ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) — A new business that was just launched in Rochester has the mission to help other local businesses rebound from the pandemic.
When Rochester native and Pro Image-Screen Print co-owner Ryan Froh saw local businesses in the city suffer amid pandemic shutdowns, he knew he couldn’t just sit back watch.
“I’ve worked with so many businesses. I’ve seen them thrive,” Froh said. “Then, the pandemic hit and some people didn’t know how they were going to even make it into next week. I wanted to help.”
A few months ago, he channeled his love for the city, and motivated by his dream of owning his own clothing line, Froh took the leap and started Wear Local Clothing. It’s not just any clothing line. Its goal is to give back to the community.
He got his friend and local business owner Pasquale Presa on board and together, the duo started to try to change lives one shirt at a time.
People can purchase sweatshirts, t-shirts and hats featuring sayings like “Local” and “Support Local Business” and “You Betcha.” The merchandise was designed with the help of local artists.
The concept is simple. Businesses can discreetly apply for help, and indicate how much money is needed. When someone buys merchandise, 50% of net the profit from the sale will go to that business. Once the goal is reached, the business gets a check.
“We can’t change a whole business,” Froh said. “Just, here’s a check and that solves all your problems for a whole year, right? So, what we’re doing is we’re doing marketing. We’re doing resources, we’re helping out with that. We’re sharing peoples’ stories on one centralized brand. You know, saying go check this place out, and check this place out.”
Froh and Presa recently presented their first check of $3,000 to Cameo restaurant. It recently reopened after months of being closed.
“It’s all about what can we do to keep it local,” Presa said. “To help each other foster that care. We want to foster the hope that dreams come back to normality. At the same time, helping one another to do good. When you do good, you get good back.
Froh said he has gotten help from Rochester photographers and those in the marketing field. He hopes to help promote them also.
The men have big plans ahead. They plan on hosting a cooking competition event in the summer to further raise funds to help businesses. They also have a special Mother’s Day promotion that just started.
To learn more, visit the Wear Local website.