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6+ Seattle-area innovators "taking care of business" through the COVID-19 pandemic

These everyday people and small businesses are doing their part to uplift others while also helping themselves!

SEATTLE — It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has made a massive impact on the way we move through the world. Whether small or large, companies have had to make drastic changes to their business models. Every day people have shifted focus to help communities in need.

From teachers who've had to adapt to online learning, to restaurants & bars who are now take out only -- we want to celebrate some of the best innovations we've seen in Western Washington during this completely unprecedented time. 

Keep reading to learn more about the awesome ways folks are "taking care of business" through the pandemic!

1. Seattle Public Schools Teacher, Angelica Rodriguez

Many teachers throughout the United States are feeling the stress of navigating remote learning. And that's one reason why Highland Middle School teacher Angelica Rodriguez created Peromiss -- an Instagram account where she shares remote teaching tools and instructions, book suggestions, and she even created a digital planner for other educators to get organized.

2. Seattle travel agency, The Table Less Traveled

Italy, Peru, and Malaysia were just some of the destinations offered by The Table Less Traveled, a Seattle-based company that brought small groups of tourists into the homes of chefs around the world. When the pandemic hit, owner Annie Cheng pivoted her business model to live interactive cooking classes. Guests are still invited into chefs’ homes around the world – just, virtually!

3. Dining & dancing destination, Century Ballroom

For more than two decades, music and movement were the heart of Century Ballroom in Capitol Hill. Since March, the dance floor has been much quieter -- and converted into a socially distanced dining space. The adjoining Tin Table restaurant has utilized their space in a very unique way: they use a pulley system for no-contact takeout!

READ MORE: Want no-contact takeout food? This Capitol Hill restaurant uses a pulley system!

4. Three fashion designers turned mask-makers

When COVID-19 hit many fashion designers were forced to adapt if they wanted to stay in business. Fortunately, they had the skills to make one of the most in-demand products – face masks. And thanks to local designers at The Oula Company, Adi Collective and Gustavo Apiti Couture, you don't have to sacrifice style to stay safe.

5. Seattle catering company, Manca's Catering

Once impossible to find in stores, toilet paper is now a piece of cake to buy from Manca's Catering in Seattle! Owners Andrea Manca and Taylor Lehmann bought the 30-year-old catering company from her parents last year. Then three months ago, they celebrated the birth of their son Logan and watched all of their event bookings disappear, almost simultaneously. Their cakes have had an amazing response -- making 20-30 cakes a week!

READ MORE: Toilet paper cakes serve up a slice of humor in trying times

5. Seattle hairstylist, Richard Stark

Hidden behind tall stalks of bamboo along Fremont Ave you'll find the hair salon/home of Richard Starks. But if you want to find him, don't look inside the house. He has moved his station into his front yard! The zen cabana takes his clients to another world! 

READ MORE: Seattle stylist moves his salon station to his front yard

6. Seattle pizzeria, Pagliacci

Seattle pizza icon Pagliacci is still tossing pies and delivering 'em fresh from the oven during this pandemic. To pay that good fortune forward, Pagliacci bought $150,000 worth of treats from local businesses. On Pagliacci's 'community giveaway' days pizzas come with FREE extras like Rachel's Ginger Beer, Macrina cinnamon rolls, Elleno's yogurt. Even umbria coffee. No strings attached!

READ MORE: Seattle pizzeria delivers free treats from local businesses

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