Friends and fellow small business owners Ashley Busenius Coy and Christine Soto prepared merchandise for shipment at Windmill City Screen Printing in Cathedral City, owned by Busenius Coy and her husband Glen.
The t-shirts, hats, bandanas, postcards, stickers and more all feature the slogan "The Sun Will Keep Shining".
"I just wanted to see my friends make it through the pandemic. A lot of them have started businesses in the past 4 to 5 years,” said Busenius Coy.
Busenius Coy says she and her husband came up with the idea for the campaign in mid-March, after local businesses were ordered to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coming up empty in their search for a local business relief fund, they decided to start their own by creating the printed and embroidered products and selling them through a website, and donating all the proceeds.
"I want to maintain my quality of life in Palm Springs and a huge part of that is to have all these small business peers that are my friends,” said Soto, owner of Dead or Alive Bar in Palm Springs.
The women say 75 percent of the money raised will be given to struggling small business owners and 25 percent is going to the United Way, which is being directed to give the money to laid off workers in service industries.
By selling t-shirts, hats and other merchandise, the women say the campaign has raised $14,000 and so far $7,000 has been given away.
Samantha Caltagirone, who with her husband, owns and runs the Palm Springs retail shop Thick as Thieves tells News Channel 3 they've received $400 from the Keep on Shining campaign, which the couple used to pay rent.
“To be able to get some sort of help from our very own neighbors, it just means the world to us,” said Caltagirone.
Busenius Coy and Soto say so far 20 businesses have received money and they plan to run the campaign at least through June 30th.
They say will award more grants July 3rd.
Details on how small business owners can apply for and qualify for the grants can be found at the website below.
As part of the fundraising effort, the women tells News Channel 3 Cheeky’s Restaurant in Palm Springs will reopen this weekend to host a “Pancake Pick Me Up” breakfast from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday.
Soto says “all sales” will be donated to the "Keep Shining Palm Springs" campaign.