"I wound up coming across a small business and I personally never heard of them," said Patrick Visgil about his travels working for DoorDash. "And I wondered to myself how many other small businesses are out there that people don't know about."
Visgil, who also works at Wawa in Ardmore, decided to launch the SmallBizPhilly76 campaign to raise awareness and pride for these businesses.
"When it comes to things like marketing and advertising, I feel like that shouldn't be a cost that they have to put up with," he said.
So, Visgil reached out to Nick Onushco, owner of The Ram King custom designs from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, to create branded t-shirts. The duo reached out to local hot spots and signed them up for the project at no cost. For every shirt sold, $10 of the proceeds goes back to the respective business.
"Everybody loves a t-shirt," said Onushco, who hails from a family of printers. "It's a connection that you're making with that person. They remember you and they go and spread the good word about your business."
One of those grateful businesses is the Bagel Barn Cafe, which recently opened in Chalfont, Pennsylvania, at the end of March 2021. The brother-sister-duo at the helm spent more than a year fighting to open their doors to the community.
"We got incorporated the day before everything shut down," said co-owner Bobby Knox, referring to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. "We've had delays. But we persevered."
Co-owner Diana Urbinati says the SmallBizPhilly76 project has been a great help to her budding business.
"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to do an incredible amount of advertising because of staff," she said, noting the difficulties of finding employees. "The campaign has been another extension of working with local to help each other."
Shirts are currently for sale on Printavo, which can be accessed by clicking here. The deadline to purchase a shirt for the first wave of the campaign is this Sunday, May 16th. So far, they have raised more than $1,500.
Interested businesses will be eligible to sign up for the second campaign, which Visgil hopes to launch in August or September. In order to inquire about participating, contact The Ram King through their website.
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