Feb. 13, 2023
Local Services has partnered with community organizations to co-create the Economic Alliance Program, which is one of several steps Executive Dow Constantine is taking to help the region’s businesses – particularly in the unincorporated areas – emerge from the pandemic.
King County Executive Dow Constantine announced today the launch of the Economic Alliance Program, a collaborative effort between the Department of Local Services and community organizations in unincorporated King County. This new program will further help businesses and individuals recover and thrive as the region continues to emerge from the economic slowdown of the last three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The launch of the Economic Alliance Program is a critical step forward in our commitment to promote an equitable recovery for everyone in King County,” said Executive Constantine. “Partnering closely with community organizations throughout unincorporated King County will ensure the needs of businesses and individuals disproportionately impacted by the pandemic are better met and supported.”
The $5.25 million program, which was recommended by Executive Constantine and approved by the King County Council, was developed to address concerns voiced by unincorporated area business leaders and residents that local small businesses needed urgent help, particularly those owned by members of the BIPOC community, women, LGBTQ+, veterans, immigrants/refugees, low-income, limited-English speaking, and those living with disability who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
The Economic Alliance Program will focus on three main areas:
- Career Connector: Low-barrier, highly supported workforce development and entrepreneurial training, living-wage career education, subsidized internships, and job placement for workers impacted by COVID-19.
- Businesses Builder: Providing technical assistance for small businesses, including accounting, legal support, business planning, and more.
- Community Innovator: Offer small business “incubation” resources, including networking opportunities, mentoring resources, and skills-based learning in disproportionately impacted areas of White Center/North Highline and Skyway/West Hill.
This month, Local Services turned to the community to help implement the program and its three elements by contracting with United for a Community Led Economy, a partnership co-founded by representatives of three groups that are embedded in the communities of their respective areas &endash; the White Center Community Development Association, Skyway Coalition, and Comunidad Latina de Vashon.
The Economic Alliance programming that United for a Community Led Economy will foster in the coming months is designed specially to meet the needs and recognize the challenges of businesses and residents in unincorporated King County.
Local Services serves as the local government for residents and businesses in unincorporated King County, including areas such as Skyway, White Center, Vashon Island, East Federal Way, the Snoqualmie Valley, Fall City, Greater Maple Valley, and the Bear Creek/Sammamish areas.
To learn more about the Economic Alliance, visit www.publicinput.com/ukcalliance.
- Dow Constantine, King County Executive: “The launch of the Economic Alliance Program is a critical step forward in our commitment to promote an equitable recovery for everyone in King County. Partnering closely with community organizations throughout unincorporated King County will ensure the needs of businesses and individuals disproportionately impacted by the pandemic are better met and supported.”
- Local Services Director John Taylor: “While some activity in our region has returned to pre-pandemic levels, that does not mean it’s back to normal for many of the businesses in unincorporated King County. The pandemic presented unprecedented challenges for these businesses, which adapted and found creative ways to survive. King County recognizes this, and we’re dedicated to helping them succeed as our region moves forward.”
- Anjilee Dodge, Program Manager, Unincorporated King County Economic Alliance: “The Economic Alliance Program will infuse long-needed resources to the most disproportionately impacted business and residents of unincorporated King County. We heard from our communities, where businesses face unique challenges but continue to operate. The Economic Alliance was created to support and grow these businesses, empower workers to explore living wage careers, as well as give them the tools they need to innovate and thrive.”
- Rebecca Berry, Executive Director of Skyway Coalition and co-founder of United for a Community Led Economy: “This funding is the result of so much community power and advocacy. Skyway has historic advocacy strength that our Coalition builds from to drive our community led economic development. We are so proud to align with our partners in White Center and Vashon to center the voices of our businesses and entrepreneurs to build generational wealth opportunities and security in our largely diverse communities.
- Helen Shor-Wong, White Center Community Development Association Anti-Displacement/Economic Development Program Manager and co-founder of United for a Community Led Economy: “Our unincorporated King County neighbors want more inclusive and equitable communities, so we'll continue to put our people at the center, strengthening our ability to organize around social policy and building our community’s cohesion while holding our community history and culture at the center. This initial funding will help move this work forward.
Alejandra Tres, Co-founder of Comunidad Latina de Vashon and United for a Community Led Economy: “The entire process of our work from the inception of the idea borne out of thousands of hours of listening across communities most impacted by COVID in unincorporated areas, to the shaping of what tangible responses were needed and how they needed to be shaped by those most impacted, is a credit to the brilliance and ideas of our community members and leaders. We are thrilled to co-create a more equitable economy with them through this work.”
- Unincorporated King County Economic Alliance
- Economic Development & Small Business Assistance | Local Services
- White Center Community Development Association
- Skyway Coalition
- Comunidad Latina de Vashon
Brent Champaco, Department of Local Services, email@example.com, 206-477-9094
(Originally published on Executive News)