The February 27, 2015 Peer Network Gathering began with a simple question: How important is access to capital for small businesses? As neighborhood business district leaders and small business owners introduced themselves, the response was clear that access to capital is one of, if not the, most important resources for small businesses to start and grow.
The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development’s (OED) convened neighborhood business district organizations and OED’s financing partners to share resources and build relationships. OED’s financing partners that attended were:
Community Capital Development,
- Grow America Fund,
- Mercy Corps NW and the
- Rainier Valley Community Development Fund.
Business District leaders representing 15 different neighborhoods were in attendance to discuss the unique benefits of each resource and how best to communicate or refer businesses to these resources. Lance Randall, Business Retention and Expansion Manager at OED, described the intent of the Grow Seattle partnership between the City and business organizations – to position the local organizations as “go to” experts for business technical assistance in the neighborhood. For more information on this program, please contact Lance Randall at firstname.lastname@example.org and 206.733.9743.
The discussion portion of the event highlighted a few things:
- The ability to communicate these resources to neighborhood businesses is critical to success;
- Knowing which lending partner for a particular business is an important service that business district organizations can play, and where each lender can also assist; and
- There are new nimble and innovative lending tools out there currently, such as crowdfunding that is another resource for businesses to raise capital.
Regarding that last bullet, we were all happy to see Alex Mondau from Community Sourced Capital in the audience. He explained the platform and why raising capital from your local community can help your business succeed. Alex ended by promoting the Money on a Mission event on March 4, 2015 at the Impact Hub Seattle (event details).
We are looking forward to the future connections that will be made with these lenders and our local small businesses to help grow Seattle’s neighborhood business districts.
If you missed us, please check out some of the materials below as a recap and keep a look out on our calendar of events for the next peer network gathering. The next one, scheduled for Thursday, March 26, will be focused on Special Events in Seattle and Neighborhood Business Districts. Register today!
View the contact information for each lender
More information about the Grow Seattle Business Retention and Expansion Partnership