The economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus response has been devastating for small-business owners and employees in Chico, as well as the rest of the country. In the last two weeks of March, roughly 10 million people filed for unemployment, and as the largest employer in the United States (accounting for 58.9 million employees or 47.5 percent of the country’s working population) small businesses were hit especially hard by layoffs.
In response to the crisis, Chico’s Silkshop Screen Printing & Graphic Design has started a creative campaign to put money directly in the hands of struggling businesses and workers. Owners Cameron Harry and Nicolas Johnson have started Print Aid, an online store featuring “shirts to support small business.” Local businesses contribute a graphic that Silkshop puts on a shirt and sells for $20, giving $12 from each purchase to the business. So far, there are 60 featured shirts—everything from Chico Chai to Midnite Munchies—in the shop, and they are still accepting submissions. Businesses can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
In other news, a couple of local small-biz-focused websites have gone up since the shutdowns:
The Chico Hospitality Industry Mutual Aid site features links to a wide-range of resources for hospitality-industry workers, including housing assistance, temporary work opportunities, fundraisers and more. This includes the effort congressional hopeful Audrey Denney is behind to help food and beverage industry workers.
And Chico Together is a local-business directory featuring listings of the places that are still open or are offering gift certificates to be used in the future.