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City of Seattle

Download Past Award Winners (1984 - 2009) (PDF)

2008 Winner Profiles Press Release (PDF)

2007 Winner Profiles Press Release (PDF)

2006 Winner Profiles Press Release (PDF)

Seattle recognizes innovative companies through In Good Company

In Good Company: A Seattle Business Showcase, is brought to you by Mayor Mike McGinn as part of the Seattle Jobs Plan to recognize businesses that embody Seattle’s pioneering spirit and reflect Seattle at its best.  The ongoing showcase of businesses will spotlight one locally-owned business every month for being unconventional, transformative, and exemplary. 

Every month, one locally-owned business is recognized for being unconventional, transformative, and exemplary. There are a lot of incredible businesses in Seattle, and if you’re one that is recognized here, you know that you’re in good company

The highlighted businesses are chosen by the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce by a committee of staff members who meet quarterly to select businesses to recognize. Individuals and businesses may also suggest recommendations via the Office of Economic Development.

For nomination criteria and more information, please visit the In Good Company website page.

2009 Mayor's Small Business Awards, presented by Wells Fargo

On October 13, 2009, the Mayor's Small Business Awards honored ten outstanding local businesses at Town Hall for their contributions to Seattle's diverse economy. At this year's 25th annual event, 1984 business winners Assunta Ng, Seattle Chinese Post, and Hiroshi Hibi, Uwajimaya, gave tributes to the awards and took a photo with Mayor Nickels and former Mayor Royer, who started the program 25 years ago. Mayor Nickels was also honored with a short tribute for his eight years of support for the small business and neighborhood business district community. 2009 business owners, together with their staff, family, and friends, viewed special video profiles of each winner and and toasted many more years of successful small business enterprise.

Thanks to everyone who attended and congratulations again to the 2009 winners!

Announcing the 2009 Mayor's Small Business Award winners:

***Read the press release***

**View the winners' video profiles on the Seattle Channel.**

Alki Kayak Tours
Greg & Kara Whittaker - (206) 953-0237
1660 Harbor Avenue SW
West Seattle

Spurred by their love of exploring the natural beauty of the West Seattle peninsula, Greg and Kara Whittaker founded Alki Kayak Tours in 2005 with the goal of getting paddlers on the waters of the Puget Sound. Their sea kayak touring business, which began with one primary guide and one small fleet of kayaks, now employs twelve people seasonally and will get more than one hundred people paddling on Elliott Bay on a busy day. In addition to sea kayak tours that explore the natural history and human history of Puget Sound, the company also provides kayak, inline skate, bike, and fishing boat rentals overlooking the Seattle skyline. Alki Kayak Tours' use of non-polluting human powered watercraft, plus adherence to environmental best management practices, embodies the Whittakers' dedication to sustainable business practices as well as the conservation and preservation of Puget Sound. Their tours were recently voted "Best Way to View the Seattle Skyline" in the Seattle Weekly's Best of 2009 Issue.

Annie's Nannies
Annie Davis & Suzanne Royer McCone - (206) 784-8462
2236 NW 58th Street, Suite 101

Annie Davis founded Annie's Nannies in 1984 in response to a need for nanny placement agencies in the Northwest. In its twenty-five years in business, Annie's Nannies has grown from a one-person, part-time operation into an agency that employs five full time staff-and has located jobs for thousands of others-while setting industry-wide best practices in domestic employment. Annie and her daughter, Suzanne Royer McCone, along with their wonderful staff, have perfected the art of matching nannies and families in the greater Puget Sound Area. Employees and job-seekers at Annie's Nannies are treated as a vital resource, where all are valued and rewarded. Annie's Nannies is active in their community, contributing to schools and local fundraisers. With honesty and integrity as integral values, Annie's Nannies strives to ensure that "every child under a nanny's care is safe, happy, and constantly learning." They are the industry experts!

