by Amanda Ong
On Dec. 10, 2021, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) and then-Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the launch of Seattle Restored — a new program focused on activating vacant commercial storefronts in Downtown Seattle neighborhoods. The program has partnered with the Seattle Good Business Network and Shunpike, as well as other property owners, to provide spaces and support for local artists and entrepreneurs who can then use their designated space for 2 to 4 months, with hopes for eventual longer-term leases and expansion into different neighborhoods.
Continue reading OED’s ‘Seattle Restored’ Program Will Bring BIPOC Artists to Downtown Seattle Storefronts
by Ronnie Estoque
When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country abruptly in March of last year, many worried what the impact on local small businesses would be.
Small businesses in South Seattle had to adjust and pivot their business models to weather the brunt of the pandemic, and many of them found unwavering support from the local community.
Continue reading Community Rallies Behind Local Business Owners
by Patheresa Wells
Now that we are through the hectic online shopping seasons of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many find that they are still looking for items to cross off on their shopping lists. And while the issues of inflation and bare shelves might make it harder to find what you need, especially for last-minute shoppers, they also provide a great opportunity to support local small businesses by shopping directly from Black, Indigenous, and BIPOC-owned businesses that could benefit from your hard-earned dollars. Remember, in order to move toward equity, it is paramount that we shift our funds into the hands of those who have been systematically shut out from acquiring wealth. If you are looking for somewhere to start, here is a guide to help you in your quest (but remember to check with sites or stores for shipping deadlines):
Continue reading Buy From Black, Indigenous, and BIPOC Businesses This Holiday Season
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 Amanda Ong
This Saturday, Nov. 27, is the annual Chinatown-International District (CID) Small Business Saturday Food Walk. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can visit a variety of small CID businesses to find offerings from retail to food, with each participating with a selection of treats for only $6. The CID Food Walk features items for dozens of CID businesses — from egg rolls and hum bao at ChuMinh Tofu Vegan Deli to cream puffs at Beard Papa’s and discounted merchandise at the Wing Luke Museum.
The Small Business Saturday Food Walk is an event held by the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Association (CIDBIA), a nonprofit organization based in the CID that does work in public safety, sanitation, marketing, communications, neighborhood events, and advocacy. It is one of 10 Business Improvement Associations throughout the city. During the event, the CIDBIA will be hosting a table at Hing Hay Park where you can ask questions, find recommendations, and receive a bag of small goodies.
“It’s a really good opportunity to just highlight collectively the entire neighborhood, and call out to all the great things that we have besides just a certain cuisine of food,” said Connie Au-Yeung, communications and marketing manager at CIDBIA, in an interview with the South Seattle Emerald. “There’s drinks, and there’s different pastries and retail items, and a really great variety within Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon.”
Continue reading CID Saturday Food Walk Features Small Businesses and Delicious Eats
by Johnny Fikru and Johnny Mao
It is no accident that ChuMinh Tofu still stands tall in a spot that other businesses have long since vacated.
To date, Thanh-Nga “Tanya” Nguyễn and her staff have held down the spot on South Jackson Street for 10 years. Tanya’s journey to ChuMinh has involved a myriad of pathways. Medical school in Vietnam, biochemistry, a mindfulness in Buddhism, a passion for tofu, and a culture of caring — all manifest into the language of love present at ChuMinh to this day: food and mutual aid.
“I met Tanya years ago — I would come to ChuMinh Tofu and buy meals for community meetings. In the era I was raised in, banh mi was part of the diet at community meetings,” said organizer Johnny Fikru. “As I walked inside trying to determine what I wanted to eat, I was struck by the warm presence of Tanya. Anyone that’s ever been lucky enough to feel that energy knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s an inviting and warm presence. It’s authentic. It’s caring. It is peaceful. I was welcomed in a way that I haven’t felt at a restaurant, and it felt so great.”
Continue reading Love, Mutual Aid, and Humanity at ChuMinh Tofu
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 Ronnie Estoque
Last Saturday, Oct. 9, local community members gathered for the Monster Mash Market at the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall on Airport Way South. The all-day event featured over 40 craft vendors and artists selling their own unique sets of work. Several trailers were utilized and decorated as vendor spaces, while others were provided tent spaces to showcase their products to prospective customers. The event also featured live music from bands such as Lo-Liner, and a photobooth area for attendees to take photos with their festive Halloween-inspired costumes.
On Nov. 27, the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall will be hosting the GTPM Holiday Market from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Small, locally owned businesses will also be featured for the event.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Georgetown Trailer Park Mall Hosts Monster Mash Market
by M. Anthony Davis
The West Hill Community Association has an extensive history of advocacy and community service in the communities of Skyway and Unincorporated King County. Their weekly event, Skyway Outdoor Cinema, which hosts outdoor movies on a 20-foot screen every Friday in August, has been a staple in Skyway every summer since 2003.
Devin Chicras, a West Hill Community Association board member since 2014 (and president of the South Seattle Emerald board), has been actively involved in the Skyway Outdoor Cinema since 2013. At that time, the organization was discussing whether to shut the cinema down due to lack of volunteers and declining community attendance. Knowing how valuable the event was to the community, Chicras stepped up to ensure the outdoor cinema continued.
“Myself and my partner, Mary Goebel, decided that it was something too valuable to the community to just let it just discontinue,” Chicras says. “So we jumped in and, having no real event-planning experience, learned everything from the ground up, from getting vendors to buying AV equipment. We bought all of our own equipment after doing an Indiegogo campaign.”
Continue reading Skyway Outdoor Cinema Adjusts to Bring Community Together