Buy a T-shirt. Help a local small business.

That is the goal of the ‘We Give a Shirt’ campaign. It is an effort dreamed up by the team at Showpony, a downtown Augusta based branded merchandise company affiliated with local marketing firm Weir / Stewart.

The team has designed limited edition T-shirts featuring a diverse group of local restaurants, bars and other businesses, including local bands. The company is producing the shirts at their own cost, and all proceeds from sales of each shirt are being donated directly to that business.

“We wrapped our heads around what we’re good at, which is making t-shirts, making websites, doing e-commerce, and how we could leverage that to benefit local communities,” says Sean Mooney, partner at Showpony. “That’s how We Give a Shirt was born,” he added.

Sandi Watkins has owned Sports Center Billiards on Broad Street in downtown Augusta for 35 years. The Sports Center t-shirt is currently the top-seller. She’ll get a check for more than $2,000 as a result of the sales.

“This is just out of the kindness of their hearts,” said Watkins. “It says a lot about us here in Augusta,” she said. “You know everyone is sticking together and trying to get through it, so it says a lot about them to help us out,” she added. “Well, we have the best customers,” she said with a smile when asked about having the top-selling shirt.

“I think it’s really nice, I mean it says ‘cash only’, which we are, and it’s really cool,” she said describing the Sports Center shirt.

Each shirt is only available for one week, which gives Mooney and his team the chance to rotate in new shirts for other local businesses. The campaign was started on April 1. Mooney says in just over a week they have sold nearly $20,000 worth of shirts.

“We’ve been really humbled by the response,” he said. “So many people have reached out and asked how they can buy more shirts or how they can be part of the program,” said Mooney. “The community has really rallied behind it, which is a great thing for local business,” he added.

Mooney says they will continue the campaign as long as they can to help as many local businesses as possible. He says more than 100 businesses have already applied to have a custom shirt designed.

18 local businesses are currently featured on the website, including Nacho Mama’s, Luigi’s and Noble Jones.

Click here if you would like to buy a shirt, or apply to have your business featured.

“Remember all our local businesses, we’re the backbone of the country,” said Watkins.