LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Somewhere on the long list of people who are hurting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are small business owners.
A recent study found at least 100,000 small businesses have already closed their doors permanently, and a new survey from Main Street America found more than 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing if this pandemic persists.
As a Las Vegas small business owner himself, Chad Biertstedt has felt, firsthand, the financial crunch of COVID-19.
"I don’t think there’s a single person out there who owns a small business that can say they weren’t impacted. Business isn’t anywhere near where it was but we’ll get there," said Bierstedt.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, sales at American Stitch have slowed down significantly. As a result, Bierstedt's had to condense his t-shirt operation under one roof and lay off 16 employees in the process.
"I love my team. I’m all about my team," said Bierstedt. "That’s what I stand for. And having to let them go is probably the hardest day of my life. I had to let 16 employees go on March 17 and I’ll never forget that day."
That's why Bierstedt started "All In On Vegas," a small business fundraiser, as a way to help small businesses bounce back.
"Small businesses in Las Vegas and across the country are betting on themselves to be able to get back up," said Bierstedt. "We want to be able to show our support and be able to create an opportunity for people who love and appreciate the small businesses to be able to go all in on that business."
Anyone can nominate a small business, and all that business owner has to do is send their logo or slogan to American Stitch.
"We’ll do the rest," said Bierstedt.
"We are going to print it, ship it," he explained. "The only thing you have to do is share that image out on your Facebook page and your social media and through email, and you’re going to get $10 per shirt that’s sold."
The more you share, the more shirts you sell, the more money you raise for local businesses during a time when they need it most.
"It’s just one small way to be able to bring some life and empower that small business owner to be able to keep on going," said Bierstedt.
Bierstedt's goal is to get at least 100 small businesses on board so they can raise $10,000 for the local business community. Each T-shirt costs $25.
If you'd like to nominate or support small businesses by buying a shirt, click this link.