Ballard Sip & Ship / Greenwood Sip & Ship
Stephen & Diana Naramore - (206) 789-4488
1752 NW Market Street
Ballard, Greenwood

Stephen and Diana Naramore founded Ballard Sip & Ship in 2002 as a one-stop-shop for shipping and mailing, espresso drinks and snacks, and one-of-a-kind gifts, inspired in part by another small local business, the Queen Anne Mail & Dispatch. Now at two locations in Ballard and Greenwood, Sip & Ship provides a genuine community gathering place where customers can shop, mingle, and connect. Both stores are deeply invested in their surrounding neighborhoods, donating their popular custom-made neighborhood gear (t-shirts, hoodies, hats) and sustainably-roasted coffee to local schools and organizations. Many of the stores' cards and gifts, as well as sandwiches, donuts, and other snacks, are sourced from other local businesses-another way that Sip & Ship invests in the Seattle business community. Exemplary, personalized customer service and community building are Sip & Ship's core values. Dedicated patrons describe the business as "an old-time general store updated for the 21st century" and "what a neighborhood hang-out is all about."

Cupcake Royale and Vrit Coffee
Jody Hall - (206) 782-9557
2052 NW Market Street
Ballard, Capitol Hill, Madrona, West Seattle

Craving a red velvet, salted caramel, or peppermint party cupcake-and an espresso drink to match? Jody Hall's Cupcake Royale and Vrit Coffee (Vrit Ventures, Inc.) have just what you need. Founded in 2003 with only seven employees, Jody now operates four funky neighborhood locations in Ballard, Capitol Hill, Madrona, and West Seattle. In addition to supplying Seattle with its favorite food addictions, Jody has advocated in Washington, D.C. for health care reform that would make it easier for small businesses to buy affordable and comprehensive insurance for employees - one way she makes sure that her staff shares in the rewards of her business. A daily huddle among managers and employees ensures that everyone in the organization is on the same page, from company sales goals to customer service strategies. Giving back to the community is paramount as well; last year, they donated over 25,000 cupcakes to local organizations, schools, and children's charities, helping raise an estimated $200,000 for various programs throughout Puget Sound.

Gravity Payments
Dan Price & Lucas Price - (866) 701-4700
1434 Elliott Avenue W., Suite C

Dan Price co-founded Gravity Payments in 2004 as a 19-year-old freshman at Seattle Pacific University with his brother Lucas. After working in payments processing in high school, Dan realized the need for a small-business-friendly payment processing company that could negotiate rates and service with vendors. By providing around-the-clock availability and high-quality service, Gravity Payments has since grown from two employees to a staff of forty-two, and has saved its business customers approximately 20 million dollars in credit card processing fees. Through its charitable giving program "Gravity Gives," Gravity Payments donates a generous 10% of its annual profit to organizations that focus on air quality initiatives, services for needy family and children, and global poverty. Looking to the future, Dan hopes that Gravity Payments will one day be the dominant credit card processor in the Northwest, while maintaining its original values of transparency, fairness, and outstanding customer service.

Nyhus Communications LLC
Roger Nyhus - (206) 323-3733
1525 Fourth Avenue, Suite 400

Nyhus Communications specializes in communications and advocacy for the innovation economy. With a visible commitment to community involvement, the firm provides strategic public relations, public affairs and digital media services to organizations pursuing their businesses and missions in original ways. Since starting the firm in 1994, CEO and President Roger Nyhus and his team have provided candid counsel to organizations operating at the intersection of business, government and the community to bring about positive changes in the world. Despite a downturn in the economy, Nyhus has aggressively grown in the areas of technology, health care and global health, international economic development, real estate, and plans to open its first satellite office in Washington, D.C. next year. Employee retention, career development and continual learning are pillars of the company, which provides staff with personal and professional guidance, as well as robust support packages and flexible schedules. Dedicated to serving the community that has allowed it to grow, Nyhus donates generous amounts of pro bono work, consultation and money to local causes, and supports employees' leadership roles in community and professional organizations.

