Everyone knows how difficult it has been to run a small business in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic; it certainly isn’t a secret, and no one is immune. Jefferson Township resident Scott Santucci has seen that as well and came up with an idea to support local small businesses.

Santucci and his partner Steve Rotella own Merch Pros, an apparel printing and embroidery company in Morris County. They had to close and temporarily lay off their entire staff, some of whom are also township residents.

“I noticed people coming together on social media to support the town’s businesses that were still open, mainly restaurants. I wanted to do something to empower business owners that were forced to close and are struggling to find a way to stay relevant while they are essentially out of business,” Santucci said. “I created this online store so they can market their brand and stay relevant to their customer base using the most popular promotional product in the world, T-shirts. Knowing that they have little to no revenue coming in I wanted to do it at no cost or obligation to them. I wanted to offer a unique shirt to each business so there is residual exposure to their brand after we get back to business and people continue to show support by wearing the shirts. I also created the Jefferson Strong logo for decals that are free with each order. We can put the decals on our cars and shop windows as a symbol of unity and support for our local businesses,” he added.

For each t-shirt sold for a business, $10 goes directly to that entity. Each order comes with a free vinyl decal. Shirts can be purchased by visiting https://jeffersonstrong.itemorder.com/sale

At this time, all t-shirt are pre-orders only. Orders will be filled bi-weekly. Payments will be made to each business on a bi-weekly basis via PayPal.

Businesses available to date include Gatwyn’s II, Razorz Edge, North Jersey MMA Academy, Salon 15, Top Shelf Fitness, Harmony Salon, Vintage Salon, DLA Limo, Oak Ridge Martial Arts Academy, and Exit Realty.

Any local small business that would like to have a shirt made can contact Santucci at scott@themerchpros.com to get one designed.

Gatwyn’s Jefferson Strong shirt. (Photo courtesy of Scott Santucci)
Razorz Edge Jefferson Strong shirt. (Photo courtesy of Scott Santucci)
North Jersey MMA Academy Jefferson Strong shirt. (Photo courtesy of Scott Santucci)

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