On May 20, Small Business Administration offers two free ‘Launch Your Business’ workshops. The early morning seminar covers planning and preparation steps to starting a business, followed by a more in-depth look at the funds needed to open a business, contingency and reserves, working capital, major start-up expenses, expense estimates, and break-even analysis. The seminars will run consecutively from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Each requires a separate registration. Click here for more information.
Mayor Mike McGinn joined staff from the Office of Economic Development and representatives from Seattle’s neighborhood business districts to announce the City’s $1.6 million investment in 17 neighborhood business districts across the city.
The investment was announced at Maya’s Mexican Restaurant in Rainier Valley. Neighborhood business leaders from Ballard, Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, Chinatown/ID, Columbia City, Georgetown, Madison Valley, Pioneer Square, Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley, South Park, University District, and Wallingford spoke about the projects and exciting visions for their neighborhoods.
“Seattle’s neighborhoods are one of the reasons we attract talented people and growing companies,” said Mayor McGinn. “That’s why investing in our dynamic neighborhood business districts is critical to our overall economic vitality.”
A large portion of the funding went to neighborhoods that have developed comprehensive, multi-year strategies, in which the city is investing a total of $727,000 in 2013. Which breaks down as:
- Beacon Hill $ 57,500
- Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue $100,000
- Chinatown / International District $168,500
- Columbia City $ 65,000
- MLK (Rainier Valley) $ 76,000
- Pioneer Square $100,000
- Rainier Beach $ 65,000
- University District $ 95,000
“I’m excited that the city is investing in the three major business nodes of the Rainier Valley: Columbia City, Rainier Beach and Othello,” said Susan Davis, Executive Director of the Rainier Chamber of Commerce. “This funding will help ensure that we can bring business leaders together to maximize the potential of each of these major business areas.”
“Ballard is a great place to live, work, shop and play. As a result, we are bursting at the seams. The Only in Seattle grant allows us to assemble community stakeholders – from retailers and restaurants to industrial businesses, major employers and Ballard residents – and create a unified vision for commercial revitalization that makes sense for Ballard today and in the future,” said Scott Ingham, Co-President of the Ballard Chamber Board of Directors.
OIS is also investing $115,000 to support focused investments in additional neighborhoods, Focused investments will be made in these neighborhoods: Ballard, Georgetown, Madison Valley, and South Park.
This year, $450,000 was also granted to neighborhoods for capital improvement projects that enhance the commercial district experience. In 2013, those neighborhoods are:
- University District
- Pioneer Square
- Chinatown/International District
- Pike/Pine Corridor – Downtown
“In the Chinatown/International District, we’re pleased to continue our façade program and clean and safe activities, and we’re especially excited that the Only in Seattle funding this year was expanded to include infrastructure projects,” said Joyce Pisnanont, IdeaSpace Manager at Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). “For us, we’ll be able to continue our work on Maynard and Canton Alley, which are two alleys of major cultural significance to our neighborhood that have been priority projects for a long time.”
Other Program Highlights – The Only in Seattle funding will also include approximately $300,000 that will invest in the following programs.
- The city will continue the Only in Seattle marketing campaign in 16 neighborhoods, which highlights the hidden gems of shopping and dining in Seattle’s neighborhoods (Also on Twitter and Facebook).
- The city also will invest to build strong business-focused organizational capacity to sustain the efforts of neighborhood business districts in Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue, Central Area, MLK (Rainier Valley), Georgetown, Roosevelt, Wallingford and White Center. Support for Business Improvement Areas (BIA) will occur in the following neighborhoods: Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue, Chinatown/International District, Madison Valley, Pioneer Square, and University District.
- Support a façade improvement program in the Chinatown/International District to develop and improve three façades through the business community.
OED will fund and manage this program in partnership with Impact Capital, a Seattle-based community development financial institution serving underserved communities throughout Washington.
The Office of Economic Development (OED)’s Only in Seattle Initiative (OIS) is a partnership with Impact Capital, which supports investments in neighborhood business districts, and focuses on the following strategies to create healthy business districts:
- Business and retail development (supporting businesses, enhancing business mix);
- Marketing and promotion (events, social media, district advertising);
- Clean and safe (graffiti removal, dumpster free alleys, lighting);
- Streetscape and appearance (catalytic development projects, façade, public art); and
- Business organization development to sustain the effort, including participation of an existing Business Improvement Area (BIA) or commitment to form one.
