Partner Spotlight: Seattle’s Office of Economic Development

Becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t happen in isolation.

As the saying goes, it takes a village to support a business owner at every stage of the business life cycle. Whether someone is in the idea stage or whether they are ready to expand to multiple locations. Ventures has been in the business of doing exactly this—creating a strong ecosystem of support for microbusinesses—for 23 years. But here’s what we know: we can’t do this work alone. That’s why great partners, like the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED), exist—to support businesses in our own backyard.

The Office of Economic Development works with businesses of all sectors and stages.

They are out to create an economically vibrant and socially just approach to business. By working with community-based organizations and neighborhood business districts they maintain and enhance the economic health of our city.

One way OED does this is through their Restaurant Success program. It’s a comprehensive one-stop shop for restaurants and mobile food businesses. OED provides the necessary skills, resources, and knowledge to succeed in one of the fastest changing industries out there.

How Ventures has worked with the Restaurant Success Program throughout the years:

  • They are one of our best referral sources. They send us entrepreneurs who either need more targeted support or are in the start-up phase of their food business.
  • Ventures provides key feedback to OED. We speak on behalf of our entrepreneurs regarding permitting, licensing, and other regulatory barriers that exist for low-income business owners.
  • We table at OED’s Food Business Roadshows. These events organize essential resources and partners for food businesses.

OED’s Restaurant Success program is hosting an event for food businesses to connect directly with the agencies that issue permits and licenses. Ventures along with other food business resources will be there. If you’re opening a food cart, expanding a restaurant, considering wholesale, or want to vend at farmers markets, this event is for you.

“Ventures enjoys being a part of the Food Business Roadshow. Not only do we have the opportunity to engage with new business owners that can join our program, but it is also a great place to engage with partners because everyone is in the same room at the same time. We’ve met several entrepreneurs that are now with Ventures through the Roadshow, including Puffle Up,” shares Laura Gómez, Ventures’ Food Business Manager.

Register for the next Food Business Roadshow on October 4th! It’s free!