11 ways to spend your stimulus check locally in Seattle

Stimulus payments are starting to arrive this week, and what Seattleites do with that money really matters.

According to economists, every dollar spent locally creates a ripple effect in the economy as it circulates from consumers to businesses to workers and back again, helping bolster employment in the process.

So if you’re fortunate enough to have some money left over after covering rent, utilities, and other basic expenses, here are 14 ways to keep those dollars close to home:

1. Indulge in some retail therapy.

Local business districts like Ballard and Pioneer Square now have digital marketplaces featuring goods from several small businesses in one location. And Pike Place Market has a list of vendors there who are accepting online orders.

2. Order takeout or delivery.

Looking for a new spot to try? The city’s #SupportSeattleSmallBiz map and Intentionalist’s list of minority-owned restaurants are two good places to start.

3. Don’t forget the drinks.

Unlike toilet paper, booze is something you can feel good about hoarding — and many breweries, wineries, and cocktail bars are offering delivery or pickup options.

4. Pay for music like the old days.

If your favorite local musician had to cancel a show, you can support them by ordering their album from Easy Street Records or buying their tracks on Bandcamp. Or donate to a fund that’s helping offset lost income for artists of all types.

5. Order fresh produce from local farms.

The Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market coalition is maintaining a list of local farmers offering pickup or delivery. While you’re at it, consider making a donation to the Good Farmer Fund or the Pike Place Market Foundation.

6. Bring the tulips to you.

There’s no Skagit Valley Tulip Festival this year, but the area’s two main growers — RoozenGarde and Tulip Town — both accept online orders. Or check out the farmers market list to see who’s dropping off bouquets in your neighborhood.

7. Find a new read.

Independent bookstores like the Elliott Bay Book Company are taking online orders  — and Third Place Books is offering free shipping on orders over $25.

8. Start a craft project or learn something new.

Fox Ridge Studio is selling and delivering ready-to-go craft kits, The Works has digital tutorials for everything from gardening to mochi-making, and Hugo House is offering a full slate of online writing classes.

9. Pay in advance for things you’ll buy anyway.

Small businesses need to keep cash coming in the door, so many of them are selling gift cards or giving customers the option to pay in advance for haircuts, yoga classes, or other services.

10. Support a nonprofit or economic relief fund.

The Seattle Times made a great list of nonprofits that are responding to the coronavirus crisis, and the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund is a general clearinghouse that’s already awarded $10 million to local causes.

11. Become an Evergrey member.

Shameless plug warning! Local publications like ours are really feeling the pinch right now, so if you found this article useful, we hope you’ll consider supporting our work as a Evergrey member. It’s only $8/month, and it goes such a long way. 💖

By Caitlin Moran
Caitlin writes newsletters and stories for The Evergrey. She's worked as a journalist in and around Seattle since 2010 and is a proud resident of Capitol Hill's Summit Slope neighborhood.