Clasped hands icon in front of a blurred background scene in a cafe.

Boarded up windows on businesses and empty streets once packed with people have become a common sight in cities across the country. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the closure of tens of thousands of small businesses in the U.S. — and that trend won’t likely end anytime soon. Small businesses at the heart of our communities are struggling to survive.

But as local businesses fight to stay afloat, more people are seeking tangible ways they can help. And the growing Intentionalist community is showing up.

Through Intentionalist, more people are learning the value of putting their money back into their communities  — more people are taking the time to be intentional and spend like it matters. Throughout 2020, we’ve seen more folks than ever show up to support small businesses and the diverse people behind them.

More people are taking the initiative to #SpendLikeItMatters

How we know: Intentionalist’s registered users have tripled in 2020.

Every time we onboard a new registered user, we celebrate the potential to make a bigger impact. There is power in numbers — this dramatic increase is indicative of a growing movement to support local business owners and our communities. Business owners continue to pivot and innovate, and both count on and appreciate outreach, encouragement, and support. 

The Intentionalist community is engaging more with local business owners and their stories

How we know: Intentionalist’s monthly active users in 2020 has increased 20 times over. 

Not only have we seen more registered users on our platform, but we’ve also seen a large uptick in regular activity on our website. More people are actively searching for businesses to #SpendLikeItMatters and are reading their stories. They’re using Intentionalist to find their new favorite coffee shop, charming local florist, new fitness communities for their daily exercise, and so much more. 

Small businesses are leaning into supportive, collaborative spaces and projects 

How we know: Intentionalist’s directory has doubled in 2020 and prompted new partnerships. 

We’ve seen an influx of suggested businesses from all parts of the country — some came from users and social media followers, but many came from business owners themselves. We are proud to be an organization business owners look to for support during difficult times. We’ve formed some amazing relationships through Intentionalist tab, giveaways, and We All Scream For Racial Justice ice cream collaboration with Sweet Alchemy. And we’re able to do all of this because so many wonderful businesses give us their trust and time. 

Intentionalist’s social media has become a popular space to discover new local businesses 

How we know: The Intentionalist community on Instagram has doubled in 2020. 

As an aggregator of all things #SpendLikeItMatters, we’re excited so many people want to keep up with local BIPOC-owned, woman-owned, LGBTQ-owned, family-owned, veteran-owned, native-owned, and disability-owned businesses. Our increased engagement is an encouraging sign of support for these diverse communities during a difficult time. We have also seen an increase in the number of sales in our gift certificate marketplace, Intentionalist gift cards, and merch 25 times over, which directly benefits local business owners. 

All of this support hasn’t gone without recognition. News outlets have taken notice of the momentum we’ve gained this year. Intentionalist has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Seattle Times, Eater Seattle, Seattle Refined, and more. This visibility goes beyond just introducing new users to our site — it brings attention to businesses who need it. 

Thank You

2020 continues to be a difficult year for brick-and-mortar small businesses, and where we spend our money matters more than ever.

Thank you for suggesting your favorite small businesses, for tagging and sharing content on Instagram, for gifting with intention, and for using our directory and guides to find a new favorite spot in your neighborhood. These small daily actions add up to a collective Intentionalist community impact that makes a difference.

And just think, we’re only getting started. Keep showing up. And #SpendLikeItMatters.


Thanks for all that you do to #SpendLikeItMatters! Discover awesome brick + mortar small businesses in your community, suggest your favorites, and be sure that you’re following us on social media (InstagramFacebookTwitter).

Intentionalist is your local guide to small businesses and the diverse people behind them. We believe that where you spend your money matters, and we’re sure glad you do too! Whether you identify as a localist, activist, or just a good neighbor, we make it easy for you to connect with, learn about, and support small businesses in your community through everyday decisions about where you eat, drink, and shop.

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By Kristina Rivera

Federal Way

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