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Seattle doctor opens $100 tabs around town to help struggling businesses and customers

A Seattle doctor has been opening $100 tabs at small businesses each Friday during the pandemic, encouraging customers to enjoy an order on her.

A Seattle doctor has been opening $100 tabs at small businesses each Friday in an effort to help shops and restaurants, which are struggling during the pandemic.

In social media videos, she tells her followers to place an order and put some or all of it on her tab.

“It’s really important that we try to support our local small business community today, so they’ll be here tomorrow,” said Dr. Christine Zapata, who owns Emerald City Spinal Care on Capitol Hill.

She opened her first $100 tab in early March when businesses were first forced to close due to COVID-19.

“With all the doom and gloom that I was seeing on social media, I wanted to do something positive,” Zapata said Thursday, as she opened another tab at Little Neon Taco.

So far, she’s opened more than $3,600 worth of tabs at cafes, restaurants, and shops.

“I honestly thought that this was going to last maybe two weeks or a month tops, and here we are, eight months later,” she said.

Zapata has been able to keep her clinic open, but she’s had to make costly safety upgrades.

Some of her neighbors are just barely getting by.

“A lot of the small business owners I'm talking to, they’re really just trying to focus on surviving and trying to hang in there until things go back to normal,” she said.

Zapata said she has no plans to stop opening the tabs anytime soon.

“I am committed to doing this every Friday for as long as I have to,” she said.

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