400 local businesses featured on website to help them survive

SPOKANE, Wash. — You can now find and shop from hundreds of local businesses in Spokane from the comfort of your own home.

It’s called the Live Local Inland Northwest campaign. It’s meant to help small businesses get through the pandemic and help customers find local goods in one place.

The Live Local INW campaign came together through several business alliances. It’s funded by the CARES Act the City of Spokane gave away a few months ago.

On Tuesday, the campaign’s marketplace and website launched. Organizations like the Spokane Independent Metro Business Alliance and the Inland Northwest Business Alliance held an event and cut a ribbon to celebrate the launch.

The website features about 400 locally owned businesses allowing anyone from anywhere to shop. Some businesses are selling their products online, others are just listed in the directory so people know they exist. That’s the goal of the campaign — to increase visibility of all the small businesses there are in Spokane.

“This gives you an easy way to discover what you may want to check out in person in the future,” said Lisa Brown, the director of the Washington State Department of Commerce.

The co-founder of Black Label Brewing Company says it hasn’t been easy getting through the pandemic and now the construction that’s happening on Main Avenue.

Thanks to the help of the campaign, they’re hoping to attract more eyes and new customers to the brewing company.

“Branding in general costs money and so as all small businesses are struggling, this one is no exception to the rule. It’s trying to keep the positivity, and trying to keep the motivation so that we can hopefully find brighter days in the future,” said Steve Wells, the cofounder of Black Label Brewing Company.

The brewing company is located inside the Saranac Commons, where several other businesses live. For one to do well, the others have to do well, too.

“I’m just grateful that there are so many of us in the small business world to support each other. I don’t think we’d make it without one another,” said Holli Routhier, soon-to-be co-owner of Parrish & Grove Botanicals.

Live Local INW is also hosting webinars for business owners to get advice on their business models and how to keep their shops thriving.

Wells says he and his cofounder aren’t “the most business savvy,” so having that extra resource is good for them.

“When there are opportunities like this that come around, they can help fix the holes we have. It helps out quite a bit,” he said.

To find out all the shops listed on Live Local INW’s website, click here.

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