Local small businesses step up to support their community


photo courtesy of TTown Apparel

A t-shirt from TTown Apparel promotes support for local businesses.

Abby Givens, Editor-in-Chief

Earlier this month, two Tacoma businesses, Align Business Catalyst and T Town apparel, started a campaign to raise money for small businesses in the Seattle-Tacoma area impacted by closures and quarantine measures. Align, run by Kristina Maritczak and Courtney Farmer, helps make the resources needed to start and grow a business more accessible.

In early March, Align’s restaurant clients in Seattle were suffering losses in sales. “The Amazon headquarters closed their facility, so all their employees weren’t coming in,” Farmer said. Amazon employees normally generate lots of foot traffic for nearby restaurants. “They went from having a really good January and February to not even being able to pay some of their bills in March,” Farmer said.

Align knew that as COVID-19 spread, small businesses in Tacoma would face the same challenges. Align wanted to help their clients and small businesses in the area confront the hit to their revenue by providing external funding. Marticzak reached out to Gail Ringrose at T Town Apparel to raise money through selling t-shirts and bags, T Town’s main products. 

The campaign launched on social media on March 18. Proceeds from shirts, tote bags and mugs sold on their website would provide financial assistance to businesses impacted by closures and quarantine measures. 

Starting on March 24, sales had to be refunded due to T Town’s halted production in adherence to Governor Jay Inslee’s March 23 order that all non-essential business must close for at least the next two weeks. The companies are working on other ways to support businesses.