by Patranya Bhoolsuwan
(This article originally appeared on International Examiner and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
“We have often looked around and asked, ‘Where are the Black and Brown people working, and where are the Black and Brown clients?’ Because of this, we have been really intentional that our clientele represents who we are.”
This is more than just a business motto for Sonia Lynn-Abenojar and Sergio Max Legon-Talamoni, the cofounders of La Union Studio, an architecture, interior, and design consultancy. The (newly married) husband and wife team have taken their passion for architecture and design, along with their love for the diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest, to create a business that reflects who they are as individuals and entrepreneurs.
Continue reading New BIPOC Business Weaves Diverse Arts, Culture, History Into Design
by Agueda Pacheco Flores
Alicia Haskins is no doubt applying for a grant from the City’s Small Business Stabilization Fund program.
After visiting small businesses around Rainier Beach, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the program at a press conference at Rainier Health and Fitness, where she said the fund would focus on businesses owned by women and People of Color “because of the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.”
Continue reading City Announces $4 Million in Grants for Pandemic-Stressed Small Businesses
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Family-owned Beacon Hill restaurants Baja Bistro and Kusina Filipina were known for more than just their delicious, authentic recipes. Their customers and neighbors were welcomed like family when they came to dine. That was partly why the loss of both restaurants was so painful. After a change in building ownership led to a rent hike, the Paraiso family closed Kusina in 2017, and Baja shuttered after 25 years in 2020 due to the pandemic. The closures also reflected the decades-long trend of displacement and gentrification in Seattle. With the support of the Beacon Business Alliance (BBA) and a community-minded developer, these two legacy restaurants are planning to reopen in the same neighborhood they were previously forced out of.
Baja and CheBogz — the latter is owned by Paraiso family sisters Trixia and Paula — are returning to Beacon Hill, splitting a storefront space in the new Colina Apartments.
“It’s almost kind of like a fairy-tale story for People of Color,” Trixia said when reflecting on moving the restaurant back to Beacon Hill. “You don’t really get this opportunity to have a landlord say, ‘We want you guys here so that we can keep this community as diverse as it was before.’”
Continue reading Beacon Hill Restaurants Baja Bistro and CheBogz to Reopen at Colina Apartments
by Andrew Engelson
Seattle City Councilmembers Tammy Morales and Teresa Mosqueda sponsored an online forum on July 22 to explore issues surrounding displacement and exclusionary zoning that could fundamentally change the way Seattle grows in coming decades.
Continue reading City Council Forum Addresses Displacement and Exclusionary Zoning
by Ronnie Estoque
On Juneteenth, Jackson’s Catfish Corner will celebrate the grand opening of its new Central District location at 2212 South Jackson Street. The new locale is in the Community House Mental Health Agency’s Patricia K Apartments development.
“It means everything to me … to be open on Jackson Street and to come back to the Central District where we belong … where we started at,” said Terrell Jackson, owner of Jackson’s Catfish Corner.
Continue reading Coming Home: Jackson’s Catfish Corner Reopens in the Central District On Juneteenth
by Phil Manzano
It’s been a tough year — an unprecedented year of global danger from an uncontrollable virus, a reckoning of this country’s racial history, a deepening of political divides that burn to the roots of democracy, and a battered economy that is exacerbating the wealth gap.
Continue reading Southend Connect: Supporting Small Business, Building Community
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As of last week, the Port of Seattle is encouraging business owners, particularly women and entrepreneurs of color and business owners in South King County, to apply to the PortGen Accelerator, a business development program aimed at helping small businesses work toward future contracting opportunities.
Continue reading Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Centers Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses
by Elizabeth Turnbull
In response to prolonged difficulties for small businesses caused by COVID-19 quarantine measures, City Councilmember Dan Strauss and Council President M. Lorena Gonzalez introduced a bill early last week that aims to support small business as well as allow for more flexibility around land use codes and operating out of garages and residences.
“There are home-based businesses in my neighborhood currently operating out of compliance with current code,” Strauss said in a statement. “While they have not been reported or cited, it is important we provide an even playing field for them.”
Continue reading City Council Bill Would Relax Constraints on Home-Based Businesses
by Jasmine J. Mahmoud
Before the pandemic, my two favorite places to shop for holiday gifts were Kinokuniya Seattle and Pike Place Market. At Kinokuniya, the bright, densely-packed Japanese bookstore in Uwajimaya Village, I browsed children’s books, comics, magazines, and stationery for hours. At Pike Place Market, I beelined to the Herban Farm stand, founded by Ras Levi Peynado, a Seattleite with Jamaican Roots who farms and dries his products. There, I would test-smell the fragrant seasonings, rubs, and salves, while staring at ferry boats crossing Elliott Bay, before buying gifts for family members. Among favorites were Pike Place Herbs (an all purpose seasoning), the paprika-rich Seatown Smoke (“BBQ in a jar”), and the floral Lavender Sea Salt.
Continue reading ‘Black and Center’ Holiday Gift and Giving Guide!
by Mark Van Streefkerk
It’s no secret that small businesses and retail shops have had a challenging year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Most local retailers have had to move their sales online, or host a hybrid of safe, socially-distant, in-person shopping along with new online sales platforms. Here at the South Seattle Emerald, we encourage you and your family to shop local this holiday season, especially seeking out local, BIPOC-owned businesses that might have been hit particularly hard in the pandemic. Here are a few businesses from the Delridge, White Center, and South Park neighborhoods to support this year. Check out the Seattle Green Book for more Black-owned businesses, and The Intentionalist for an index of woman-, LGBTQ+-, and BIPOC-owned businesses.
Continue reading Shopping the South End: Holiday Gifts From BIPOC-Owned Businesses in Delridge, White Center, and South Park