In a time where people may feel most divided, a local business owner decides to start a campaign to help Winnipeggers feel united.
Since the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Winnipeggers have been encouraged to stay home to practice social distancing from their friends, neighbours, and communities. This has affected many local businesses as they’ve had to adjust operations, or close up shop all together. “During this time, I needed to take control of what I can control,” said Cory Beal, founder of Floodway Print Co. “For some businesses, they’re making masks. Others are delivering groceries.”
Beal launched the #StayStrongWPG campaign on April 2, 2020. The company is selling custom graphic t-shirts for $25 and with every unit sold, $10 will go towards a local business of the consumers choice. Generation Green, Winnipeg Harvest, and Siloam Mission are just a few of the establishments they’re supporting with this campaign.
“I think that the silver lining in all of this is that Winnipeg isn’t at the forefront,” said Beal. “We need to stay optimistic and find a way to exist together.”
The screen-printing shop is offering a variety of colours with original graphics from local designers such as Jordan Stephensen, The Travelling Sign Painters, and 4two Design Inc.
“This whole situation has really hurt many small businesses, many of which are individual makers,” said Joseph Pilapil, one of the artists in The Travelling Sign Painters. “This campaign really makes them feel like part of one community.”
Floodway Print Co. was found in 2014 when Beal was trying to order his own custom t-shirts for BMX events. He learned a lot about how shirts are made but had a lot of trouble getting orders done on time. He saw a lack in great communication and quality design, which inspired his business.
“I wanted to do things differently for the team and for the customers,” said Beal.
He became a member of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce in 2019 after a few years being in business. He began attending many events and was able to meet many individuals in the community.
“They’ve done so much positive work for businesses in Winnipeg,” said Beal. “It was an easy decision to pull the trigger on a membership.”
For this year’s 11th Annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards, Floodway Print Co. was one of three businesses nominated for the Workplace Culture Award, an award sponsored by CPHR that recognizes practices and enabling conditions for improved exclusivity, productivity, skills, health, and satisfaction for employees.
Beal said that the concept of fundraising online isn’t a new one and he hopes this campaign will inspire more Winnipegers to “pass on the good deed.”
As of April 15, the #StayStrongWPG campaign has raised over $1700 and Beal is eager to pass the funds along.
“I want to help other businesses,” said Beal. “Even if it’s just an extra $10 for their lunch that day.”
To do your part in supporting local businesses in Winnipeg, click here to pre-order your own #StayStrongWPG t-shirt.