More information can be found in the Press Release from the Mayor’s Office.
The new Washington Export Finance Training (WEFT) Workshop series is a new monthly event from the Export Finance Assistance Center of Washington that will run through mid-May. These are monthly workshops, aided by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, geared toward community bankers and their small business export clients.
The upcoming seminars are:
- Session 2: How Letters of Credit Work, Tuesday, February 12
- Session 3, Part 1: Effective and Innovative Uses for Credit Insurance (Morning) / Part 2: Managing Foreign Exchange Risks (Afternoon), Tuesday, March 12
- Session 4, Part 1: Standby Letters of Credit and Bank Guarantees (Morning) / Part 2: Alternatives for Financing Export Sales (Afternoon), Tuesday, April 9
- Session 5, Part 1: Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Export Finance (Morning) / Part 2: Supply-Chain Finance and Path to Electronic Documents (Afternoon), Tuesday, May 14
The WEFT workshops cost $50 and take place at the Union Square Boardroom- 600 University St., Seattle WA, 98101.
For more information, visit The Export Finance Assistance Center’s website here.
The Job Sector Survey (JSS) was established to provide elected public officials and policymakers with an on-the-ground assessment of the challenges and aspirations of all types of local employers. JSS is in its third year and received nearly 1,700 responses from 15 industry sectors in 2012. The JSS is a cooperative project led by economic development organizations in King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, including Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and engages businesses of all sizes.
Results are shared with policymakers at the local, state and federal levels to help them understand business needs and how policy decisions impact your business. The sponsors hope to gain insights that will help create prosperity for all businesses and a job-growing economy. Data will also be compared with past survey results.
Employers are encouraged to take the JSS and be part of a collective voice for business. More participants make for better results.
All survey results are kept strictly confidential. Your responses will not be directly attributed to you in any public or marketing manner. The survey will remain open until January 31.
Over the past years, the Job Sector Survey has revealed:
- Business aspirations by county, city, employment sector and size
- Details about skills needed by specific types of employers
- Insights into prominent trading partners and goods
- Examples of obstacles to success by type and size of business
The Job Sector Survey is made possible with support from the Prosperity Partnership,Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, enterpriseSeattle, King County, Economic Alliance Snohomish County, Pierce County Economic Development Department, Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, The Seattle Times, the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, and The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
New Rules Will Take Effect September 1, 2012 – Workshops for Employers Scheduled for 8/21 and 8/29
Beginning September 1, 2012, Seattle employers will be required to provide a minimum level of paid sick and safe time (PSST) to their employees who work within Seattle city limits. The Seattle Office for Civil Rights is working to support businesses so they are ready to implement the new rules.
What are the rules?
The rules apply to all employers with more than four full-time equivalent employees. All employees are eligible for the new benefit, including full time, part-time and temporary workers. The hourly accrual rate depends on the business’s number of employees. Employers will need to keep records of their employees’ accrual and use of PSST and make that information available to their employees through pay stubs or an accessible online system.
Employees will be able to use their accrued paid sick and safe time as paid time off:
• To deal with their own illness, injury or health condition.
• To take care of a family member (including domestic partners) with an illness, injury or medical appointment.
• When their place of business has been closed by order of a public official for health reasons.
• For reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
How much paid sick and safe time is required?
Click here for a detailed overview on the ordinance and a chart that breaks down the hours employees work relative to the required paid sick and safe time.
How will these rules impact businesses?
There are three possible scenarios for a business, all dependent upon the existing level of paid sick
and safe time an employer already provides to their employees:
Scenario 1: The business is already in compliance. Employers with existing leave policies may already be in compliance with the rules, as long as their policy permits accrual, use and carryover of paid sick/safe leave for the same purposes and under the same conditions as the rules. The rules also allow employers to establish personal time off policies (PTO) that combine sick, vacation and other forms of leave.
Scenario 2: The business is not in compliance but their union employees agree to waive their rights to paid sick and safe time.
