The goal of Seattle Good Business Network–which is behind Seattle Restaurant Week and Seattle Made Week–is to connect and inspire people to buy, produce and invest locally. Here, Executive Director Erin Adams gives an update on Seattle Good Business Network’s 2023 events, goals for the new year and how the organization has pivoted during the pandemic.
What prompted the start of the nonprofit? The belief that if values-aligned local businesses were connected, supported, and celebrated, we could build a more equitable, vibrant, and sustainable economy.
What is the greatest reward in being involved with the nonprofit? Knowing that our work – whether supporting the delivery of community meals through our Good Food Kitchens program, or placing an under-resourced youth in a paid internship with a small business through our Youth Workforce Development program – has real and meaningful impact in people’s lives.
What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? Has the pandemic affected the needs of Seattle Good Business Network? The pandemic transformed our organization. Like so many other organizations and businesses, we had to pivot to survive and to meet the needs of our community. We went from a staff of three in early 2020 to a staff of 10 today. We reimagined existing programs, like Seattle Restaurant Week, and developed new programs, like Seattle Restored, that connects makers and artists with empty storefronts, and Good Food Kitchens, that supports independent restaurants and caterers to prepare meals for those facing food insecurity. We’ve been supporting around 10,000 meals a month this year, which has been so gratifying.
We work with a lot of restricted grants. Our biggest challenge is the need for unrestricted funding to support overall organizational capacity.
What are your goals for 2023? To maintain our current programming, even as relief funding winds down, nurture our team, and to do all we can to help all of our businesses be ‘good’ businesses.
How can readers help? Come to events, sign up for our newsletter and, of course, donations are always welcome. Even $10 to support a community meal!
Does Seattle Good Business Network have any events or fundraisers on the horizon? We do! In February, we’re hosting Good Food Connections, our inaugural farm-and-sea-to-table trade conference; Seattle Restaurant Week is on again in April; in May we’ve got two big events – the PreCycle Innovation Challenge in partnership with Zero Waste Washington, and our first ever-Good Gala, a party and fundraiser in support of our organization and an economy that works for all. Then, later in the summer, we’ll host our annual Seattle Made Week – and check out SeattleRestored.org for events that support local makers and artists year round.