Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Help us Help the Channel!

HELP! The Channel needs to raise $20,000 this week to keep operating. The Channel means so much to so many, please consider donating to help them keep the doors open.
Here is a note from the owner/operator.

"Dear Channel Family,

Jay here. I just wanted to take a minute to share an urgent need with you. As you know we moved back to Downtown in June of 2010. It has been an exciting time, but it has also been a trying time. During start up in the new location, and with the projections we had for the restaurant, we hoped we would be in a much different place financially.

We have had several obstacles as we have moved forward with our vision for The Channel. For those of you who may not have had the chance to come to the new place yet, we have moved to a 14000 sq ft building in the heart of the city. Our renovations ended up costing more than we had planned for, as it always seems to happen that way. We opened Grille 33 on June 12th to help generate some cash flow as we continued to work on the venue. We had to be out of the old location on Orchard Park by the end of March meaning we were closed for almost three months between locations.

We had our first show at the end of July with Brian Head Welch. For those of you who are, and have been faithful supporters/concert goers, you must have noticed that our concert numbers haven’t been what they were at the old location. The reason for that is we needed to build another staircase to provide a second entrance/exit from the venue level. With that being said, we have taken a pretty hard blow financially. We went from doing 20 plus events a month to prior to this month only doing at the most 11 in any given month. The next part should be real easy to understand. Our expenses went up with the new location, but our show numbers went down. That can only do one thing, and that is create a gap.

As you all know, or should know by now, The Channel isn’t about Jay and Amanda McAbee. It’s about YOU! We exist as a place where everyone can feel like they are a part of the big picture. From the local opener that gets booked to play a show with their favorite National artist to the regular concertgoer. The Channel is here to meet many needs, and fill many voids in the community. The exciting part for us is meeting each and every one of you, and developing new relationships.

The Channel was actually started 15 yrs ago as The Carpenters Cellar. It was located in downtown, but in an underground location that was very small. My wife and I took it over 5 years ago with a new and fresh vision. We have grown, moved twice, and outgrown every location we have been in up to this point. With growth comes change, and with change comes responsibility. We opened Grille 33 as an attempt to help fund The Channel. Within the first several months of opening, we found ourselves in a tough place. The Channel is a 501(c)3 non-profit, but Grille 33 is for profit. The issue was that Grille 33 had only made about 20% of its projections from start up. There were factors that contributed to this that were out of our control. It forced us to shift our focus from The Channel to the Grille. We have worked very hard over the tough winter months to turn the Grille around and get it to turn a profit. Just to build your faith as you are reading this message, 3 months ago the Grille was over $33000 in the negative. Today it is now starting to turn a profit. The turn around for the Grille has been an awesome testimony of faith, and a belief that anything is possible if you just believe.

The last week of December we got a donation to build the staircase that I mentioned. We worked so hard to turn the Grille around that The Channel had taken a back seat. The staircase was started in January, and I have started booking heavily again. We had 26 events this month alone, and I have dates booked out into June already. Events in March include 5 dates with National artists. One big one is March 25th with Brian Head Welch returning to The Channel for a second time.

What we have at The Channel is something very special. It’s a place to connect, to build relationships, to have accountability, a place to belong. Being a non-profit, we have weathered the storms of financial struggle with fundraising, and donations, which leads me to the hard question: does The Channel mean something special to you?

If so we need your help. We need to raise $20,000 in the next seven days. I know I may have just lost some of you, but hear me out first. We have 737 followers of our group on Facebook. What we have is strength in numbers. If everyone would get involved we could meet this need with no problem. If all 737 people donated $27 we would meet our need or if only 200 of you gave $100. It’s a small request to make if you believe in The Channel.

The reality is The Channel is not just a cool place to go see a show, or to hang with friends. Don’t get me wrong, it totally is that, but it’s more. It’s a story of Faith, a belief that, “All things are possible.” We could’ve never made it this far without YOU. I hope every person that reads this will consider how he or she could help. Please don’t just read this and say, “someone else will do it”, because what if they don’t. I’ve never sent a message like this before, so please understand the need is real. I can’t say what will happen if people don’t respond, but I can say our future is bright if you do.

Thanks for your time and consideration,


How to give:

Come to The Channel
Call the Channel 552-1945

Send it in the mail:
The Channel
221 North Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Through Paypal via:

Please include your name, address, email/phone number if you would like a tax deductible receipt."

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