With Washington residents ordered to "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" right now, Seattle's usually-bustling Pike Place Market is a quiet sight these days.
Hundreds of small businesses and thousands of employees who fill the market each day have been directly impacted by Washington's coronavirus crisis.
Only a few vendors are deemed essential and still able to operate. But the community that makes the market isn’t worried about their survival. They were built for this.
The Pike Place Market Foundation was established back in the 1980s and has a unique approach to helping the struggling vendors. It’s called the Market Community Safety Net fund. The community has raised over $120,000 so far, and it’s still growing.
Sosio’s Fruit and Produce is a Pike Place institution and has been in business since the 1940s. Mike Osborn is still selling his fresh produce and wanted to help his struggling neighbors, like the flower farmers deemed non-essential and can no longer set up shop at the market.
Osborn came up with the idea of selling their flowers for them and has increased the price to support the cause. Every day, he buys dozens of bouquets and offers them for sale next to his regular items.
In eight days, he sold over $20,000 worth of flowers and he donates all of the proceeds to the foundation and the farmers themselves.
“It doesn’t surprise me that we raised $20,000 in 8 days because that’s what this community does!”
Osborn's stand remains open 7 days a week at Sosio’s in the Market.