Mayor celebrates with Only in Seattle Award Winners

Last week, Mayor Ed Murray announced the 2016 Only In Seattle initiative grant award winners, totaling $1.6 million dollars in 19 neighborhoods; this will bring together City departments and local business stakeholders to create strategies and improvements that will strengthen neighborhood business districts. You can view how the grant money will be invested here.

To celebrate the initiative, Mayor Ed Murray and the Only In Seattle team hosted a party on March 31st, it included fantastic food by Taste of Caribbean and featured a live performance by The Seattle Woman’s Steel Pan Project.

Brian Surratt speaking at Only In Seattle Initive Celebration 2016 Joan Broughton Dennis Comer Lillian Comer at the Only In Seattle initiative celebration 2016
You can see more pictures of the event by visiting the Office of Economic Development Facebook page.

Only In Seattle’s initiative supports investments in neighborhood business districts. Office of Economic Development Director Brian Surratt said, “Neighborhood business districts are the economic engines of our city. The uniqueness of each neighborhood is one of the reasons people love to live here,” Brian believes that, “The Only in Seattle initiative helps foster neighborhood businesses by supporting community and community leadership.”

Some of the strategies Only In Seattle’s initiative focuses on are:
• Business and retail development (supporting businesses, attracting new businesses)
• Marketing and promotion (events, social media, district advertising)
• Clean and safe (graffiti removal, garbage pick-up, lighting)
• Streetscape and appearance (catalytic development projects, façade, public art)
• Business organization development to sustain the effort, including the creation of a Business Improvement Area (BIA) or exploration to form one.

To learn more about what Only In Seattle does or to contact them, you can check out their webpage.

My Behind The Scenes Experience Of The Presidents State Of The Union Address

Going to Washington D.C. for President Obama’s Final State of the Union Address was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. With the trip being over a month ago now, it is still surreal to me that I was there and witnessed everything I did. Tuesday, January 5th when I came into work I was not prepared for the news I was about to receive. I received an email that contained a message saying that Mayor Ed Murray suggested me as the individual who will have the honor of traveling with Chief O’Toole to D.C. When I first read the email, it took me a few minutes to comprehend what was going on. Once I finally understood what was going on, I was overwhelmed with excitement. Two days later I got to meet SPD’s Chief O’Toole, who I would be travelling with. When I first met her she was extremely friendly and outgoing, you could tell she was a very likeable person. She made a few funny jokes, and we discussed the trip and travel arrangements.
When Chief O’Toole and I arrived at the airport Monday morning, we were met by one of her staff members who told us news teams were waiting for us. After we had checked our bags we went to the news teams and there were four cameras waiting to interview us. They asked Chief O’Toole a series of questions about how she felt about being selected to sit in the First Lady’s box, her view on gun control, and a few other questions, once she was finished I was asked one question about my feelings on travelling with the Chief and getting to experience this opportunity. I was nervous answering because it was only my second time ever being interviewed in front of a camera and I had never done it in front of four cameras and for a topic that was such a big deal.
Tuesday was the day we all were waiting for. We started off the day by going to the Department of Justice for a meeting with the Attorney General Loretta E. Lunch. When we first went to the Department of Justice I noticed right away how compelling the inside of the building was and the countless memorabilia that was inside the building. One of the first hallways we saw had various nations’ flags on both sides of the hallway; this was one of my favorite areas in the Department of Justice. Luckily I got to sit in on an informal meeting between the Attorney General and the Chief. It was a unique experience to see two people of such power interact and discuss important issues as well as joke with each other and get to know one another.
After a short break in our day myself, Aaron Frausto, Meghan O’Toole, and Chief O’Toole took off to get a tour of the White House. Our tour included a part of the White House not many people can say they’ve seen, The West Wing. The tour of the West Wing was brief and we were not able to take pictures of any of it but, it was very memorable. We were able to see a room called “The Naval Mass” which was Navy themed and had these beautiful pictures of Navy ships; we also got to see a dining room that Vice President Joe Biden eats a lot of his meals at. My favorite part of the West Wing was all of the pictures they had hanging on the wall. They had upwards of 50 different pictures of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama doing various activities such as greeting people, in meetings, speaking to the public, etc. Once the tour of the West Wing came to an end we got the tour of the White House starting from the East Wing. We were able to see the library, the First Lady room, the Kennedy Garden, the East room, along with many others.
Once the tour came to an end it lead to a reception in one of the main hallways of the White House. During the reception we got to network with notable people, meet others who would be in the First Lady’s box, and their plus ones. A few hours into the reception, we were instructed to put our phones away and follow the workers, after about 15 minutes of waiting, Wale, who is a popular rapper from D.C. walked in and I met him which was exciting for me as a fan. But then, Michelle Obama walked into the room. Everyone was silent and anxious to meet her; luckily, myself, Chief O’Toole, and Meghan were the first ones in line! It was a brief encounter but such an honor and once in a lifetime moment. In those few seconds that we introduced ourselves you could tell that she was a nice, kind hearted person with a sense of humor. This was definitely one of the best moments of the entire trip.
Once First Lady Obama left the VIP’s all took a van over to the speech, Meghan and I stayed back at the White House and got to watch the speech from the White House family movie theater. While watching it, we were provided with popcorn, food, and drinks. There were about 20-25 people in the theater with us, and the seats were easily the most comfortable theater seats I have sat in, they even reclined! I thought President Obama gave an impressive speech, I appreciated that not only did he talk about important topics such as prison and education reform and how America should be a place without discrimination, but he also reminded us of all the excellent work he has done with examples such as our economy right now, unemployment rates, etc. Once the speech was over we headed back to the hotel and the Chief, Meghan, Aaron, and me hung out together before everyone went to bed after the long day.
Overall, the trip was one of the best, most eventful trips I have ever been on. Not only did I get to experience the White House, I met important, successful people and traveled with one. I made critical connections and got the experience of dealing with numerous types of medias. This trip has opened many doors for my professional career and gave me invaluable experience I could not have gotten anywhere else, this trip has led to a timeless story I have to share with friends and family, this trip is something I will never forget and will forever cherish.

