One of our goals at King County Local Services is to help our unincorporated communities thrive. This week, we took a big step in that direction as Hugo Garcia, our first Economic Development Program Manager, joined our team.
Hugo brings nearly 15 years of economic development experience, serving both rural and urban communities. He’s worked directly with small businesses during prosperous and tough economic times, and understands the dedication required to run a local business. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, he immigrated to Seattle with his family in 1988. His father ran a restaurant here for years, which allowed Hugo to see first-hand the kinds of challenges small businesses face just to keep their doors open.
After working in the family restaurant, Hugo took a job with a local community bank called Plaza Bank. He was a senior financial services officer there, and eventually became a commercial relationship manager, supporting existing and start-up businesses. He later worked with the nonprofit organization Craft3, where he developed relationships with underserved communities in South King County. He specialized in managing mission-based business loan relationships with small- to medium-sized businesses. He currently serves on the City of Burien Planning Commission.
With Local Services, Hugo’s priority is supporting businesses of all sizes in unincorporated King County—particularly as they try to navigate governmental processes like applying for permits. He’ll also work to identify and attract new business opportunities and support existing businesses that serve the unincorporated areas.
Specific economic needs and opportunities vary widely across the unincorporated parts of King County, but Hugo says he’s looking forward to meeting those challenges.
“It’s an opportunity to make a difference, support our businesses and help people realize how connected both rural and urban businesses truly are,” he said. “The businesses owners in unincorporated King County are some of the most resilient, hardworking folks around. It’s just a matter of helping them navigate the system.”
Fun facts: Hugo a passionate Seattle Sports Fan and has served as Stadium Public Announcer at Centurylink Field and In-Game Host for Seattle Sounders FC & Sounders FC2 (now the Tacoma Defiance) for three years. He also volunteers with the Barra Fuerza Verde, a Latinx supporters group for Seattle Sounders FC, and co-hosts a livestreaming video podcast about the Sounders and local soccer community.