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Tampa family business stays afloat, gives back during pandemic

Faced with the possibility of closing because of the coronavirus, a well known Tampa family business is staying afloat by helping others.

TAMPA, Fla. — Claudia Boggio thought her boutique clothing store, Marcela gifts, would have to shut its doors because of the coronavirus. 

The 30-year-old Tampa staple once known as a bustling shop on Kennedy Blvd downsized to online sales before the virus. Temporarily shutting down, once the CDC recommended for everyone wear masks, Boggio got to work.

“Everyone started seeing there was a shortage of masks. I’m sitting here realizing we are sitting on top of a bunch of materials,” Boggio said.

The surplus of supplies was an opportunity for Boggio and her team to give back. Thanks to a partnership with The Mask Project of Tampa Bay, Boggio and her seamstresses contributed to the cost and started donating the masks to health care workers. Boggio also sells other masks online for the public. 

“For us to do this, it’s to encourage the mask movement and to get everyone to wear a mask and protect yourself,” Boggio said.

A story of survival in unlikely times, helping keep her small business afloat. Boggio also makes masks give to underprivileged Latino communities across Tampa Bay. 

“Our seamstresses are from Cuba, they’re immigrants so for us we like giving back to the people who’ve been working for us for so long,” Boggio said.

Studies show face masks play a significant role in reducing transmission levels of coronavirus. It’s why the City of Tampa is partnering with essential businesses to make sure they’re providing coverings to employees and advising customers to wear them as well.

The mask partnership the City of Tampa has launched with essential businesses encourages everyone to wear a mask. If you’d like to contact Claudia or Marcela gifts click here.  

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