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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Get out there and show the love - “Keep it local King County” campaign launches to support regional small businesses

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine kicked off a new social media campaign to encourage people to discover offerings from arts organizations, gyms, restaurants, and retailers as the region embraces new public health instructions. This effort follows the successful awarding of financial and technical assistance to hundreds of King County businesses.

Story

As King County follows statewide temporary restrictions on public gatherings, Executive Constantine encouraged residents to patronize local businesses.

The “Keep it local King County” social media campaign launched on Nov. 23 comes on the heels of $4 million in grants and technical assistance that was awarded to approximately 630 small businesses in unincorporated King County.Keep_It_Local_KC_Logo_FINAL

Businesses included restaurants, bakeries, spas, retailers, contractors, auto repair shops, farms, and others.

The last grants are expected to be awarded by the end of the year.

“The grant definitely helped me,” said Yulonda Rhodes of Texture Salon Studio in White Center. “Prior to COVID, I was in process of doing some remodeling. Then COVID happened, I got laid off from my part-time job, and this business slowed down. The grant allowed to get everything I needed to get done. It definitely helped.”

Many businesses around the region have changed operations to keep their employees and customers safe, and are open for business.
 
The “Keep it local King County” campaign seeks to highlight available offerings, and stress the importance of spending dollars locally.

“Keep if local King County” will promote different options each day of the week:

Monday: Memberships
The Executive’s Office will emphasize the importance of continuing or purchasing memberships in regional arts and cultural organizations.

Tuesday: Takeout
Restaurants are open and ready to serve. Executive Constantine: “Let the take-out box be a symbol of our resilience.”

Wednesday: Workouts
Even though in-door activities in gyms are currently not allowed, many offer on-line yoga and other services. In these stressful times, it is more important than ever to keep mentally healthy by being physically fit.

Thursday: Give thanks
For those who are able to work from home and maintain a steady income, remember to thank essential workers by leaving a little something extra as a tip, or a thank-you card.

Friday: Fun with family and friends
Even with heightened restrictions, there is plenty to do, such as farmers markets. It is also important to make sure residents know how to use video-communications apps.

Saturday: Shop safe
It is safe to patronize businesses in our neighborhoods and downtown, as long as we follow simple guidelines. Now is the time to show the love to local merchants.

“While I am heartened that so many have done so much to help us respond to this unprecedented crisis, I also appreciate the burden on and anxiety felt by many restaurants, retailers, arts organizations and their employees,” said Executive Constantine.

“I am thankful we were able to get financial help to hundreds of small businesses, but we must do more. I urge everyone to patronize restaurants, coffee shops, and other local favorites. As I have said before: If this pandemic is symbolized by the medical mask, let our resilience be represented by the take-out box. Our ‘Keep it local campaign’ over the next few weeks will highlight all that you can do to help our local economy, and enrich your health and well-being.” 


Quotes

While I am heartened that so many have done so much to help us respond to this unprecedented crisis, I also appreciate the burden on and anxiety felt by many restaurants, retailers, arts organizations and their employees. I am thankful we were able to get financial help to hundreds of small businesses, but we must do more. I urge everyone to patronize restaurants, coffee shops, and other local favorites. As I have said before: If this pandemic is symbolized by the medical mask, let our resilience be represented by the take-out box. Our ‘Keep it local campaign’ over the next few weeks will highlight all that you can do to help our local economy, and enrich your health and well-being.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

The grant definitely helped me. Prior to COVID, I was in process of doing some remodeling. Then COVID happened, I got laid off from my part-time job, and this business slowed down. The grant allowed to get everything I needed to get done. It definitely helped.

Yulonda Rhodes of Texture Salon Studio in White Center

I’m a single business owner. I have a skin care business on Vashon Island. I’m 70. With not being able to work, I believe the grant has saved my business. I felt like it was a gift from heaven.

Candace Jennings, owner of Glow on Vashon Island

It was a big, big, big help. I know everyone who received a grant is grateful.

Mohamed Mohamud, taxi owner

Our restaurants and small businesses—who represent tens of thousands of jobs across King County—are struggling to survive during this 10th month of the pandemic and second shutdown. It’s amazing to see King County rally community support for businesses as well as provide grants, while we wait for critically needed federal relief. 

Linda Di Lello Morton, President, Seattle Restaurant Alliance

For more information, contact:

Alex Fryer, Executive Office, 206-477-7966


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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