by Alexa Peters
Though a comprehensive report detailing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Seattle economy has yet to be published, preliminary data shows that 2020 has been nothing short of horrific for the local travel and tourism industry.
According to a Visit Seattle Annual Report from February, the tourism industry generated $11.7 billion in total economic impact and 80,317 jobs in 2019. But this year, practically every event that usually brought tourists into the area was cancelled — and cancellations at the Washington State Convention Center alone account for a $379 million loss to the local economy.
Continue reading New Campaign From King County and Partners Encourages Residents to Return to Local Tourism
by Mark Van Streefkerk
For most of its members, returning to the YMCA means adapting to a new normal of gym life during a pandemic. Members can now sign up in advance to reserve 45-minute time slots for workouts, including swim sessions. Temperature checks, face masks, and adherence to other safety protocols are all required. Nearly all YMCAs in King County, including South King County’s Meredith Mathews, Matt Griffin, and Kent locations, reopened for member use on Aug. 19, in accordance with Governor Inslee’s fitness guidance for Phases 2 and 3. Adapting to a new normal of pandemic-adapted fitness, however, is just the tip of the iceberg for the nonprofit’s community outreach.
“Although we stopped serving members in our facility [in March], we never really closed our doors,” said Alonda Williams, senior vice president and chief experience officer for the YMCA of Greater Seattle. “Right away we focused on making sure that we were taking care of first responders by caring for their children. We did emergency child care right away [and] we continued our hunger programs … It was something that we were committed to from the very beginning.”
In mid-March, right as YMCAs across the county closed their gym facilities, the organization unified to meet crucial community needs. “We turned [our locations] into child care facilities,” Williams affirmed, noting that combined Y locations provided more than 17,000 hours of child care to first responders and over 300,000 meals to youth and families with the support of partners like Safeway and Microsoft. “Many of those kids would have been on free or reduced lunch, so without being in school [they] might not have otherwise had support,” she noted.
Continue reading YMCA Introduces Workouts by Appointment and After-School Enrichment Programs ‘In A Box’
by Ben Adlin
As more South Seattle small businesses reopen amid the ongoing pandemic, a new program led by a local chamber of commerce wants to ensure that customers and employees feel as safe as possible.
The Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce last week announced the launch of the “Southside Promise” campaign, an effort to equip local businesses with information and guidance to safely reopen. The program, a partnership with the City of Tukwila, provides face masks and other personal protective equipment and offers a reopening toolkit — essentially an in-depth slideshow presentation — aimed at helping businesses navigate the sometimes dizzying process of reopening.
Continue reading South Seattle Businesses Have a New Guide on the Road to Reopening
by Phil Manzano
The coronavirus pandemic has roiled normal life, including the often-asked question, where do you want to eat?
The question is more pointed as American eating habits have shifted dramatically over the last 30 years, with households spending more on eating out than eating at home, according to a 2018 USDA study. Continue reading South End Dining Options During Phase 2