Three reasons to join the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce in a time of uncertainty

January 9, 2023
Special to the Magnolia Chamber
Christina Metcalf

Times of economic uncertainty doesn’t cause anyone to look for new ways to spend money. But there are some investments in your business that, even when you’re worried about cash flow, are worth the return. Without those necessities—be they software or services—you couldn’t operate. Chamber membership is one of those necessary business investments, and here’s why:

Uncertain Times Mean Unprecedented Business Challenges

According to a survey released in early January by the National Association for Business Economics, more than half of respondents believe the U.S. is headed toward a recession in the next 12 months. An additional 11% of those polled think the economy is already in a recession. (A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of shrinking growth). However, the severity and depth of the possible recession are matters of debate among most economists and market experts. 

Whether we face a recession or not, growth is slow. Costs are up. Shelves are not as full as they once were. Some industries are already claiming a recession has hit them.

In times of economic uncertainty, businesses have greater needs than usual. It helps to have a partner looking out for your best interests. The chamber is in a unique position to provide that assistance for a minimal investment.

The Hidden Job Market

One of the reasons economists are slow to call what we’re in currently “a recession” is because the job market on average remains strong. Employers are hiring. Sometimes their hiring needs are even outpacing available, skilled candidates.

Through chamber membership, you receive two types of job assistance—help in finding positions and candidates. If you’re looking for a job, you can network and locate available opportunities in the hidden job market (before they come available). Membership helps you get to know hiring managers and business owners, making a job search much easier and improving your chances of finding your dream job.

On the other hand, as a hiring entity, you will be in a solid position to get to know potential job candidates who aren’t actively looking for work. This is often one of the easiest ways to find top performers. Plus, connecting with possible job candidates on a professional level outside of the office can assist you in getting to know them better than you would through a 30-minute interview. This helps to ensure a stronger hire and better fit for your organization.

Public Sector Assistance & Advocacy

Whether you have your eye on pro-business legislation or are worried about a zoning issue, like anything else, business often goes your way based on who you know. As a chamber member, your concern over business—your own or the entire business community—is amplified. When the chamber speaks to city, state, or federal leaders, they are speaking on behalf of all businesses. This gives your concerns more power among elected leaders.

The chamber may also be able to help by placing your request in context in the larger picture. The zoning problem you’re having isn’t just about your business property but all properties moving forward. The chamber is well-suited to propose “if, then” scenarios that can help you get the assistance you need quickly.

Economic Development

While economic development of the area may not seem like a pressing issue in your mind right now, it helps keep you in business, regardless of your industry. A strong local economy can help maintain prosperity even when the national economy is struggling like the minority-business owners did along Auburn Avenue in Atlanta in the 1930s. While the rest of the country was experiencing the dark crash of ’29 and subsequent depression, Auburn Avenue thrived because its interests were protected.

The chamber is dedicated to building community and ushering in smart economic growth so everyone can thrive. Chamber membership not only safeguards your business interests and helps you achieve your own goals but improves the business community, and thus the community, for all.

Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?


Twitter: @christinagsmith

Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking

2022 Person and Business of the Year – now is the time to nominate a person and business who makes a difference!

It is time to celebrate the individuals and businesses who have demonstrated leadership, had an impact in our community, and made a difference for Magnolia in 2022.
Do you know a community volunteer who goes above and beyond to make Magnolia a great place to live? Do you see a business that demonstrates leadership, growth, and involvement in the community and is dedicated to making an impact right here in Magnolia?

If yes, please help us celebrate leadership and excellence and nominate a Person of the Year and a Business of the Year for 2022.

Below reflect the qualifications for the Person of the Year 2022 nominations.

Please briefly describe how the Person of the Year nominee does the following:

  • Makes significant contributions to the Magnolia community as they relate to improving the business climate, quality of life, or enhancing social interactions
  • Has had or made a positive impact on improving the Magnolia community
  • Demonstrates a deep commitment to Magnolia by giving their time, talent, and energy, as well as their lasting effect or legacy, to our community

Below reflects the characteristics for Business of the Year nominations.

Please briefly describe how the Business of the Year nominee:

  • Provides innovative products or services
  • Delivers exemplary customer service 
  • Encourages and provides professional development of their staff
  • Volunteers in the Magnolia community
  • Actively carries out the MCC mission of adding vibrancy to the community

The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors will review the nominations for the two awards and select the 2022 recipients, who will be publicly announced and honored with awards and recognition. 

