A group of creative Tauranga business owners have launched a new project to help other small businesses weather the storm of Covid-19.
Tom Lear from design agency Society with Sally and Christian Biedrowski from Plastisol Beach Screen Printing came up with the project called Wear Local, which allows people to buy apparel featuring their favourite local brands.
"By buying and wearing this apparel, people aren't just directly putting money in the back pockets of local businesses, they're helping to boost brand awareness and create more business for these brands in the future," he said.
Since launching mid-lockdown, about 17 local businesses including pizza restaurants, barbers and coffee shops, have joined up to have their brands printed on T-shirts or hoodies for people to buy and wear.
Businesses include Mount Brewing Co, Avenue Pizza, Our Place, Folk Brewers and Forty Thieves.
"It was important for us to keep it local," Lear said. "It's from one small business to another. Sometimes people forget how much people love their brands."
Society's Tom Lear said when the lockdown happened, he knew it would have a major impact on his own projects.
"It brought everything to a halt. But after the initial shock and once we got the government subsidy, we started thinking about how we could use our skills to help other businesses."
Lear said the trio understood first-hand what it was like to face the uncertainty ahead and decided to launch Wear Local as a way to help others during this tough time.
"Covid-19 has hit our city hard. Our businesses might not all be up and running just yet, but they will be," he said.
"And when they are, we want to make sure their phones are ringing off the hook and their goods are flying off the shelves."
The project came together within a matter of weeks, Lear said, using his background in brand development and the Biedrowskis' screenprinting skills.
"It was a no-brainer for us to get involved," Sally said. "Plastisol Beach was built on the support of small and local businesses, so this is our opportunity to repay the favour."