Scott McLaren, Telfer Bachelor of Commerce graduate, started his career at custom swag company Festival Promotions the same year that he obtained his BCom degree in 2006. As President, he has launched a new merchandise initiative in efforts to support local businesses financially impacted by COVID-19.
Along with teammates at Festival Promotions, McLaren has set up a company called Municipal Apparel Co. to produce custom printed t-shirts with logos and slogans of local businesses and organizations, designed to have proceeds go directly to that business. When they sell a shirt, a portion of the proceeds are used to buy a gift card to that business, which is then donated to a local charitable organization in need.
As the first series of COVID-19 shutdowns started, the Festival Promotions team watched as many of the local businesses who supported community fundraisers and projects experienced dramatic revenue decline. They wanted to do something to help, so they launched the online swag collection platform. These Ottawa businesses include Escape Manor, Zak's Diner, Quelque Chose Pâtisserie, Mad Radish, Louis Pizza, Lonestar Texas Grill, Golden Palace Restaurant, and The Grand Pizzeria, among others. McLaren shared his new project on LinkedIn, reminding his network: “If you like these places and would like to support them, consider buying a t-shirt that supports two small businesses.”
They are continuing to add more and more restaurants, breweries, stores and more as they go, to make sure to support as many businesses as possible.