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Small business strong

Courtney Blankenship
Erin Kirby of T&W Meat in Pratt shows her muscles (along with daughter Tenley) and support for the #SmallBusinessStrong initiative by wearing a #Small Business Strong t-shirt. The shirts, available for purchase at Pratt's Creative Memories, are part of a fund-raising effort among several small businessses in Pratt.

With the closure of workplaces around the country and the limited availability of Paycheck Protection Program loans, many small business owners have been struggling financially to make ends meet through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pratt business, Creative Restorations, has started an initiative to help local businesses by producing t-shirts at cost and dividing the proceeds from sales equally among participating local businesses.

Co-owner, Lisa Rawlings, said she had the idea around a month ago because she wanted to do something to help Pratt and support small businesses.

“The shirts have #SmallBusiness STRONG inside a silhouette of Kansas and come in 4 colors: black, gray, royal blue, and red tie dye,” Rawlings said. “Sizes range from YS to Adult 4X. Youth sizes start at $16 and adult sizes start at $18.”

Since the shirt sales will be raising funds for local businesses, Creative Restorations will not be offering bulk discounts for the t-shirts because it would take away from the proceeds that will be divided among the businesses. Currently, over 20 businesses are signed up.

“I advertised the idea on Facebook and asked if any small businesses wanted to participate,” Rawlings said. “I asked my Facebook friends to share, tag, or private message me with names of those that might be interested.”

Due to the influx of orders received, shirts are planned to go out around a week after orders are placed. People who are interested in purchasing t-shirts and supporting the cause can do so by ordering through the website, www.creativerestorations.net, or by calling (620) 770-4070.

“Small businesses are the heart of our community,” Rawlings said. “We don’t have very many ‘chains’ in Pratt, so we rely on these businesses for jobs, goods and services, as well as commerce to bring in shoppers from other areas.”

While people are encouraged to buy shirts and ‘wear’ their support for local businesses, Rawlings said Creative Restorations is also accepting tax deductible monetary donations over the phone or through the mail.