From the Office of the Mayor Jenny Durkan
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced the members of the City’s new Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC), a group tasked with ensuring small businesses have a role in informing policies and programs, and have the access to resources they need to thrive and be part of the solutions to the challenges of growth and Seattle’s affordability crisis. The SBAC, established by Mayor Durkan in an Executive Order in November, will provide input on the impact of City decisions, make policy recommendations, and help increase access to tools and resources available to small businesses including arts and culture organizations. The inaugural meeting of the SBAC will be held on February 21, 2018.
“Inventing the future and maintaining vibrant neighborhoods means supporting the tens of thousands of small businesses that call Seattle home,” said Mayor Durkan. “With the creation of the Small Business Advisory Council, Seattle’s diverse and innovative small businesses will have a meaningful voice in City Hall. They will be a great help in crafting solutions to our City’s urgent challenges of affordability and growth.”
Small businesses account for more than half of all jobs in Washington State and employ nearly 200,000 people in Seattle. There are approximately 36,500 businesses in Seattle with fewer than 50 employees.
The Small Business Advisory Council will create City-wide strategies to promote the interests of Seattle’s small businesses and develop specific recommendations in the following areas:
- Identification of issues that impact small businesses and their workers across the city, to explore how programs, resources, tools and services can be improved.
- Evaluation of the impacts of city actions including construction projects, permitting processes, parking practices and fees, regulations, signage, licensing, and changes in zoning.
- Recommendations on policy issues such as alternative financing options, improved permitting processes, and tools to support commercial affordability and community business ownership.
- Providing input to strengthen and expand programmatic support, such as consulting and financing resources needed to help small businesses remain competitive and grow in an ever-changing environment.
The SBAC is composed of City leaders and business owners from across sectors and industries, including but not limited to retail, manufacturing, technology, and professional services. The Council’s members represent businesses of varying size, stage, and structure; neighborhoods from across the city, and will provide a platform for under-represented entrepreneurs, including women, LGBTQ individuals, people of color, immigrants, and refugees.
In addition to small business owners, two ex officio members will serve on the SBAC: Seattle City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Teresa Mosqueda, who were nominated for these positions by Council President Bruce Harrell.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park), Chair of the Council committee that includes economic development, stated, “Small businesses shape Seattle’s sense of community. As rents climb and online retail competition increases, I’m thankful that Mayor Durkan has assembled this group. I’m hopeful the recommendations will build upon the recentLegacy Business Study I sponsored, so iconic small businesses that often define unique neighborhood character can be enjoyed by future generations and serve as a bridge to Seattle’s culture and history in a rapidly changing city.”
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) said, “When small businesses are strong, Seattle is strong; when workers thrive, small businesses thrive. I am excited to join this Council, and learn of great examples to support small and micro businesses – such as the Micro Mercantes program in Portland – while we continue to ensure the strong worker protections we have won in Seattle are maintained and expanded. Through this work, I know we can implement actionable programs to provide a foundation for women and minority owned businesses to flourish in all parts of our city.”
The members of the SBAC will serve a two-year term and include:
- Co-Chair Joe Fugere, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria
- Co-Chair Taylor Hoang, Cyclo Corp., Ethnic Business Coalition
- Co-Chair Donna Moodie, Marjorie Restaurant, Mint Holding
- Co-Chair Tracy Taylor, Elliott Bay Book Company
- Maryan Abdulle, Nasib Family Child Care
- Zewditu Aschenaki, Salon Adidez
- Joey Burgess, Queer/Bar, Grim’s Provisions and Spirits
- Shaiza Damji, Hotel Nexus
- Solomon Dubie, Café Avole
- Annette Heide-Jessen, Kaffeeklatsch
- Edouardo Jordan, Salare Restaurant, JuneBaby
- Lacey Leavitt, Electric Dream Factory
- Elise Lindborg, ZippyDogs LLC
- Michael Megalli, indie.biz
- Debbie Millard, Ballard Oil Company
- Molly Moon, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
- Linda Morton, Terra Plata
- Gayle Nowicki, Gargoyles Statuary
- Kamala Saxton, Marination
- Lei Ann Shiramizu, Momo
- Leigh Stone, Crybaby Studios
- Gail Stringer, Hawaii General Store
- Chuck Wang, Stage
- Edwin Wanji, Sphere Solar Energy
- Beto Yarce, Ventures
- Lara Zahaba, Stoup Brewing
- Councilmember Lisa Herbold (ex officio)
- Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (ex officio)
The Small Business Advisory Council plans to convene quarterly, with additional meetings as necessary.