People were asked to purchase gift cards on April 10 to provide support to local businesses impacted by COVID-19

Economic Alliance Snohomish County encouraged individuals to buy gift cards from local businesses on April 10 for themselves or for healthcare workers.

The SnoCo Gift Card Challenge was meant to help local businesses from a distance during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

The alliance is an organization that supports local businesses.

"We're basically a catalyst for businesses in Snohomish County," said Gary Hauff, director of business development and small business programs with Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

"Economic vitality is usually on the forefront of our mind," said Hauff. "When you throw in the COVID-19 situation, that has just been a game changer."

The organization still wants to support local businesses so they put together a 'Gift Card Challenge' day on April 10.

Some national organizations have put on similar gift card events and Hauff said the organization wanted to run one locally. 

"But we wanted to make it custom and specific to our region," said Hauff.

Gift cards are a way to help any sort of business, even if their storefront is currently closed.

"Some businesses are closing, some are struggling and some are doing okay," said Hauff.

"We can't all go out and have a nice meal or purchase something from a boutique at this time, but we can throw some financial support their way and redeem it at a later time," he said.

Many people are staying home, but gift cards can often be bought online, said Hauff.

"Let's help prop up our economy as much as we can at this time," he said.

The Economic Alliance is also encouraging people to buy gift cards to deliver to healthcare workers or other essential employees at this time.

"Another thing we're doing differently is the pay-it-forward aspect," said Hauff.

Individuals can work with the organization to send the cards to a specific group of workers or they can let Economic Alliance Snohomish County choose.

"We're asking people if they have a preference where they want their cards to go, for example if they have purchased some restaurant gift cards and want those to go to Providence Hospital we can do that," said Hauff.

"Other people have already purchased their gift cards and mailed them to us and asked us to choose somewhere to send them, and we can do that too," he said.

Hauff wanted to thank all the community members who have been helping local businesses that are struggling at this time.

"The support from the community has been amazing," he said.


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