Small Business Sunday: #Pledge1200 to help local small businesses  

With economic stimulus checks expected to reach Americans soon, a new campaign is urging you to spend the funds to help local small businesses – if you’re able.

The #Pledge1200 campaign calls on Americans who aren’t economically impacted by the coronavirus crisis to use their $1,200 stimulus check to help local companies that are struggling. The idea was started by three recent University of Washington graduates and one recent graduate of Washington State University.

“The most unlikely people to come together,” said WSU alumnus Jarred Mac, who now works at the Spokane County Treasurer’s Office.

“I think a lot of people are motivated and they’re willing to walk the extra mile to maybe spend a little bit more than they would if they were spending at a big business," he said. "I think it’s just a great cause that we can all rally behind."

#Pledge1200 is not a fundraising campaign. Rather, those who want to participate are simply asked to post their pledge online and nominate three others to take the pledge as well.

“For me life has changed a little bit, but for a lot of people life has changed a lot,” said Aubrey Mackenzie, a UW grad. “I think like a lot of people the first question that jumped into my head was, 'What am I going to spend this $1,200 on?' But that was quickly replaced with a better question, which is, 'What’s the best way to spend this $1,200?'"

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce also joined in the pledge, writing on Twitter: “For many, the stimulus check is necessary and will go toward paying rent or buying groceries. For those who are able, #Pledge1200 encourages us to support small businesses and employees in our community."

So far, 315 people have taken the pledge across the United States. To join, or learn more, visit