ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Small businesses are leaning on each other in order to withstand the effects of the novel coronavirus.

The “Here For Good” collection by the Rockford Art Deli is an example of the unifying effort from small businesses. Companies that have T-shirts made through this collection will get $10 of the profits paid directly to them weekly.

With the stay-at-home order in place many small business have had to drastically adjust their operating procedures to continue to make money until things return to normal.

Jarrod Hennis, owner of the Rockford Art Deli, was inspired by what larger screen printing shops across the country were doing to reinvent themselves during this time and created the collection as his way to support local businesses.

In the first three days, Hennis said that 200 businesses have signed up, more than 885 T-shirts have been ordered and more $22,000 has been raised.

“The heart of Rockford is small business,” Hennis said. “What creates the community is the experience. Going down the street at Prairie Street and grabbing a pizza and coming to us and grabbing a T-shirt. It’s the small businesses that create the experience of a city.”

It’s a process made simple, within 10 minutes a company can have a digital mocked version of the T-shirt and a link to send to customers to purchase. Once the stay-at-home order is lifted and Rockford Art Deli is back operating the shirts will be sent out to customers.

The Here For Good collection allows local businesses to earn extra money without any overhead cost. Rockford Art Deli continues to keep its business viable while closed and it still provides 1% of proceeds from each purchase to Severson Dells Nature Center as part of their contribution to the 1% For The Planet campaign.

Hennis is proud that his company is able to use their brand and prevalence in the community to help other businesses.

“It’s humbling knowing that what we’ve kind of created with the 815 pride movement over the last five years is able to now able to help everyone in the community,” he said.


Source: Rockford Register Star,