I think the most productive thing to do during times of change is to be your best self, not the best version of someone else. -Seth Godin

In 2016, the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (WSCC) partnered to apply and receive an “Only in Seattle” grant from the Office of Economic Development (OED). The purpose of the grant was to conduct a study on the common challenges to and resources for the West Seattle business community. This study would give them direction about what challenges were most pertinent to the community and which resources were most helpful, or most needed.

Project Summary

  1. Conduct interviews with West Seattle business owners and community stakeholders
  2. Aggregate information to give a community meeting focused on solutions
  3. Produce a final report for the OED and for the business community
  4. Produce a “common resources” deliverable for use by the business community

Desired Results

WSJA and WSCC were interested in determining some of projects they could jointly take on together that would have the most effective impact on the business community. The goals of this project were to determine the key challenges that West Seattle businesses face, identify common threads between business nodes, and collect information on key resources available to the community. This report aggregates the information collected, summarizes the highlights of the data, and gives recommendations for projects best suited for WSJA and WSCC.

Tangible Challenges

These challenges can be pointed to and counted. They are physical, direct challenges that are harming businesses.

  • Parking & Transportation
  • Cost of Doing Business in Seattle
  • Homelessness
  • Space/Infrastructure

Intangible Challenges

These challenges are more based in emotion or perspective. It is not easily measured or counted, but it is pervasive.

  • Relationship with City of Seattle
  • Feeling of Helplessness
  • Loss of Community Feel

West Seattle was a special place with unique advantages only found on the Peninsula. We are like no place else, and that this was an incredibly important and overlooked fact. Many people feel a community here, and many cite the importance of small business in what makes that community special. See a missing link or have a comment? Email WS Resource Roundup

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