In 2016, the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (WSCC) partnered and received a grant 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.
The study was done through 32 interviews primarily with business owners in the seven business nodes (Alaska Junction, Morgan, Alki, Avalon, Admiral, 35th, Westwood Village) and a few community stakeholders, all located in West Seattle. Delridge, currently being surveyed under a different grant, was not included in this survey.
There were three deliverables:
- Interviews with business owners and community stakeholders
- Host an event for business nodes to discuss findings, collect stories, and discuss solutions
- Document findings and recommendations for the Office of Economic Development (OED) and the business community
The challenges, as shown from the data, can be put into two buckets: tangible and intangible.
|Tangible Challenges||Intangible Challenges|
|These challenges can be pointed to and counted. They are physical, direct challenges that are harming businesses.||These challenges are more based in emotion or perspective. It is not easily measured or counted, but it is pervasive.|
|Parking & Transportation||Relationship with City of Seattle|
|Cost of Doing Business in Seattle||Feeling of Helplessness|
|Homelessness||Loss of Community Feel|
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.
These recommendations are right-sized to the capacity of WSJA and WSCC, both small organizations.
- Market West Seattle to New Residents
- Close Divide Between City of Seattle and West Seattle Businesses
- Continue Hosting Solutions-Focused Programming
- Get Involved in West Seattle Mural Project
Part of the results were geared towards a way to connect all of the West Seattle resources together in a living website. The website would focus on gathering resources around West Seattle that could be referenced by both business and citizens. The result was the new West Seattle Resource Roundup site that ties together nonprofits, media, city and neighborhood groups.
Everyone is encouraged to use the interactive calendar to post events and to email the West Seattle Resource Roundup with site link additions. Further, all groups and businesses are encouraged to put the link on their websites with the Resource Roundup icon.
Click on the website to read the full report! Plus, watch for more news on the follow-up grant connecting new incoming residents to businesses.