Presenting Sponsor Harborstone Credit Union and Platinum Sponsor Amazon are giving back to their local community by sponsoring the Impact Pitch competition held by Business Impact NW.
"Harborstone recognizes that access to capital and business training for micro-businesses and those from traditionally underserved segments is a problem. These small businesses are engines for our local communities’ growth. They tend to hire locally and to invest heavily back into our communities. Serving their needs and investing in their success, helps our communities grow and prosper," says VP of Community Development Mark Minickiello. As an advocate for local businesses, the credit union's mission is built on "people helping people and on serving the underserved." So why Impact Pitch?
IMPACT Pitch is a chance for idea-phase, startup, or existing businesses who have a positive IMPACT on their community to win cash prizes! While only a handful will win the top prizes, everyone who participates through the contest rounds will get something just as valuable: powerful new tools for effectiveness, personal business coaching, and more. Business Impact NW offers a host of practical insights and tools to help entrants become more successful business owners.
"IMPACT Pitch, an evening dedicated to celebrating diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Pacific Northwest, is a wonderful celebration of everything Business Impact NW and Harborstone work so hard to achieve," says Minickiello.
Amazon, based in Seattle, is also taking an active interest in supporting local. “At Amazon, we look to leverage our scale for good to help strengthen local communities. That means combining our strengths with those of community partners such as Business Impact NW, working together to find creative solutions that support our local small businesses," shares Senior Manager of External Affairs, Taylor Hoang.
“Small business is the backbone of our communities and what makes the NW so diverse and great."
Harborstone Credit Union works to build meaningful relationships with local businesses and organizations. Minickiello, his team, and the staff within all 15 community branches in Puget Sound see the struggles and successes of local entrepreneurs every day. As a sponsor of Impact Pitch from its inauguration 6 years ago, Harborstone offers sage advice to the finalists:
"Be involved. Reach out. Learn from others. As I shared earlier about Harborstone, relationships are at the heart of business. And embrace your “Why”. Keep your Why front and center in your decisions. There’s more to success than meeting payroll and growing (just don’t tell our lending folks I said that). I believe all of the contestants competing in IMPACT Pitch likely understand this, but by putting your heart out there and staying focused on Why, you’ll achieve success in ways you may not have imagined possible.
"And if I could add, every year at IMPACT Pitch I feel nervous for the contestants. But there have been so many unique ideas. It’s almost every year that I sit back and think, what a great idea. And they had the foresight to engage with Business Impact NW and really develop that business plan so that they can run that type of a business which I’ve never heard of before. Every year there are businesses out there that I’m thinking, wow that’s a great idea, and these folks are very passionate about it. Those are the kinds of businesses people flock to – ones with heart, and tenacity. Congratulations to everyone who participated this year, and thank you! Whether you win big or not. Hopefully, our paths will cross again soon."
Thank you to our Presenting and Platinum Sponsors, helping Business Impact NW to grow businesses that create jobs in underserved communities.