‘Shop Your Block’ campaign aimed at helping Seattle’s small businesses

SEATTLE — Seattle is hoping a campaign calling for people to shop at small local retailers will help keep money in the community while keeping local businesses open.

Shop Your Block connects people to local retailers in the hopes that people will patronize them during the holiday shopping season, buying everything from gifts to groceries.

“I do feel this holiday is the critical moment in retail,” said Jane Hedreen, owner of Flora and Henri in Pioneer Square, who urges people to support “the places you really love and cherish in your city.”

The city developed a map where people can search for retailers near them or across the city by business name, product or keyword. It also shows business hours and days, whether it’s open for in-person shopping, online shopping, offers curbside pickup or is by appointment only.

“I do think we need to get back to the essence of shopping small, shopping local,” said Monika Matthews, the owner of QueenCare, a natural skin care company selling from a store in Columbia city and online.

Like many small businesses, she has adapted in the pandemic, and is hopeful about the holiday season.

“We, at our essence, love to both give and receive gifts and I think that won’t change,” Matthews said.

Business owners can add themselves to the map by completing a short questionnaire.

In addition to the retail map, neighborhood marketplaces give people who want to shop online a way to support their favorite local shops while giving small businesses a new or additional way to generate sales.

“Hopefully people will shop local a little bit more this year,” said Tom Dang of International Model Toys in the Chinatown-International District.

So far, neighborhood marketplaces are available for Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, West Seattle, North Seattle, Ballard, University District and Pike Place Market neighborhoods, with other Seattle neighborhoods expected to come online soon, the city said.

There’s also online gift guides and a gift certificate marketplace for retailers and restaurants across the greater Seattle area.

Not only does the city want people to shop locally, but it also wants those who wish to shop in-person to shop early since the number of people allowed in stores is reduced to 25%.

Find the map, neighborhood marketplaces and more information about Shop the Block at this link.