This time last year Positive Spin Pole Dance Fitness was operating out of a home studio and at capacity. On the hunt for a commercial space, founder Alyssa Taubin kept running into road blocks as many landlords were weary of renting to a pole dance business. Small business ownership comes with a unique set of challenges, but it’s proven to Alyssa what she’s capable of. Thanks to her persistence and the help of a trusted friend and commercial real estate agent for small businesses, Alyssa signed the lease on a studio space in Greenwood, four days before the live IMPACT Pitch competition she was set to compete in.
IMPACT Pitch Mission Award Winners: One Year After Win
Seattle, Wash. – August 7, 2019 – Business Impact NW, the nonprofit providing financial and technical support to underserved entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest, is excited to announce a new program, Empower by GoDaddy in partnership with AEO. Engaging a curriculum created by GoDaddy and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the social impact program offers entrepreneurs free training, tools and coaching in an effort to accelerate their small businesses in the digital sphere. Facilitated by the Washington Women’s Business Center housed at Business Impact NW, courses are offered both online and in-person and will explore website creation, e-commerce, social media and email marketing.
Prior to the civil rights era, over half the country had ordinances prohibiting women from working as bartenders (Supercall). Today over 60% of bartenders are women and while the number of women owning and running bars is still marginal, they are out there and they are making a difference. Sophie Thompson is one such owner whose cocktail lounge, Hey Love, harkens back to the culture and history of the mid- 1960s. The dream of opening Hey Love started six years ago when Sophie was camping with a group of friends along the Oregon Coast. Her friend Aaron Hall, who she met at the dorms in college and worked alongside at Aaron’s bar Dig a Pony in Portland, initially pitched Sophie on the idea.
Nestled in the intersection of the booming craft beer and pet industries lays Jenny Brown’s non-alcoholic “beer” product for dogs, Bowser Beer. What first began as a pretzel treat she dubbed Bowser Bits, Jenny’s product line grew to include beer to pair with the salty snack, along with Doggie Cigars and Beer Bones. With four dogs at home employed as her taste testers, Jenny originally started concocting recipes in her kitchen. The recipes her dogs liked most were the ones she eventually sold. Jenny’s mastiff Maggie became the face of her business and the Beefy Brown Ale, a classic brew amongst the chicken flavored Cock-a-Doodle Brew, Porky Pug Porter and custom label 6-packs.
As a U.S. Army veteran exploring what opportunities Seattle’s burgeoning startup scene offered, Jason Cavness found that entrepreneurs were so focused on aspects of business development such as product market fit, that they completely forgot about the HR components integral to hiring, onboarding and supporting staff. So he founded CavnessHR in September 2017 to do just that – “deliver HR to companies with 49 or fewer people while retaining the human touch.”
Derek Voelker learned to dive in the Marine Corps who honored him with a Medal for Combat Valor for his service during the Battle of Fallujah. Since his time in the Marines, Derek graduated from one of the most renowned underwater welding and commercial diving schools in the country, the Diver’s Institute of Technology, obtained a Bachelor’s from the University of Washington and collected twelve diving certifications. This June marks another noteworthy achievement for the Seattle native as he celebrates the two year anniversary of his burgeoning business, Seattle Dive Company (SDC).
Business Impact NW and the Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Coalition (ECCC) are now providing free outreach, education, and technical assistance to business owners on the Seattle Labor Standards ordinances through a partnership with the City of Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) under the Business Outreach and Education Fund (BOEF).
Dr. Corey Fish was a primary care pediatrician when he realized the need for an urgent care clinic geared specifically towards children. “Kids are not little adults,” he likes to tell people, and before he opened Pacific Crest Urgent Care in Portland, parents were left with limited options when their child required urgent medical care. Most often the emergency room is a family’s only option and “seventy plus percent of the time, an ER isn’t really necessary for the child to go to,” he added, “and that’s just a really wasteful way to practice medicine.”
In honor of Pride Month, we have outlined some of the best organizations in Seattle supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community, small business owners, and underrepresented entrepreneurs. 1. Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) The GSBA is the “largest LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce in North America”. They represent over the 1,300 small businesses, corporate and nonprofit members that share the same values and desire for equality and diversity in workplaces. This nonprofit believes in “small businesses, community, and advocacy investing $3.4 million dollars in scholars, since 1991”. GSBA Scholars are chosen for their proven leadership skills, strong academic achievement, and commitment to making a positive difference in the world.