Please submit your nomination(s) for either or both the Person of the Year and Business of the Year via email by December 27, 2022. Your nomination(s) should be sent to: Thank you!  

Winterfest 2022: Kick-Off the Holiday Season in the Magnolia Village


Winterfest 2022 – Saturday, December 3rd!

Join us in the Magnolia Village for a day filled with events to kick-off the holiday season, starting with pancake breakfast & hot chocolate offerings, lunch specials, afternoon family activities, and into the evening with adult gatherings.

Below is the Winterfest 2022 overview. Follow Discover Magnolia Facebook and Instagram channels to keep up with activities as they are continuously added!

  • Starbucks: 6am – 5pm. Enjoy a 12 oz hot chocolate for $3.00.
  • Petit Pierre Bakery: 7:30am – 4pm. Grab a Winterfest hot chocolate, topped with homemade marshmallows and crushed peppermint. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Magnolia Beautification Project.
  • Magnolia Lutheran Church – Swedish Pancake Breakfast: 8am – 12:30pm. Annual holiday tradition. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. All proceeds go to charity.
  • Unravel Therapeutics: 9:30am – 8:30 pm. Drop by and purchase unique gifts and services just right for the discerning gift giver.
  • Mondello Lunch Special: 12pm – 3pm. Enjoy your choice of fettuccine primavera or lasagna with tiramisu for $23.
  • Figurehead Brewery: 12pm start – while supplies last. Cookie decorating and free hot chocolate for the kids!
  • VR Bubble Shop: 12pm – 8pm – 50% off all VR gaming activities.              
  • American Dance Institute. Free dance classes for various age groups – Children’s Hip Hop (ages 8-10) at 1:30pm – 2:20pm. Children’s Creative Dance (ages 3.5-5) at 3:00pm-3:45pm. Pre-Ballet (ages 5-7) at 4:00pm-4:50pm. Pre-registration required:
  • Magnolia Garden Center Family Photos Opportunity by Julie Bennett, Coldwell Banker Bain: 2pm – 4pm. Get your holiday family photos at the Magnolia Garden Center and enjoy an excellent opportunity to pick out your Christmas tree or wreaths. Photographs by Julie will be available and features a festive Magnolia Garden Center backdrop. Proceeds from your purchase for a digital download will be donated to the Reimagine Magnolia Village beautification project. Additional photo gifts are also available.
  • Magnolia Dental Care: 4pm. Ornament decorating for homegrown holiday arts and crafts.
  • Key Bank, Magnolia Branch: 4pm – 6pm. Kids will create whimsical and craft-tastic Paper Lights Garlands, making a fun and distinctive holiday decoration.
  • Serendipity Lounge: 3pm – 5pm. Enjoy the sounds of one of our favorite local bands, Magnolia Steel and Rik & Lisa in the Serendipity Lounge.
  • Magnolia Cooperative Preschool: 4:30pm – 6pm. Enjoy hot chocolate & warming stations at the Magnolia Cooperative Playground.
  • Carolers in the Village – Magnolia Chorale: 4pm – 6pm. Welcome the sounds of the season with caroling through Magnolia Village. Catch them at the tree lighting at the Garden Center at 5pm!
  • Windermere: 4pm – 8pm. Make holiday memories by getting photos with Santa, one of the most popular attractions!
  • Sell Your Sole: 5pm – 8pm. Celebrate the Grand Opening while enjoying drinks, small bites AND shopping for gifts (or for you!).
  • Magnolia Garden Center: 5pm. The annual tree lighting event to kick off the holiday season along with the Magnolia Chorale carolers and warm beverages.
  • Jingle Bell Cruise: 6pm. In partnership with Werners Crash Shop, car enthusiasts will love the 25 holiday-decorated cars cruise through Magnolia, ending in the Village. Toy donations for Pacific Raceways Toy Drive will be accepted!
  • Magnolia’s Book Store: 6pm – 8pm. Magnolia’s favorite bookstore will be open ’til 8pm. Enjoy some holiday treats from 6pm to closing.
  • Carolers in the Village – The Holidames: 6pm – 8pm. Seasonal song favorites led by Ginger Ann Griffis.
  • Westerly Studio: 6pm – 9pm. It’s the annual holiday art sale! Come for a sip AND shopping for gifts – big and small – from nine local artists.
  • Vixen Collection Day Spa & Boutique: 6pm – 9 pm. Shop for gifts, clothing and beauty products with complimentary adult beverages.
  • Magnolia Village Pub, co-hosted by Shannon Praetorius, Compass Real Estate: 7pm – 9:30pm. Join us for an Ugly Sweater Contest at 7pm; winner will be announced at 9:30 pm. In between, enjoy a holiday trivia event, a selfie booth, food, and drinks. Bring a book for a local charity donation and receive $5 off the first beer.                   
Mug of hot chocolate

Magnolia Community Council update and call to action – learn more

NOVEMBER 14, 2022

The Magnolia Community Council is appealing to the Magnolia community to donate to a legal defense fund to challenge the recent decision by the Seattle Redistricting Commission that fractures the Magnolia neighborhood into two separate council districts.

