I dropped by the Greater Seattle Business Association on Monday evening and had a good discussion with their Public Policy Task Force. GSBA is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allied business and professional chamber of commerce. They’ve been doing great work in our community since 1981 with a combined focus on business development, leadership, and social action en route to economic development for the LGBT community and those who support equality for all.
We talked at length about generating good ideas on how to collaborate with the City to promote small business. One of the more common sense ideas was to continue to promote Seattle tourism. Louise Chernin, the GSBA Executive Director, has been leading a West Coast effort to invite members of the LGBT community to vacation here in Seattle. It’s one of the best cities anywhere in the world, and we are exceptionally welcoming of all who come here. I commend GSBA for their work and for coordinating with Seattle’s Convention & Visitors Bureau on this.
Another idea which I recommend is that we all make renewed efforts to promote and buy local. I recently heard about an idea at the January meeting with the First Hill Improvement Association. One of their recommendations was to emulate a plan from Cannon Beach, Oregon, known as “3/50,” where residents shop, eat, and relax in their own neighborhood three days a week and spend at least $50 doing so each time. This approach will support our neighborhoods and small businesses inviting others in as well.
We also discussed working with the Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle Parks & Recreation to obtain grants for the Capitol Hill community; we covered public safety, education, and more.
Among the many events that GSBA hosts is their monthly business luncheon, and registration is open to anyone who’d like to attend. The March theme is “Social Media and Technology: What’s new? What’s next?”