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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Gesa Credit Union announces sponsorship of Live Local INW campaign

The Garland Business District, Gesa Credit Union and Live Local INW are hosting an event Friday at the Garland Theater and Bon Bon to celebrate growth and resilience of businesses.  (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

A Tri-Cities-based credit union, with branches in Spokane, has agreed to a sponsorship deal that will support an online-business marketplace for shoppers to discover local independent businesses.

Gesa Credit Union is sponsoring the Live Local INW campaign, a “buy local” initiative led by the Spokane Independent Metro Business Alliance and 11 other business organizations.

“We choose to support SIMBA because we whole-heartedly believe in their mission of supporting local businesses and fueling growth to our local economies,” Angie Brotherton, Gesa Credit Union’s assistant vice president of community relations and impact, said in an email.

“Not only is our partnership with SIMBA support for an important local business alliance, it is also support for every local business the Live Local Campaign is helping grow,” Brotherton continued. “We are proud to help SIMBA launch this program, and further facilitate growth in the Spokane region.”

The credit union’s sponsorship will assist in promoting the Live Local INW Marketplace, which serves as a centralized website for shoppers to discover new independent businesses by category, location and type of ownership model.

The marketplace allows businesses to showcase their products for free while providing an opportunity to reach a wider customer base.

The Live Local INW Marketplace has grown to include more than 670 businesses since launching in 2020.

The marketplace features a directory, free sign-up links for small business owners, and items for sale via PayPal and links to local businesses’ websites.

Gesa Credit Union declined to disclose financial terms of the sponsorship.

SIMBA, Gesa Credit Union and the Garland Business District are hosting an event June 17 to celebrate growth and resilience of the Live Local INW marketplace during the pandemic.

The event, held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Garland Theater, will feature door prizes. Bon Bon will feature a Live Local INW drink special.

Garland Business District President Julie Hall said in a statement that she’s thrilled that Gesa Credit Union and Live Local INW’s partnership will continue to support small businesses.

“Having a one-stop-shop where customers from around the region can discover local goods, services and events is the best way for us to tap into these community-minded consumers in a way that makes a real difference for our smallest entrepreneurs,” Hall said.