DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – A fundraising effort to help small businesses in De Pere is gaining momentum. It’s called #DePereStrong; a T-shirt sale to help fund a grant program to help small business owners survive.
Along Broadway in De Pere, businesses closed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Others like restaurant Hey Soup Sister owned by Joell Hill remain open.
“Doing things differently with curbside and just take out,” said Hill.
Trying to survive in this pandemic that has slashed her sales by 50 percent.
“You have to continue to think positive and know that we’re going to get through this and be able to get back to normal,” said Hill.
According to Definitely De Pere, 60 percent of the businesses they represent say they may permanently close if the pandemic continues. And Tina Quigley is hoping the community won’t let that happen.
“Now is such a critical time for us to do what we can as a community, to help these small businesses that are suffering,” said Quigley, executive director of Definitely De Pere.
So the organization is selling #DePereStrong T-shirts with 100 percent of net proceeds going toward the group’s COVID-19 relief fund, which the city has pledged to match.
“The city of De Pere committed a $50,000 match to our fund, so we’re in the process of raising $50,000 to that so we can ensure that match,” Quigley said.
That relief fund will provide grants of up to $2,500 to eligible small businesses. And after just a few days T-shirt orders are pouring in.
“So far we have raised over $5,000 in T-shirt sales,” she said.
Along with Covid-19 Relief Fund grant applications from many small businesses.
“We already have over $70,000 in requests,” Quigley said.
And Joell Hill plans to apply very soon.
“I really hope we can come back strong and all of these efforts from Definitely De Pere are certainly going to help the business owners to do that,” HIll said.
If you’d like to order a #DePereStrong T-shirt follow this link.