Am American Sentry Solar Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Carmen (right) presents a $1,000 check to JoAnne Garrett (center), the owner of Good Doggie Daycare in Baltimore, who was selected by American Sentry Solar customer Summer to receive the money. Image via YouTube.

American Sentry Solar plans to donate $87,000 to small businesses in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania by the end of the year, the solar company announced Wednesday.

President and CEO Joe Tunney said the decision to help businesses in need during the pandemic was an easy one, especially after his own company dealt with similar economic challenges during the Great Recession.

“The aftermath of COVID has left millions of Americans unemployed and small businesses struggling just to keep the lights on,” Tunney said in a statement. “As a business owner who was heavily impacted by the Great Recession, I know all too well the pain my fellow business owners have and continue to endure. With that in mind, we could not just sit by while thousands of dreams were crushed. To me, the only option was to help.”

Through American Sentry Solar’s Small Business Recognition Program, which launched in May, customers can select a small business of their choice for the solar company to give $1,000, as well as a certificate with the reason they were selected.

American Sentry Solar will award $1,000 checks to a total of 87 businesses by the end of 2020, with checks already given to 60 businesses, the company said in a press release.

The company has posted videos of some of the business owners’ reactions on their website.

Although American Sentry Solar was able to acclimate to the pandemic, many other businesses were hit hard, said Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Carmen.

“Just like many other businesses at the start of the pandemic, we didn’t know what our future held. It was a scary time,” Carmen said in a statement. “Thankfully, we were able to adapt and survive virtually whereas other businesses we know and love were not as fortunate, and today, are still living with the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not they’ll make it. The Small Business Recognition Program is our way of helping our customers reduce their electric bill and carbon footprint while putting a bit of hope back into the community.”

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at