been in compliance. Common misconceptions about the current Pima County “mask mandate” have created confusion and conflict in our society. If you read Section 2 of Pima County Resolution 2020-96, you will see that masks need only be worn when a six-foot distance cannot easily be maintained. There are exclusions for those who cannot “medically tolerate a mask,” and parties of up to 10 in a restaurant setting, as well as other exclusions. Viva upholds those standards but was wrongfully and falsely targeted by administrators with non-health-related motives to “make an example” of a few local businesses.
Radio Interview with Garrett Lewis and Blog Post: