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Newsletter for October 27, 2009

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Sign up for our newsletter! Are your friends signed up for OED's monthly newsletter and our Daily Digest? Compiled daily from over 50 news sources, the OED Daily Digest is the best way to keep up with the latest in business, technology, workforce, real estate, and economic development news in Seattle. Feel free to forward this e-mail to a friend!


City, state officials write letters urging Boeing to stay in Washington

This month, Mayor Greg Nickels and all nine Seattle City Council members urged their support for Governor Chris Gregoire's "Business Case for Consolidating Boeing 787 Assembly in Washington" with a formal letter to James Albaugh, President and CEO of Boeing Airlines. In the letter, Mayor Nickels and the City Council reemphasize the importance of Seattle's highly-skilled workforce, commitment to infrastructure improvements, high quality of life, and legacy of fostering innovation to the future of Boeing's global aerospace operations. The City of Seattle is one of more than 130 companies and organizations supporting the Washington Aerospace Partnership, a coalition of business, education, and non-profit leaders committed to strengthening the aerospace industry in the Puget Sound region. The Office of Economic Development thanks City Council Central Staff for helping coordinate this letter writing effort.

Diverse small business enterprise celebrated at 2009 Mayor's Small Business Awards

Last week, 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!

Quincy Jones, Fleet Foxes, KEXP honored at inaugural Seattle City of Music Awards

Seattle is already known for its live music scene and rich culture of musical innovation. Now, it has its own version of the Grammys to recognize spectacular contributions to the local music scene: the Seattle City of Music Awards. The inaugural awards, held October 14th at the Showbox at the Market, honored three Seattle music luminaries - Quincy Jones, the Fleet Foxes, and KEXP - and featured live performances from More Music & the Moore, The Maldives, Pearly Gate Music, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and the Tea Cozies. Mayor Greg Nickels, whose 2008 City of Music initiative continues to serve as a major impetus behind the continued growth of the Seattle music industry, delivered a short speech and helped toast the winners. The annual Awards, organized and held by Seattle's Office of Film + Music, will serve as an important recognition for local musicians as well as the building block toward a greater convergence between the public and the music industry.

City debuts three new financing tools to assist small businesses

In response to the tight credit market, Mayor Greg Nickels, the Seattle City Council, and a group of lending partners have worked together to launch three new financing programs to provide access to much-needed capital for Seattle businesses. For small businesses and microenterprises, $1.4 million in federal stimulus funds will be disbursed through three local lending organizations: Community Capital Development, ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, and the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund. For small- to medium-sized businesses that need capital to grow, the city announced a new $8 million "Grow Seattle Fund," a partnership between the city, the National Development Council's Grow America Fund and the Seattle Foundation. The announcement of these funds took place at the new home of Alpha Cine, a local motion picture laboratory and one of the first businesses to receive a loan from the Grow Seattle Fund.

Seattle is No. 1 post-recession mecca for young skilled workers

It's been awhile since the Wall Street Journal debuted this story, but the news bears repeating: Seattle and Washington, D.C., are the nation's hottest youth-magnet cities as the country emerges from recession. The flood of "highly mobile, educated workers in their 20s" to these cities is no accident, the WSJ reports. In particular, this important demographic is attracted to Seattle's strong university presence, abundance of high-tech jobs, thriving arts and culture scene, and proximity to rugged natural terrain. Other important features for this demographic include Seattle's numerous jobs in music and interactive media, and its status as one of the best-educated populations in the nation.

Obama urges banks to increase credit, loans to small businesses

President Barack Obama last week announced measures to open up credit for small businesses, including capital injections for community banks to spur lending. Obama also asked Congress to raise the limits for Small Business Administration loans from $2 million to $5 million and as much as $5.5 million for manufacturing, and proposed lowering the interest rate for banks borrowing from Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). All of these measures would increase the amount of loans and credit available for businesses to grow. "The goal here is to get credit where it's needed most - to businesses that support families, sustain communities, and create the jobs that power our economy," Obama said.

SDOT announces new snow, ice preparation plan

Seattle's Department of Transportation (SDOT) recently announced a revised snow and ice response plan that includes a new approach to snowfighting, upgrades to SDOT facilities and vehicles, a revised organizational structure, and improved communications strategies. The department has also made a goal of achieving bare and wet pavement on specified streets within eight hours after a lull in a winter storm. For more information, including winter weather brochures and snow maps, call 206-684-ROAD, or visit SDOT's winter weather website.


Workshop: Launch a "Buy Local" marketing campaign in your community

Business owners and advocates know that local businesses are the heart of Seattle commerce. Promoting these businesses through a carefully implemented "Buy Local" campaign can drive customers into neighborhood business districts and preserve the city's best local vendors by creating a dynamic and invested community of shoppers. On November 10th, Seattle's Office of Economic Development will host a "Buy Local" marketing strategies workshop with presenter Jeff Milchen, a leading advocate for community-based businesses and co-founder of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA). City Council President Richard Conlin, an avid supporter of buy local business campaigns, will deliver opening remarks. This seminar is perfect for local chamber or neighborhood business group leaders and small business owners. RSVP by November 5th, 2009 to OED's Danielle Hursh at 206-733-9254 or

Join the Prosperity Partnership on Nov. 13th for their annual Fall Luncheon

The Prosperity Partnership, a coalition of government, business, labor and community organizations from King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties dedicated to developing and implementing a common economic strategy, will host its annual Fall Luncheon on Friday, November 13th. The luncheon serves as an opportunity for leaders from throughout the Puget Sound to gather in celebration of the coalition's achievements and to learn about plans for the year ahead. Alan Mulally, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ford Motor Company, will serve as the luncheon's keynote speaker.

Upcoming export events tutor small businesses in finding customers abroad

Interesting in growing your business' international sales through exports? Three upcoming events can help businesses navigate the international export process. On November 17th, the day-long trade event "Export Live!" will focus on training Seattle businesses to navigate all aspects of the international sales process, such as avoiding pitfalls like non-payment and intellectual property misappropriation. The Washington State Export Certification Course, certified by the Washington State Department of Commerce, will take place November 18-19th and focus on basic export procedure, identifying export market opportunities, and developing an export marketing plan. Finally, "Exporting Under NAFTA," on November 20th, will explore export rules and regulations under NAFTA, including the most common mistakes made by U.S. exporters.