A big part of what imbues a destination with a sense of place and makes it memorable are its small locally owned businesses. A new partnership between Visit Seattle and Seattle Bank is designed to support these businesses and bring tourism revenue to Seattle’s emerging neighborhoods. The inaugural grant program will invest in 20 local businesses, focusing on establishments owned by women, people of color and LGBTQ+ community members in the easily accessible Central District and Chinatown-International District neighborhoods.
Through the partnership, the 20 businesses will receive waived membership dues (funded by Seattle Bank) to join Visit Seattle’s partnership network. As members, each business will receive direct promotional support through Visit Seattle’s marketing channels (website, social, publications), access to leads and referrals from Visit Seattle to encourage leisure visitors, business travelers and conference and meeting attendees to dine and shop at their locations, and focused B2B strategies to expand business opportunities within the regional hospitality and tourism industry. In addition, Seattle Bank will offer complimentary financial consulting services to each participating business.
“As we welcome back visitors to Seattle, we must think about how we can effectively invest in and increase access to the incredible, diverse businesses and neighborhoods that are fostering our economic growth and cultural vibrancy,” says Rob Leslie, director of partnership and destination services for Visit Seattle. “We are proud to partner with Seattle Bank to increase access and resources for these businesses to expand their
Adds Mary Grace Roske, senior vice president of marketing communications and community relations for Seattle Bank, “Seattle’s small business owners are the heart of our city and our path to recovery depends on giving them the right resources to thrive.”
Intentionalist, an online directory and marketplace that makes it easy to find and support local small businesses and the diverse people behind them, will also support the businesses by hosting tabs – jointly funded by Seattle Bank and Visit Seattle – of $250 per business. Visitors will be able enjoy a free taste of the business by putting a treat on the tab until the limit is met. Intentionalist will share tab information on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Intentionalist.com.
“As travel opens back up, it’s important for visitors to think about how being intentional about where they eat, drink, and shop can enrich their experience and make a positive impact on the city they’re visiting,” said Laura Clise, Intentionalist’s founder and CEO. “The 20 businesses selected offer travelers an opportunity to explore the diverse cultural fabric of our neighborhoods.”
Boon Boona Coffe, an African-inspired coffee shop that prioritizes community education and engagement, and Phnom Penh Noodle House, a Cambodian restaurant in the Chinatown-International District, are just two of the 20 businesses being supported. All businesses are now live on Visit Seattle’s partnership directory and the Intentionalist.