Spokane Journal of Business

Pledge 1200 garners commitments in 42 states

Consumers nationwide agree to spend stimulus funds in communities

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Residents from 42 states have committed to spending more than $1 million at struggling small businesses in their respective communities through an initiative co-founded by a young professional in Spokane. 

The effort, dubbed Pledge 1200, is asking consumers to spend federal stimulus checks—which are typically $1,200 for taxpayers who don’t have children at home—to support local economies.

The idea behind the Pledge 1200 campaign started last month when longtime friends Jarred Mac, of Spokane, and Aubrey MacKenzie, of Seattle, began thinking about what to do with their federal stimulus money.

Says Mac of MacKenzie, “He really wanted to do something more than spend on himself.”

MacKenzie enlisted the help of Mac and his Seattle-based friends, Mason Delahooke and Dominique Gorecki, in launching a grassroots campaign to encourage people to commit to investing their emergency stimulus money for financial assistance to small business owners in the midst of stay-at-home orders.

Mac and MacKenzie were classmates at Central Kitsap High School, in Silverdale, Washington. Mac is a recent Washington State University graduate who earned his degree in political science. He’s now working as an intergovernmental affairs officer in Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner’s office.

MacKenzie is a recent University of Washington graduate, Mac says.

“The goal is to help spread awareness to those who don’t understand that small businesses play a huge role in our communities and economies,” Mac says.

They built the Pledge1200.org website last month, and commitments quickly began pouring in, he says.

Between April 8 and April 21, pledged commitments increased from just under $400,000 to $1.1 million.

Mac says no one in the group had any idea what to anticipate when they started this effort.

“I think we all really believe in the idea; it’s such a nonpartisan cause,” he says.

Kevin Blocker
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