UTAH (ABC4) – Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, there’s no better time to support your local businesses around town.

A new initiative based in Salt Lake City is helping some of those small businesses, specifically women-owned businesses. The initiative is spreading the word by using the hashtag, “#TisHerSeason” to encourage supporting small, women-owned businesses in Utah.

Sara Sparhawk, a local Utahn, is the founder and COO of West Tenth, an app that allows you to find and shop the talents of the local women in your community.

“It’s a way to really aggregate these women-owned businesses that you can’t find unless you’re in their small social circles,” says Sparhawk. “We have such incredibly talented women in our local communities and we just need a way to find them a little easier.”

Sparhawk says historically, only 4% of spending has gone to women-owned businesses in the U.S. yet over 40% of U.S. businesses are owned by women.

“During the pandemic, women have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, either through job loss or struggling to maintain their home-based business,” says Joe Hillstead, a representative from Squire, an accounting firm in Salt Lake.

An app like West Tenth will make it easier for locals to support the talented women offering custom goods and professional services right in your hometown.

Local business owners such as Britt Larsen, know firsthand how important it is to connect with customers. Larsen is the founder of Livlyhood, a company dedicated to career coaching and helping both men and women find purpose and joy in their careers.

She recalls being inspired to start the company after moving to Utah and realizing the lack of professional female mentors in her area. Larsen hopes her company can provide much-needed mentorship and guidance for women in the area.

It means so much to me every time I make a sale,” says Larsen. “Every single time I do a happy dance! It’s such a big deal when these small home-based businesses make a sale.”

Larsen believes that’s what West Tenth is all about — helping businesses like hers connect with customers around her hometown.

“When we support our small businesses, we’re actually investing in our local community,” says Sparhawk. “That money goes directly back into our community, so it’s just an amazing cycle.”

This holiday season, help your community by purchasing gifts for loved ones from local neighborhood vendors. You can download West Tenth in the app store on your mobile device.