ANDALUSIA, Alabama — Two Andalusia High School alumni have created a way for locals to continue to support businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
University of Alabama Theta Chi brother Colin Marcum and his friend Darious Davis are both home because of COVID-19, and decided to make a t-shirt to benefit local businesses.
“Darius Davis and Collin Marcum, whose studies were interrupted and were sent home from Tuscaloosa, reached out to me to help them with this project,” Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce director Chrissie Duffy said. “There is no cost to register your business, so if you have a locally owned and operated business that has been negatively affected by COVID-19 and would like receive a gift of funds created by this project, please register.”
The two were inspired to start the project after being inspired by a printing company in Tuscaloosa.
“We were both inspired by a Tuscaloosa printing company who were running a similar initiative within the local community of Northport and Tuscaloosa,” The two said. “We felt as though this was something that would not only aid local business but also promote the importance of the ‘Shop Local,’ movement that serves as a huge benefactor in keeping small business owners on their feet while the COVID19 Virus runs its course. Due to covid-19(coronavirus) the majority of our small/local businesses in Andalusia have been forced to shut down or cut their daily operations. We, Colin and Darious, have been positively impacted by this community, therefore we understand what it takes to keep the small-town dream turning.”
The artwork on the t-shirt was inspired by local businesses on the court square in Andalusia and was all done by Marcum.
“The artwork that is displayed across the shirt is inspired by local businesses that can be seen throughout the square and around the surrounding community,” Marcum said. “We wanted the artwork to not only encapsulate the essence of the current downtown businesses but also highlight the future plans by the city to renovate downtown Andalusia by providing more spaces to inspire locals to move businesses closer to the heart of the city.”
A call to Duffy at the chamber is all that Marcum and Davis had to do to get the wheels turning on this project.
“With COVID19’s effect on our community, we knew we had to act fast,” The two said. “A simple call to Andalusia Chamber Director, Chrissie Duffy, and she was quickly on board with the initiative. We both agreed that this would allow the people of Andalusia to not only stay safe and quarantined, but it would also allow them to support business in Andalusia that would be impacted by this pandemic.”
Marcum is a freshman at the University of Alabama studying operations management with a minor in political science on the Pre-Law track. He is actively involved with the UA Student Government Association. He currently serves as a Lobby Board Delegate, which promotes civic engagement on campus and within the surrounding community.
Marcum has recently been elected to the SGA College of Commerce Senate and he will serve as a senator in the 2020-2021 year. He is also a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and various other social and philanthropic clubs on campus.
Davis is a graduate of The University of Alabama and is currently pursuing his master’s degree through Louisiana State University. He also serves as a Chapter and Membership Services Coordinator for Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society HQ, which is located in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he oversees the Central and East regions of the United States in addition to California, Georgia, Hawaii, Colorado, and the great state of Alabama. He is an active member of The University of Alabama and Birmingham communities volunteering with different initiatives and providing mentorship to collegiate students across the southeast region.