Scenario 3: The business is not in compliance. Employers with leave policies that are not in compliance with the rules are required to provide additional paid sick and safe time benefits to their employees.
How can businesses learn more about the new rules?
Free workshops are scheduled for employers:
• Tuesday, August 21, 12 noon – North Seattle: Ballard Campus Swedish Medical Center, 5300 Tallman Ave. NW (NW Market Street just west of 17th Ave. NW), co-sponsored by the Lake Union Association, Aurora Merchants Association, Northwest Marine Trade Association, North Seattle Industrial Association, Fremont Chamber and Ballard Chamber of Commerce.
• Wednesday, August 29, 3 pm – Capitol Hill: Century Ballroom, 915 E. Pine Street, co-sponsored by the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Seattle Business Association. A workshop date in West Seattle will be announced as soon as the details have been finalized.
For more information, visit:
http://www.seattle.gov/psst or call the Office of Civil Rights at 206-684-4500
For technical assistance:
E-mail email@example.com or call 206-684-4500 for answers to your questions about the Paid Sick/Safe Time Ordinance.
American Independent Business Alliance readers know “Buy Independent / Buy Local” campaigns have proven their power to shift spending to benefit independent businesses. As word spreads, AMIBA has gotten ever-more requests for assistance. While there’s no substitute for the full support that comes with AMIBA affiliation, the Alliance is thrilled to announce a new publication that provides a thorough introduction to organizing an effective campaign. And thanks to underwriting from American Express OPEN, print copies of this12-page color magazine presently are available free upon request!
We’ve summarized AMIBA’s decade-plus of experience in this realm within a magazine that can quickly show potential allies, funders and team members the potential impact of a well-run campaign or broader Independent Business Alliance®. It also explains (and shows with plenty of visual examples) the elements separating the most powerful campaigns from the many that fail to yield results.
Order a free copy of “Building Buy Local Campaigns that Shift Culture and Spending” via this form(bulk mailing will occur the last week of July) or get a free copy sent today with any order of posters, decals or other pro-local business outreach material. We also created a special “Action Pack” to help you spark local interest at a bargain price (a temporary offering). Check it out!
AMIBA affiliates: please do not order! The American Independent Business Alliance will send you multiple copies (more upon request) as soon as the company receives your completed affilates’ survey.
As recently covered in the Seattle Times, Seattle Public Utilities is expanding the Get on the Map program for minorities who own small businesses.
Exequiel Soltero had two reasons for taking advantage of Seattle Public Utilities’ latest green initiative: the prospect of saving money and improving his Mexican restaurant’s recycling practices.
The Seattle utility has spent the last year working with ethnic minorities such as Soltero who own a small business to make changes, such as installing an energy-efficient dishwasher, faucet and toilet, to save energy and money.
Soltero says he has saved an additional $1,250 on his garbage bill by recycling and composting at Maya’s, his Rainier Valley restaurant. His 16 employees have been trained to separate waste according to material — paper, bottles and cans, glass and cardboard — instead of “dumping all the trash in the disposal or the garbage.”
Philip E. Paschke, a program manager at the utility, says the restaurant also was able to reduce its water use by nearly 152 gallons, or 16 percent. This resulted in more than $1,000 in yearly savings.
The utility offers rebates for a wide range of commercial-kitchen equipment, he says, and can offer low-flow aerators for free. “Always look for the WaterSense label or in the case of dishwashers, Energy Star, which will be both water and energy efficient,” advises Paschke.
Susan Sanchez, deputy director of the customer-service branch at SPU, oversees the program, which is designed to reach customers who haven’t taken advantage previous conservation programs. It has bilingual specialists who visit the businesses and train employees in their native language.
Once a business signs up with Get on the Map, they are recognized on the SPU website according to rank of number of environmental actions. The business is then promoted through local media and at community and business events.
SPU has spent $61,425 on the program in the past year and has budgeted another $54,095 for the current year.
It plans to expand into the University District and Rainier Valley after starting in Martin Luther King Way, Othello and Lake City.
“Get on the Map is about outreach to smaller businesses, so we are targeting core business districts throughout the city,” says Michael May, a public-relations specialist at SPU.
