By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
Have a favorite local business? Put it on a shirt.
Jay Sapovits, owner of Ink’d in Mansfield, has launched a massive effort called Commun-A-Tee to help his fellow business owners and organizations, nearly all of whom have closed their doors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s producing T-shirts featuring the logos of businesses, local sports teams, and non-profit organizations, all for sale at $19 apiece, $10 of which will go directly to the owners.
“I want to keep spirits up. The only solace is everyone is in this together,” said Sapovits. “Everyone is in the same situation.”
It’s an idea Sapovits was introduced to via a friend being done by a print shop in New Hampshire and thought it was a great concept. He didn’t want to just copy it himself, and contacted the owner to compliment the creativity. However, after a brief conversation, the owner suggested that he do it as well. He immediately set to work, and within a day had 20 businesses signed up and expects to have 100 by the end of the week.
“A generous portion of the contribution goes back to the businesses and the businesses get promoted” he said. “It’s kind of a duel win because people wear the brand.”
A number of North Attleborough businesses and organizations have already joined the effort, including Box Seats and the Hockomock YMCA. Norton sports teams, Mansfield Special Olympics, Flint Farms, Jason Adams Music, and Lops Brewing are among the many others that have signed up. The process is simple and requires filling out a form online. Sapovits then produces the design, which is posted to the store’s web site and will be available for printing once businesses are able to re-open. He also promotes four of the businesses or organizations a day on social media.
“I hope they [the shirts] get worn,” said Sapovits. “It’s a multi-tier benefit for the business.”
Sapovits’ business is located in Mansfield Crossing, and on a normal day the parking lot has between 150 and 200 vehicles in it. Since the closure, that number has dropped to just six or seven. He said that it’s a strange sight at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday, but at the same time, he and other owners remain positive.
“I’ve found everybody to be really upbeat, especially in light of the circumstances. We will get by and get through it,” he said. “People have been put in this situation with zero say and have been positive and supportive and been empathetic towards one another. That’s really powerful and uplifting.”