The Magnolia Community Council is seeking donations to support its legal defense fund with the goal of requesting a judge to order the Commission to follow the redistricting charter and vote for a map that keeps Magnolia in one council district. The Community Council is also seeking registered voters to sign on as an “additional party” to the legal challenge. If interested , the Community Council asks that you reach out to them directly at

To learn more and stay connected with the Magnolia Community Council, please click here.

Magnolia Murals! New mural at Pier 91, Glacier Fish Company

NOVEMBER 3, 2022

Hopefully, you’ve seen the murals popping up around the neighborhood of Magnolia. One such mural is about a fish with close ties to the community. A colorful new mural now lives on your daily commute if you look over the Magnolia Bridge down at Pier 91! The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP), a trade association for the Wild Alaska Pollock industry, commissioned an eye-catching mural on the north face of the Glacier Fish Company building at Pier 91 in the heart of the Magnolia neighborhood by local artist Kyler Martz.

Kyler Martz is a local artist known for his distinctly recognizable work. Martz started as a tattoo artist and still inks body art, but he also created murals for the Whale Wins restaurant in Ballard and Ballard PCC Community Markets, illustrations for the Fremont Solstice Festival, and the Amazon Treasure Truck program, Filson clothing, and more.

Glacier Fish Company, the company that hosts the extravagant mural on the side of its building, is a member of GAPP and produces frozen-at-sea groundfish products like Wild Alaska Pollock.
This mural represents the fish and its attributes, plus the hardworking people that may even live in your neighborhood that go into bringing Wild Alaska Pollock to millions of American plates. The mural faces where thousands of cruise passengers arrive each year and “beautifies” the drive for many Magnolia natives. Many probably don’t know that Wild Alaska Pollock is the most consumed wild-caught fish in the world, and now it lives in your backyard.

The mural, made with adhesive and polyester mesh, utilizes the rich colors seen on cans of seafood from the Pacific Northwest’s rich seafood industry past. That is the lineage that supports the strong Wild Alaska Pollock industry we have today,” Morris said. Whether it’s snapping a picture of the mural with the city skyline or Puget Sound in the background as you’re on your daily run, or if you’d like to head to visit the public port in your own backyard yourself, you’re sure to see a detailed masterpiece.

Many Seattleites and visitors probably didn’t know that Wild Alaska Pollock has such strong ties to Seattle. But now everyone can join us in celebrating the name and what our fish both brings to the tables of consumers worldwide and means to the local economy.

Find the short videos that describe how Martz made the art for the building and the fence. GAPP appreciates the work that went into conceptualizing this project with Martz, the local agency Garrigan-Lyman Group, and Glacier Fish Company. We are excited to see this mural in our daily commute and local Seattle news outlets. We hope that it, like the Wild Alaska Pollock industry itself, becomes an iconic part of the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle.

Seattle Redistricting Commission advances Magnolia split

NOVEMBER 3, 2022

On Monday, October 31st, the Seattle Redistricting Commission voted 4-1 to advance a new council district map that splits Magnolia into two council districts. The final vote is November 8th, and the new council district map will then be filed with King County auditors. The primary boundary will be 28th Ave W. Magnolia residents living west of 28th Ave W. will be in District 6, and those living east will be in District 7. See the proposed map for the northern and southern boundaries, and the Commission continues to take public comment on the draft map.

The line at 28th Ave. W. ensures that Magnolia Village is entirely in the 6th District. However, the Magnolia and Dravus bridges are in the 7th District. The Emerson Street Bridge is straddled between the 6th and 7th Districts. Interbay along 15th Ave W., from Smith Cove to the Ballard Bridge, will be in the 7th District.

