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Newsletter for June 30, 2009

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Office of Economic Development launches new blog and business resource, Bottom Line

The Office of Economic Development is proud to announce the launch of our new blog, Bottom Line, which highlights valuable news, resources, and tools for businesses and organizations across Seattle. Featuring timely updates on important business resources, community events, and partner organizations, Bottom Line facilitates the flow of information on key developments and projects related to economic development in the city.

OED funding supports 22 neighborhood business districts

On May 21st, Mayor Greg Nickels presented funding awards totaling $128,384 to 22 neighborhood business districts throughout Seattle. "The Office of Economic Development is a proud partner of our local neighborhood business districts citywide," said Steve Johnson, acting director of the Office of Economic Development. "This money allows 22 of our business districts to strengthen their local business communities, from helping businesses save costs and decrease their carbon footprint, to supporting marketing efforts that bring more shoppers to the districts."

City supports small music venues through repeal of admissions tax

On May 26th, the Seattle City Council repealed a five percent admissions tax on small venues that employ live musicians. Signed into law by Mayor Greg Nickels in June, the legislation will encourage the employment of live musicians and the opening of more live music venues, driving economic development in neighborhoods across the city. The admissions tax exemption is part of the Mayor's City of Music initiative, a long-range plan to cultivate a robust and innovative music industry in Seattle.

Queen Anne Farmers Market moves to new public site, with help from the OED

On June 18th, the Queen Anne Farmers Market relocated to a new, permanent public site on West Crockett Street - a move made possible by a tremendous collaboration between the Office of Economic Development, the Mayor's Office, Seattle Parks and Recreation, private partners, and neighborhood organizers. The market, which benefitted from highly reduced fees and a streamlined permit process, will operate indefinitely in an affordable public site that builds community and attracts shoppers to Queen Anne businesses.

"Work Station to Graduation" forum examines educational attainment

The Seattle-based non-profit organization PortJobs , with support from SkillUp Washington and the Office of Economic Development, held a forum June 5th to discuss ways to improve college success for working adult students. 150 people from across Washington State traveled to Seattle for the forum, where they examined national workforce research, heard from regional employers, and networked with colleagues. Another forum on educational attainment is slated for this fall.

CTED releases guide for small Washington businesses

Many resources are available for small businesses in Washington, but it can be hard to know where to look. A new, comprehensive guide from the Washington State Department for Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) is an important tool for small businesses at all stages of development. The CTED guide provides small business owners and entrepreneurs with instantly accessible information on important federal, state, and local agencies, business associations, economic development centers, government contracts, Innovation Partnership Zones, and more.

Seattle-area firms targeting stimulus funds sought

Interested in using federal recovery (ARRA) funds to work on a collaborative business venture with regional impact? The Prosperity Partnership, a coalition of government, business, labor and community organizations in the Puget Sound region, can help businesses wade through the application process, access federal funding, and achieve high-impact regional results. The Prosperity Partnership is available to actively assist groups that are targeting national stimulus funds for a project or proposal in the region.

South Lake Union's high-tech focus makes a splash in the New York Times

Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, home to Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. and the new headquarters, has been singled out by the New York Times as a "high-tech hub." The article details the neighborhood's transformation from a barren industrial district to a burgeoning high-tech corridor, with LEED certified mixed-use developments, an eco-friendly streetcar, and a revitalized waterfront park in the works.

ARC loans help small businesses stay afloat during hard economic times

As of June 15th, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is accepting loan applications for a temporary new program called America's Recovery Capital. "ARC" loans of up to $35,000 provide "bridge" funds for viable small businesses with immediate financial hardship, so they can afford to stay open while they get back on track. "These ARC loans are another tool in the SBA toolkit which will provide critical support to small businesses struggling to make it through these tough economic times," said Administrator Karen G. Mills.

Seattle ranks as the No. 2 high-tech center in the country

A new study by the Milken Institute ranks Seattle as the No. 2 high-tech center in the country, behind only California's Silicon Valley. The study indicates that the high-tech industry provided $22.3 billion in wages and more than 226,000 jobs in the greater Seattle area in 2007. Seattle also ranked high in the sub-industries of software publishing and aerospace product and parts manufacturing.

Seattle ranked as "most secure" city in U.S. by Farmer's Insurance

Seattle is the most secure place to live in the United States, according to a new survey commissioned by Farmer's Insurance. Long life expectancy, minimal housing depreciation, and a high growth rate contributed to the city's high placement. The greater Seattle area topped the nation's largest cities (500,000 population or more) in the survey, which also factored in crime statistics, risk of natural disasters, environmental hazards, terrorism threats, air quality and job losses.


Harness the Nighttime Economy Regional Forum

Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI), an industry organization that provides assistance and information to professionals who plan and manage dining and entertainment districts, will hold its first ever regional forum on Wednesday, July 15th, in Seattle. RHI president Jim Peters, the City of Seattle's Office of Film + Music Director James Keblas, and important business and community leaders will share insights and strategies on the evolution of policy, education and organizational strategies to enhance the nighttime economy.

Travel Light: Link light rail launches on July 18th

The 13.9 mile SoundTransit Link Light Rail from Tukwila to Seattle launches the weekend of July 18th and 19th! Free trains will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to introduce riders to the light rail system. During the launch weekend, stations from Westlake to Tukwila will include a Welcome Portal and family-friendly entertainment. Taking a bus, walking, or biking to the light rail is encouraged to reduce street traffic.

  • The MLK Business Association, an OED partner, is holding an all day festival
    on July 18th to celebrate the launch.
  • Visit Sound Transit's official "Travel Light" website for more information on
    launch weekend festivities.