CITRUS COUNY, Fla. - Many small businesses in Citrus County are suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some forced to temporarily close their doors. But one company in Crystal River is doing its part to help other small businesses make it through this difficult time.
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Shipyard Dog printing shop in Crystal River is buzzing inside, making t-shirts for a purpose.
“Being a small business we see it first hand how immediately a drop off in work really affects your pocketbook,” said Shipyard Dog owner Jim Briley.
When the pandemic began, Briley said their orders stopped coming in. And they weren’t alone.
“We look around Crystal River and the whole Citrus County area has a lot of small businesses. They all seemed to be impacted immediately,” he explained.
They wanted to do something to help everyone get through this time, so they partnered with the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce to print shirts as a way to raise money for other local businesses.
They created a website with different t-shirt designs for businesses in the area. Ten dollars from each t-shirt sale will go directly to that business.
Shipyard Dog will then mail the shirts to anyone in the lower 48 for free.
It’s an effort they’re calling the “Citrus County Pandemic Support Team.”
One of the businesses participating is Hunter Springs Kayaks. The company's doors have been closed since the end of March.
“As soon as international travel came to a screeching halt or even the idea of an international virus we started to see dramatic drops in our reservations,” said Hunter Springs Kayaks Owner David Perry.
Perry said this fundraiser will be a big help for his business.
“We saw a potential in it so we decided to jump on board and help them help us and help the community,” Perry explained.
“We feel for those guys. We of course don’t want to be waiting for something to happen through government funding or some other way which we greatly appreciate all they’re doing but we wanted to take action ourselves,” Briley added.
Each company will be on the website for a limited time.