EDITOR’S NOTE: South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer serves on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.

As Black History Month comes to a close, there are three things I want to leave you with as we March into the next month.

  1. Together we are stronger.
  2. Progress takes a village.
  3. You do have the ability to make an impact.

In honor of Black History Month, the chamber reached out to check in with some of our Black-owned businesses within our community. During this process, we were enlightened to the more common business roadblocks they are faced with, along with triumphant tactics used to increase odds for success. COVID-19 hit the Black Owned business community hard, and businesses are still recovering from its impact in the present day.

For example, the owner of Legacy Gaming Community shared that he began working with neighboring businesses to cross-market to their clientele. As well as partnering with bigger businesses within his field like DigiPen, to help increase visibility and partnership opportunities. Essentially, creating a system that will help one another’s business grow alongside the other’s, similar to a natural ecosystem.

Many Black-owned business owners are subjugated into investing personal funds for their business ventures due to this ongoing economic denial as a symptom of systemic discrimination. Black entrepreneurs have begun partnering with white entrepreneurs to help shield themselves from this discrimination and increase their odds of approval. Though this may be disheartening to acknowledge, the duality demonstrates that working together makes the business stronger, appealing to an even wider audience.

The chamber advocates bridging entrepreneurs together in the way that we host networking events such as the Virtual Morning Buzz and Business Mixers, hosted by members to help introduce business owners in the community to expand their networks to encourage unity and togetherness. These events are designed to help break the ice between the business demographics and introduce entrepreneurs to each other on a more personable level. Essentially creating a melting pot of resources that will be mutually beneficial to businesses in our region.

Now you may be wondering, “what can I do to get involved”? Thank goodness the answer is fairly simple… Just show up! After all we are all neighbors to some degree, respectively. Shopping at Black-owned businesses (B.O.B) will help their business. Sharing products or an experience you enjoyed at a B.O.B. on social media is a great instant marketing tool that will help reach more people than you realize. This deed is not only a resource of free marketing, but also fun to do and will win you influencer status amongst your friends on social media! Sharing is caring and technology is the modern art of “spreading the word”. You have so much more power to positively influence than you may presently realize. These small acts go a long way for businesses, especially Black-owned businesses here in the southwest region of King County.

So neighbor, how will you use your influential voice to uplift another’s going forward?

About the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce 

The Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business organization that has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila since 1988.  The Chamber focuses on business advancement in the region by helping to build and maintain a strong economic environment.

More info at https://www.seattlesouthsidechamber.com.

This article was written by Morgan Young, Membership Events and Communications Associate (MECA) of the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.