Request for Qualifications: Business Improvement Area Consulting

Business Improvement Area Consulting

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is seeking one or more consultants to assist neighborhood business districts in creating and/or modifying Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in conjunction with OED and the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS). BIAs are funding mechanisms for business district revitalization and management. BIA technical assistance and support is an integral part of the Office of Economic Development’s Only in Seattle Initiative services.

For more information, contact Theresa Barreras at (206) 684-4505 or

View the complete RFQ here.  Read a description of the Only in Seattle Initiative.

An electronic submission of your response must arrive no later than 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, November 22, 2015 to:


Mayor Murray Celebrates National Manufacturing Day, Awards $100,000 to Grow Manufacturing Businesses

Mayor Ed Murray today celebrates National Manufacturing Day with an announcement that Industry Space Seattle, LLC will receive a $100,000 award to create an incubator to benefit multiple emerging manufacturing businesses.

Industry Space Seattle owns 47,500 square feet of industrial space to be used as an incubator to develop startups and emerging industrial businesses within Seattle’s industrial core. They plan to use the funds to rehabilitate industrial property into shared space where emerging manufacturers will have access to heavy equipment and common office space. The Industry Space building is located in South Park at 8009 7th Ave. S.

“Seattle has a proven history of making things that change the world,” said Murray. “I’m proud to support Industry Space Seattle, a project that shows Seattle’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. Maritime and manufacturing businesses are vital to our economy, and this repurposed industrial facility will help the next generation of businesses thrive.”

The city of Seattle sought a proposal to promote networking, information sharing, and mentoring among co-located, early-stage manufacturers.

Johnny Bianchi, owner of Industry Space Seattle, LLC called the project “a win for Seattle’s manufacturing community,” saying that “the funds will help spur innovation and allow companies to emerge that may not have been able to manage the initial costs of space and equipment on their own.”

Business owners are already benefitting. Hans Hofstee, owner of HGH Metalworks, a small metal fabricator, moved his business into the Industry Space building in April 2015. “Thanks to the building’s heavy lifting capacity, compressed air, and access to heavy power, I was able to spend money on the machines I need, rather than improving a new space,” he said. “I look forward to a long future at Industry Space where I can be part of building a community and building Seattle.”

The award is funded by fees generated by the city’s New Markets Tax Credit (“NMTC”) program, a federal tax credit financing tool. NMTCs attract private investment to important development and business projects benefitting low-income neighborhoods.

“It’s smart for Seattle to invest in emerging local businesses that grow our economy,” said Seattle City Councilmember John Okamoto, Investment Committee member of Seattle Investment Fund LLC, the city’s NMTC entity. “The fees collected from NMTCs are an innovative way to support these businesses.”

Seattle’s manufacturing sector represents a wide range of subsectors, including maritime, industrial machinery and fabricated metal, aerospace, printing and publishing, stone, clay, glass and concrete products, home and office furnishings, food and beverage production, construction, transportation, and wholesale distribution.

Request for Letters of Interest – Youth Employment Intermediary

Mayors YEPThe City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) seeks an entrepreneurial organization highly motivated to deliver improved employment results for our area’s young people. Seattle’s high youth unemployment rate of 13% stands in stark contrast with the area’s accelerated growth. Mayor Murray wants to see more youth gain critical “first-time” employment experience by increasing opportunities in the private sector and through an improved matching system between employers and youth.

