Wearing out the virus: Shop sells “local love” t-shirt to help other businesses

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HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Some small shops in our region are coming together and trying to stay positive.

Members of the local business community said they were scrambling to figure out how they’d be able to keep money coming in to their stores. Now, businesses are hoping to earn some money during this shutdown, thanks to a simple t-shirt.

The storefront for Lightning Bug Gift Company is in the dark just one week after Governor Wolf’s business shutdown.

“Most of our income comes from from in-person sales either through our retail store front or events, which are postponed for the foreseeable future, so it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but we felt like it was the right one,” Owner Becki Hollen said

Co-owners Hollen and Chris Bencivenga worked from home before opening their shop on Allegheny Street in Hollidaysburg.

When they had to close last week, they wanted to find a source of income from themselves and other business owners.

That’s when they thought of printing t-shirts from their home.

“We’ve always believed that, they say, ‘a rising tide lifts off ships,’ so working together is gonna help us get through this and then come out on the other side,” Hollen said.

26 businesses are taking part in “Printing Local Love.” The shirts have the business’s logo on the front, like Maker Studio. Owner Sarah Baumbach said her business depends on events and classes that now are postponed or cancelled. She hopes the t-shirt sales help her and other small businesses get by.

“The t-shirts I feel are just a great way because with just a small amount, you can chip in and it helps two small businesses,” she said.

The t-shirts are on sale on the Lightning Bug Gifts website. They’re $20 each. The money is split between Lightning Bug, for shipping and printing, and the business of your choice.

Orders need to be placed by March 31st.

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