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Central Georgia artists design t-shirts to raise money for Macon businesses

Macon Shirts for Good has raised over $20K for local businesses, according to founder Matthew Smith

MACON, Ga. — If you could support your favorite Macon business by spending $25 and getting a limited edition shirt, why wouldn't you?

That's the idea behind Macon Shirts for Good, a company that gives back to the community by selling shirts featuring designs from local artists to support the businesses.

During the economic slowdown, many small businesses and restaurants have suffered. Graphic and web designer Erica Neubauer knows this struggle and says she was happy to volunteer to design shirts.

"I'm also a small business owner and I know that it's been tough financially and not just feeling helpless, but being able to do something about it was a really good feeling for me," Neubauer said.

Credit: Erica Neubauer
Designs by Erica Neubauer

There are 14 artists who agreed to design t-shirts for businesses who applied on the website. The artists are credited by the business, but they don't receive any monetary compensation.

Matthew Smith is the founder and creator of Macon Shirts for Good. He gathered the artists and gave them a choice of which businesses they wanted to design a shirt for.

According to Neubauer, the artists were given a lot of creative freedom to design the shirts. They first met with the business owners to talk about colors, logos, etc. and then were able to create mock-ups for potential designs.

Credit: Erica Neubauer
Designs by Erica Neubauer

Over $20,000 has been raised for local businesses so far, according to Smith, and around 1,700 shirts have been sold from the first four weekly drops.

Graphic designer Brian Burkey says working with Macon Shirts for Good is a "win-win" situation.

"The businesses get help, people get to wear cool designs and I get to see people wearing my designs, so everybody wins," Burkey said.

Burkey said he told Smith to give him any business, because he wanted to be challenged.

"I'm willing to help out anybody. I like a challenge," Burkey said.

Credit: Brian Burkey
Designs by Brian Burkey

Designs are only available for a week and are not released again, so if you want to support a business, you need to act fast. 

Shirts for popular businesses like Just Tap'd, Ingleside Village Pizza and Famous Mike's were part of earlier drops, so they are no longer available.

Round four ends Wednesday night and includes Larry Bush's Riverside Tire, Travis Jean Emporium, Rock Candy Tours, Ocmulgee Brewpub, LisaMae Cakes, JAG's Pizzeria and the Big House Museum.

If you're looking to buy a shirt to support a local business or you want a shirt for your business, go to their website.

You can find Erica Neubauer's designs on her website as well as Brian Burkey on his website

The other artists can be found here, along with their personal bios and links to websites.

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