OED will make available a minimum of $450,000 to $600,000 (contingent on City budget approval) to be disbursed over two years to lead the start-up and ongoing management of an intermediary function to link employers and youth to paid internships and jobs. OED is issuing this Request for Letters of Interest and will undergo a competitive process to determine the best investments.

View the complete Request for Letters of Interest

Download the Cover Sheet

Letters of Interest and Cover Sheets are due to Nancy Yamamoto by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.  For more information contact Nancy Yamamoto at 206-684-8189 or

OED and Wayfind Announce Free Small Business Legal Clinic

wayfindThe Office of Economic Development and Wayfind are proud to announce

A Special United Way Day of Caring
Small Business Legal Clinic
(FREE Legal Consultation with an Attorney)

Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Time: 45 minute appointments, 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: 2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue, South, Seattle

Sign up to meet with a lawyer, at NO COST, and ask them your legal questions about
your business. There will be attorneys with expertise in the following areas:

  • Starting up your business or nonprofit
    • Which type of legal entity should you become? Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation, Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Nonprofit
    • Incorporation
    • Obtaining 501c3 tax-exemption for Nonprofits
  • Contracts
  • Employment Law
  • Intellectual Property (Protecting your name and logo)

Only 40 appointments available! Register now by emailing:
Jennifer Tam at City of Seattle, OED –

To qualify for the clinic, clients must be at or below 80% of King County Median Income.
Please be prepared to confirm your income eligibility.

Wayfind thanks partners who are participating in this UWKC Day of Caring Small
Business Legal Clinic:

  • United Way of King County
  • Microsoft
  • Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship
  • Ventures
  • City of Seattle, Office for Economic Development
  • MercyCorps NW

Seattle to Open Pike/Pine Corridor to Pedestrians on Capitol Hill Saturday

Mayor Ed Murray, the Office of Economic Development, Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Police Department with Capitol Hill Housing announced a collaboration to temporarily open sections of Capitol Hill’s Pike/Pine corridor to pedestrians.

The pilot will close a portion of Pike Street on Capitol Hill to motor vehicle traffic on Saturday nights throughout August, increasing pedestrian access in the corridor.

“On these beautiful summer Saturday nights, we want to explore a new opportunity to come together as a community,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We are going to create a new experience in the heart of one of our most vibrant neighborhoods. As we add music and art, Capitol Hill residents and visitors alike will enjoy a fun and safe atmosphere.”

“This is an exciting piece of a much larger economic development strategy to support a strong, 24-hour economy in Capitol Hill,” said Brian Surratt, Director of the Office of Economic Development. “We’ve been working closely to support both daytime and nighttime businesses who are excited to see what we learn from this pilot.”

“I’ve been impressed with the city’s willingness to work so closely with the stewards, residents and business owners of Capitol Hill on this project. We are a strong and diverse neighborhood, but our needs are changing,” said Shan Foisy, Founder and Creative Director of Capitol Hill business The Soup Standard. “I believe this pilot has everyone’s best interests at heart and I’m excited to see what comes of it.”

• On August 8 and 15, Pike Street between Broadway and 12th will be closed from 10 p.m. to approximately 3 a.m.

• On August 22 and 29, Pike Street will close at 8 p.m., and local businesses and community groups will provide programming that will include a yoga demonstration, drag show, and live string music as people head home. The street will reopen at approximately 3 a.m.

• During the closures, adjacent side streets (10th and 11th Avenues) will be local access only.

• Passenger loading and unloading will occur outside the closure area. Suggested passenger load zones (PLZ) for Taxi/Uber/Lyft include three (3) PLZs on 12th Ave. between Pike and Union, and one (1) PLZ on Union between 11th and 12th.

“Our officers are excited to be able to provide this opportunity to our community,” said East Precinct Captain Paul McDonagh. “When we work together to create a new and exciting community spaces, we make our neighborhoods safer and stronger.”

Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative develops nearly 2000 opportunities for Seattle youth

DSC00095 - CopyMayor Ed Murray recently announced that his Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative has created nearly 2,000 positions for young people across the city, from summer jobs through Seattle Parks and other City agencies, to internships at private-sector employers. Financial support from private donors generated twice as many opportunities for Seattle youth as last year.

“In this year’s State of the City, I called for double the number of positions for Seattle youth,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Our private-sector leaders are expanding the youth employment program with new opportunities and energy. Through these partnerships, young people will develop new skills for success in the workplace, building toward a bright future.”

To support the effort, JPMorgan Chase awarded the City of Seattle $500,000 over two years to fund youth internships and deliver national best practices to increase employer engagement in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative. Russell Investments and Russell Wilson’s Why Not You Foundation have pledged an additional $75,000 to fund internships.

OED interns speak with the press.

OED interns speak with the press.

“I can think of no better way for the private sector to invest in our city than by embracing our youth,” said Councilmember John Okamoto. “Employers participating in the Mayor’s initiative are developing talent that will drive our economic future.”

