- WSL / Thomas Bennett
- WSL / Thomas Bennett

The economic toll that the coronavirus is having around the world is profound, and surfing and skateboarding's most iconic shops are feeling the pinch. That's why Vans has decided to step up and launch a new initiative they call "Foot The Bill."

The iconic footwear company is committing to helping 80 small, independent business -- "including skate and specialty shops, restaurants, music venues and community-driven spaces." They're doing this by donating all the net proceeds from the sale of custom shoe designs.

"My father Paul Van Doren always said that we were a people company that made shoes. Now, more than ever, it's important to support the people that provide spaces for communities around the world to be creative and come together," Steve Van Doren, son of Vans' founder and Vans' Vice President of Events and Promotions, said in a statement to the press.

"We were once a small business and wouldn't be where we are today without the support of these partners," continued Van Doren. "We hope to rally together with our consumers to lend a helping hand to those that are in need."

It works like this using the Vans Customs platform, each of the 80 businesses that are being supported have been given access to design and upload a pattern that represents their brand identity. Supporters of each business can then go purchase those shoes (available in the Vans Classic Slip-On or Era), as well as continue to customize them with unique colors, prints and materials. The net proceeds from the sale will then go to that small business, hopefully providing some relief during these unpredictable days. 

Vans has committed up to 500 pairs of custom shoes per business partner. Once they are sold out, they will no longer be available. 

The "Foot The Bill" initiative just launched in the U.S. and features more than 30 skate shops and restaurants. The program will continue to expand around the world and will include additional independent skate shops, surf shops, restaurants, music venues and community driven spaces over the next month.

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