More information on the program can be found here:
Markets outside the U.S. represent over half of the world demand for goods and services. Asia represents the fastest growing market and business ties to Washington companies are highly valued there. Small to medium-sized business can take advantage of these market opportunities. The workshops are organized and taught by the Washington Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) International Trade Specialists. Statewide the WSBDC has two Export Readiness Centers that focus on training and advising new-to market and new-to export companies interested in expanding their international sales or entering international markets.
WSBDC highly recommends registering for this entire series at a discounted rate of $100.00; however workshops may be taken individually for $35.00 each. Please register online at wsbdc.org/training-calendar. These will take place from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM.
Workshop #1 on April 3rd is an Introduction on Doing Business in Asia and will include the Why & How, Risks and Opportunities of Doing Business in Asia along with resources to promote successful Market Selection.
Workshop #2 on April 10th will focus on Marketing & Financing Exports including, Delivery Systems, Getting Paid, and using a Market Segmentation Framework.
Workshop #3 on April 24th will cover Key Export Plan Components like Making Market Decisions and the basics of Market Entry Execution.
Workshop #4 on May 1st will work on Building Your Company’s Export Business Plan. You will leave with key takeaways.
Existing Small to medium Washington-based businesses who are interested in learning more about starting to export or those interested in gaining new markets should attend. Priority will be given to companies ready to start or grow their export capability.
This program is hosted by Washington Small Business Export Readiness Center and is funded in part by the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board through a grant.
About the Washington Small Business Development Center
The Washington SBDC promotes economic vitality within Washington communities by providing expert business advising, demand-driven training and applied research to existing businesses and entrepreneurs. The SBDC is a cooperative effort of Washington State University, other educational institutions, economic development organizations and the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on the mission and services of the SBDC visit the website at http://www.wsbdc.org.
SEATTLE’S URBAN ISLAND: PROTOTYPE 1
What will the future city look like? Pushing forward sustainability without stopping and controlling the wide expansion of human habitation is just ineffective. We need to limit human activities into a designated area that is designed to accommodate maximum activities and at the same time preserve natural life cycle. The new urban island prototype by Erick Kristanto for the Seattle Urban Intervention Competition is the first floating platform prototype that maximizes human activities on top while maximizing nature on the bottom.
TAX CREDITS CAN BENEFIT YOU
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Many small businesses don’t realize that 17 small business tax cuts have been signed into law and an additional five small business tax cuts are proposed for 2013. Are you an investor in a small business? Capital gains on investments held more than 5 years in qualified small businesses are 100% exempt for the 2012 tax year. Are you a start-up? Start-up entrepreneurs can deduct $5,000 for start-up expenditures. Here’s some more tax cuts that small businesses can benefit from this year.
WHAT 12TH AVE ARTS PROJECT WILL LOOK LIKE + HOW TO HELP
CAPITOL HILL BLOG
Dignitaries and Hill-ebrities co-mingled at the Capitol Hill home of real estate developer Michael Malone last week as part of a multi-faceted fundraising campaign that is drawing on everything from corporate support to boxing ticket sales to help build the 12th Ave Arts project and replace the East Precinct’s parking lot with a new 29,000 square-foot building providing housing, theater space and, yes, SPD parking.
TOP FIVE SEATTLE RESTAURANT OPENINGS OF 2011
Here’s an end of the year list that we may all enjoy throughout the new year. The Seattle Met has compiled some of the best restaurants that opened their doors in the past year, and then narrowed it down to their top five. But based on experience, lists tend to be mostly subjective, so don’t let that deter you from trying out all the rest!
THE U.S. ECONOMY: REGIONS TO WATCH IN 2012
In an election year, politics dominates the news, but economics continue to shape people’s lives. Looking ahead to 2012 and beyond, it is clear that the United States is essentially made up of many economies, each with distinctly different short- and long-term prospects. Here are the five regions that are most poised to flourish and help boost the national economy.
THREE SMALL-BUSINESS BLUNDERS TO AVOID THIS YEAR
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Usually at this time of year we all start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Faced with continued economic uncertainty, it’s tough to know what those resolutions might be for our businesses, as survival has been the operative word for small businesses these past few years. So, let’s make well-thought-out decisions in order to avoid making common mistakes like these three.