Starbucks Coffee Company has hired interns this summer, along with other private sector contributors, including Amazon, Bank of America, The Boeing Company, Center for Infectious Disease Research, Google, Ivar’s, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Swedish Medical Center, and Vulcan.

In Seattle, the youth unemployment rate is over 13 percent and for low‐income youth and young people of color, it’s even worse. Nationally, youth unemployment is 12.1 percent in June 2015, double the 5.3 percent national average.

“As a major employer and partner of our K-12 schools, community colleges, and non-profit workforce training providers, JPMorgan Chase views closing the Skills Gap and providing meaningful career pathways to good paying jobs as two of the most crucial issues of our time,” said JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Pacific Northwest, Phyllis Campbell. “We feel our support of the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative is an important way we are helping to build the long-term success of the local economy.”

This year, through the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative, eligible youth and young adults will receive paid work experience in positions at various city departments and at private sector placements based on their career interest. To date, the City has identified 1,972 positions and expects to surpass the goal of 2,000 opportunities well before the end of the year.

“When you give a young person their first summer job, you’re opening up a pathway to meaningful employment and lifelong opportunity,” said Blair Taylor, chief community officer for Starbucks, which is participating in this year’s program and plans to hire 10,000 disconnected youth across the U.S. by 2018. “This is ultimately about coming together to provide the skills, training and job opportunities young people need to participate in the 21st century economy.”

Employment opportunities for young people not only provide needed income and skills training, they can result in healthier, safer lives for youth. In one Chicago study, for example, young people from high-crime neighborhoods were nearly half as likely to be victims of violent crime when they had summer jobs.

The Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative has been able to leverage $855,080 of private sector funding to match the $2.5 million investment of the Human Services Department’s General Funds. These contributions were critical for expanding this year’s summer youth employment program, and to further expand the program moving forward.

“Russell Investments is proud to support the much-needed Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative,” said Len Brennan, president and CEO of Russell Investments. “Increasing employment and internship opportunities for Seattle’s youth continues a nearly 80-year tradition of helping improve the quality of life for people in the communities where our associates live and work.”

The summer internship program is open to youth and young adults, ages 14-24 who live in Seattle. In 2015, Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative received over 3,700 internship applications, up from 432 youth applications last year—an increase of 81 percent.

It is expected that the demand of young people seeking employment will continue to grow in the coming years.

To ensure that all eligible youth are able to participate in the program, the City of Seattle is inviting additional employers to participate either by hosting internships next summer or during the school year. If employers are unable to host interns, they can contribute to the pool of funds to pay the wages of students placed at other companies.

Seattle Businesses: Join the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative

Mayor Murray is calling on Seattle employers to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative, which aims to improve connections between Seattle’s youth and employers, and increase employment opportunities for Seattle youth.SYEP Partner Button

You can become a Proud Employer Partner in one of two ways:

  1. Hire a youth intern at $11.00/hr to work part-time for 7-weeks in the Seattle Youth Employment Program, or
  2. Make a contribution of $2,600 to support a youth internship slot.

 Make your pledge today!


Seattle Youth Employment Program – Summer Internships

  • 7-week internship for youth ages, 16 to 24
  • Internships start on July 1 and end on August 19
  • Internship hours are up to 25 hours per week; for a total of 175 hours
  • All interns participate in job training preparation prior to internship and are supported by a youth staff member throughout the internship.


What can employers expect from the program?

  • A youth intern recruited and prepared by youth staff members for success in the workplace.
  • A single point of contact with a youth staff member who will work with the employer and the intern during the 7 week internship.
  • A match with a youth intern who best fits the skills requirements outlined by the employer.
  • Support for the young person on meeting employer expectations.
  • Support for the employer supervisor on how to best support the youth on the job.
  • Guidance and help with questions about hosting a youth intern.


Employers agree to:

  • Provide a structured work environment with clear tasks.
  • Provide supervision for a young person for 25 hours per week for 7 weeks this summer.
  • Participate in an employer supervisor orientation – in person or online.
  • Complete a background check.
  • Obtain a youth work permit for interns ages 16 and 17; (a 10-minute online application; permit is free).
  • Communicate with youth staff member weekly regarding intern’s engagement.

 Make your pledge today!


Questions? Contact Nancy Yamamoto in the Office of Economic Development: or 206-684-8189

Seattle business owners: Chime in about broadband services

The City of Seattle is looking for input about broadband from Seattle-area businesses. This survey will ask you about your current broadband services and whether they meet your needs; your satisfaction with the services that are currently available to business owners in Seattle; and what you believe the City’s role should be in bringing high-speed connectivity to residents and businesses in Seattle. The survey should take just around 10 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Take the Broadband Survey