CHICAGO (WLS) -- Normally a crew of 12 people fills the building of Snappy Printing and Graphics.
Now, owner Tony Grammatis only allows two additional people into the workspace.
"I had to start furloughing people, there was just no business," Grammatis said. "I noticed it starting maybe in the middle of February that business was slowing down a lot, then all of a sudden it came to a complete halt."
Snappy Printing in Lincoln Square isn't alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several businesses in the state.
But that hasn't stopped this small business from helping its neighbors.
After Grammatis' father and close friend asked him to make promotional banners for their restaurants, he had an idea.
"I said 'Wait a minute, there's more than the two people I know that will need this,'" Grammatis said. "' Maybe I'll put it out there and say if you have a business and need a banner I'll print it for you.'"
Every day since he and his team come into work and fill out orders for fellow entrepreneurs, free of charge.
"I really appreciate the gesture as a small business owner. If all of us can unite and figure out a way to get through this, that's what it's all about," said Amy Hansen, owner of Amy's Candy Bar.
Hansen's sign has her store's new hours and lets customers know about her curbside and delivery services.
Her business is one of 50 that have taken advantage of Grammatis' offer so far.
"To say thank you, Amy's Candy brought me candy. Perfect Cup right next door brought me coffee. Everybody brings something or they actually come back with business," Grammatis said.
Both entrepreneurs hope this crisis will end soon, but if it doesn't, Grammatis said he has the product and the time to continue helping his neighbors.
"It's a good thing I think, with all this negative news, this is a little bit of a positive," he said.
Jalyn Henderson is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the north side of Chicago in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Rogers Park. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods you can send an email to Jalyn.L.Henderson@abc.com
Coronavirus Good News: Local business prints banners, signs for other small business free of charge
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