While unincorporated King County boasts a diverse array of businesses, they have plenty in common with each other.
It’s why King County Local Services has partnered with community organizations to help form the Unincorporated King County Economic Alliance. As Executive Dow Constantine announced last week, 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.
(Watch the video for a peek inside the Alliance’s first meeting last month)
“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 – 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.