EDITOR’S NOTE: South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer serves on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.

The City of SeaTac is reporting that its Business Synergy program is in its fourth year of existence between the city’s Economic Development Division and the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.

This program is funded through an annual Port of Seattle economic development grant.

Here’s more from the city:

The overall goal of the 2021 five hundred hour outreach, data management and reporting project was to create a baseline framework and understanding of business sentiment as related to City and Chamber interactions.

More specifically this meant:

    • Standardizing the outreach process for future efforts
    • Confirming business contact information for more effective outreach and interactions
    • Identifying barriers local businesses are facing
    • Understanding how businesses perceive City of SeaTac and SSCC business support
    • Building trust and strengthening relationships while establishing a feedback loop

Additionally, the City desires to build trust with businesses by actively sharing survey results and addressing issues in real time to continue building the public and private sector relationships and City well-being.

Five hundred airport and travel-related businesses were selected for outreach and survey, with 142 providing feedback and 76 confirmed current business contact data. The 28 percent survey response rate is close to the highest expected rate for survey responses (average range is 5-30 percent response); and is due to the project methodology.

The anecdotal trends observed in the results enabled the City and the Chamber to conclude that:

    • collective intuition on the current state of business mirrors business sentiment
    • future research projects and programs can be developed based on trends in survey responses
    • relationships to collectively solve business issues are being built through baseline results and being distributed to decision makers for study
    • trust between the City, Chamber and businesses is being earned as next steps are adopted.

In addition to businesses identifying their level of service satisfaction with the City and Chamber, the outreach survey results identified five common areas of concern in the SeaTac business community: public safety, homelessness, workforce, consumption (demand), and public aesthetic. These “titles” are general in nature for ease of communication and should not be interpreted as more specifically prescriptive.

As mentioned above, the City is working hard to earn business trust and as a result of this survey is establishing a series of business forums that all businesses in SeaTac will automatically be invited to.

The first forum will be jointly rolled out by a consortium of business organizations that support the City. It  will address the issues of concern that were most often identified in the business survey; with the goal being to jointly explore solutions as a community to ensure SeaTac continues to be a great place to do business.

For questions or to receive the survey results in their entirety, please contact Tanja Carter, SeaTac Economic Development Strategist at tcarter@seatacwa.gov.