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Seattle releases small business map to spur sales during state mandated shutdown

The new tool helps people find businesses that are still open during the coronavirus pandemic.

SEATTLE — The City of Seattle is rolling out a new tool and database to help people find small businesses and takeout food during the state mandated closure period.

It's the latest effort to spur sales among restaurants, cafes, and breweries which have been hit hard by the restrictions on public gatherings.

The new online tool, which was put together by the city's IT department, allows people to search by address and find businesses that are offering takeout or delivery. Right now, there are 519 businesses that are included in the database, with more expected to be included soon.

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The city used existing data from offices such as Visit Seattle, and Eater Seattle, in addition to neighborhood groups in order to put the database together.

According to the Downtown Seattle Association, there were 23,000 restaurant related jobs in downtown Seattle in 2018, and in Washington state, food services accounted for the highest percentage of unemployment claims – at 597% – in the second week of March.

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Since the start of the crisis, Seattle has offered to defer payments, evictions, and taxes to keep small businesses open. Recently, the mayor's office announced the creation of temporary restaurant loading zone to encourage curbside pick up. Additionally, the city has issues hundreds of grocery vouchers to families in need.