The Facebook group Locals Supporting Locals, created by Kaylee Fluharty, lets patrons know which places are open for business and their hours. It also highlights daily specials and new places patrons can try.
Fluharty said her mom, who had heard of a similar group in another state, inspired her to develop a group here.
“She brought the idea to me because my family calls me the ‘social media queen,’” Fluharty said.
The Facebook group has more than 5,250 members and continues to grow. When she first started it, Fluharty shared the group with as many people as Facebook would allow and then asked friends and family members to share the group as well.
“It has grown into this amazing group,” Fluharty said. “I love seeing where everyone has tried.”
Fluharty looks every day for businesses to share. If she finds a new place or one that is reopening, she makes sure to post about it.
She recently teamed up with local business Fishtail Print Co. to sell a T-shirt on SupportDE.com. Fishtail Print sponsors a Support Delaware campaign, in which local Delaware businesses can create and sell a T-shirt on the site. For each T-shirt they are able to sell, Fishtail Print Co. donates $10 directly back to that business.
The campaign has raised over $7,000 for local businesses and is currently offering support to more than 30 local businesses and organizations. SupportDE.com is free for any local business owner to join.
The design on Fluharty’s shirt is an anchor with a banner that says “Locals Supporting Locals,” because small businesses are the anchors of the community, she said.
Fluharty and her mom have also been raising money by making masks. Half the money raised, along with revenue from T-shirt sales, will be put toward gift cards for local daycare providers and their staff, she said. The other half will be put toward an open tab at a local restaurant for postal workers.
“I felt like these two groups really deserve some gratitude for all they have been doing during this pandemic,” Fluharty said.
This will not only help daycare staff and postal workers, but also local restaurants that will receive extra income from the gift card sales, she said.
Fluharty’s T-shirt is available on www.SupportDE.com, along with more than 30 other shirts, all in support of local businesses. Her goal is to sell at least 100 T-shirts.