Schemata Workshop
Mike Mariano & Grace Kim - (206) 285-1589
1720 12th Avenue, #3
Capitol Hill

Husband and wife team Grace Kim and Mike Mariano founded their full-service architectural practice, Schemata Workshop, in 2004, after twelve years working in Seattle and Chicago. The firm takes its name from the singular 'schema' or framework, emphasizing an integrated and collaborative approach to the environment, professional practice, community building, and design. Schemata Workshop's design work reflects a simple, restrained elegance, material integrity, and is informed by the firm's clients, the surrounding environment and existing conditions. Open communication, employee mentorship, and collaboration with area firms are important. Recognizing the role and potential for the positive impact of their practice, Schemata Workshop works with clients to develop communities that emphasize a holistic view of social, ecological and economic sustainability.

SH Worldwide
H. S. Wright III, Greg Gillard, & Tony Kutch - (206) 623.2090
1000 Dexter Avenue N., Suite 502
South Lake Union

Rated by Washington CEO Magazine as one of the state's Top 100 Best Companies to Work For (2007-2008) and the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility (2008-2009), SH Worldwide is a product of three prominent Seattle event services and destination management companies. The merger, in 2008, formed one of the most comprehensive event management firms on the West coast. Owners H.S. Wright III, Greg Gillard, and Tony Kutch embraced this strategic merger as a way to provide exceptional customer service with a focus on business integrity, creativity, efficiency, sustainability and profitability. To ensure that their customer service is the best in the hospitality industry, SH Worldwide employs a team of experienced event managers and utilizes online management tools that streamline their interactions with clients to provide smooth and efficient service. Truly "event driven," the company's many corporate events and tour programs showcase Seattle's food, coffee, cruises, nature, arts, vineyards, and venues - driving not only SH Worldwide's business, but many other local businesses as well.

Shen Consulting, Inc.
Albert Shen - (206) 228-1364
1029 Belmont Avenue E., #201
Capitol Hill

Shen Consulting, Inc., founded by University of Washington graduate Albert Shen in 2000, specializes in private, institutional, and government program and project delivery of large infrastructure projects. Based in Seattle's Capitol Hill, the Washington state certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) provides diverse services to businesses using an established network of analysts, architects, planners, engineers and contractors. Delivering results on time and under budget is a priority for the company, which has recently worked on the Port of Seattle Sea-Tac Airport Capital Improvement Program and the Port of Seattle Marine Terminal Expansion Improvements. Although the boutique firm remains small, the company nearly doubled its revenue between fiscal years 2008 and 2009. Dedicated to the community that fosters its growth, Shen also supports multiple local fundraisers through corporate contributions and donations of auction items.

Brad Benner - (206) 264-XBAR
219 First Avenue S., #420
Pioneer Square

In 2002, as the cloud of the dot-com crash hung over the IT industry, Brad Benner did something a little unusual: he founded an IT company, X-BAR, which empowers small- and medium-sized companies to flourish through the strategic use of information technologies. What began as a tiny creative technology company with one employee has since grown into a thriving IT services firm that focuses on strategic consulting, technology implementation, and ongoing support services. X-BAR rejects the typical IT model of "break/fix" support in favor of a strategic, proactive, and comprehensive approach to managing IT. Specialized tools and a close relationship with clients enable X-BAR to provide unparalleled service with an emphasis on fairness, positive action, quality, transparency, and business sustainability. X-BAR's participation in the Seattle Climate Partnership and the Seattle Climate Action Now campaign, together with its dedication to green and energy-efficient IT practices, embody the company's commitment to sustainable business and unparalleled IT support in the Seattle community.

Past Award Winners

Download Past Award Winners (1984 - 2009)
(PDF format, File size 74 KB)

2008 Winner Profiles Press Release
(PDF format, File size 37 KB)

Click here to view video clips of the 10 winners of the 2008 Mayor's Small Business Awards.

2007 Winner Profiles Press Release
(PDF format, File size 37 KB)

2006 Winner Profiles Press Release
(PDF format, File size 35 KB)