Recap of Commission Deliberations. The Commission heard from Magnolia residents challenging the proposed fracturing of the neighborhood. However, the Commission was not swayed. This is partly due to perceived differences of opinion on the rules for redistricting and the city charter guiding the redistricting process. An array of other issues apparently also informed decision-making by the Commission. This includes the role of redistricting in addressing generational racial and housing equity and diversity in Seattle, the support for the Redistricting Justice Coalition and its proposed redistricting map, and concerns over resident-driven recommendations for splitting other neighborhoods to keep Magnolia whole.

Next Steps. Magnolia-based discussions have focused on how and if to address the final proposed map that will fracture Magnolia. The Magnolia Community Council is seeking community feedback on the next steps. You can share your opinion, advice, and counsel by emailing In the meantime, residents can continue to engage with the Commission and offer public comment through November 15th.

The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee met on November 2nd and reaffirmed that the Chamber would continue collaborating with the Magnolia Community Council in the weeks ahead.

The Chamber also looks forward to developing strategies and scheduling meetings with District 6 Councilman Dan Strauss and District 7 Councilman Andrew Lewis. Both council seats are up in 2023, and unclear at this juncture if one or both are running for re-election. Bottomline, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and collaborate with our members to promote and protect the interests of our Magnolia business and family members with Council members Strauss and Lewis. And, we will support our members living in both the 6th and 7th districts. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with Jason at or 206-618-1589.

Seattle Redistricting Commission seeks additional comments

OCTOBER 27, 2022

On Wednesday, October 26, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods issued a press release and announcement on behalf of the Seattle Redistricting Commission. The Commission is now offering three different “discussion maps” along with to the Malaba Map now titled the “Amended Draft Map.” The Amended Draft Map is the official draft map following a 4 to 1 vote by the Commission on October 18th. The three “discussion maps” were discussed at the October 25th meeting of the Commission.

The Commission is planning to vote on a final map on November 8th. They will hold a special meeting on October 31st that the public is invited to attend online. The Commission will take additional public comments on the four different maps. Two maps are extremely similar and split Magnolia between two districts (Amended Draft Map and the “Juarez Discussion Map“). The two other maps keep Magnolia whole (“Nickels Discussion Map” and “O’Sullivan Sponsored Discussion Map.”)

To learn more about the amended draft map and the three discussion maps, click here. The Nickels Discussion Map and the O’Sullivan Sponsored Discussion Map keep Magnolia whole. To offer comments to the Commission, click here.

To participate in the special meeting of the Seattle Redistricting Commission on October 31st, from noon to 1:30 pm, click here.

To sign the “Keep Magnolia Whole” petition prepared by the Magnolia Community Council, click here.

Magnolia split – again. Sign petition to keep Magnolia whole


The Seattle Redistricting Commission meets for its final vote to create new city council districts on Tuesday, October 25th, at noon: see agenda, here (Zoom link provided to participate in the meeting).

As reported, the Commission shocked Magnolia and other residents of the city on October 18th by voting to fracture Magnolia with the removal of the O’Sullivan-Shah map proposal and the passing of the Malaba map proposal. It was a surprise move, and unclear exactly why it was done, but the results are less than desirable for Magnolia.

We strongly urge all Magnolia residents to log on to Keep Magnolia Whole and sign thee petition in support of keeping Magnolia in one council district. As of 9:00 am on Monday, October 24th, Magnolia has just over 600 signatories to the petition. It is vital that the Commission hear from Magnolia residents, both in written testimony and by signing the petition.

One Magnolia – one week to keep Magnolia in one council district

OCTOBER 19, 2022

On Tuesday, October 18th, the Seattle Redistricting Commission voted 4-1 to support the so-called Malaba Map that fractures Magnolia into two separate districts. Former Mayor Greg Nickels cast the lone “no” vote.

In a surprise twist, the O’Sullivan-Shah Map that kept Magnolia whole in a newly configured 6th District was pulled from consideration by both Commissioners O’Sullivan and Shah, the map’s proponents and authors. The reasoning was that the map placed Fremont into the 7th District, and the outcry from the Fremont neighborhood was persuasive. Four Commissioners also believed the Seattle Redistricting Justice group effectively demonstrated city-wide support for the RJS map. The draft Malaba Map can be accessed here.

The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce continues to support the O’Sullivan-Shah Map and wants it back into consideration for the final vote on October 25th. Notably, the final map must be reviewed, edited as needed, approved by King County Elections and other auditing departments and personnel, and filed with the city clerk. To see the timeline remaining in the redistricting process, please click here.

Magnolia residents and businesses who want to keep the neighborhood, Interbay along 15th Avenue W., and all three bridges that provide access in and out of Magnolia, MUST continue to advocate the Commission for the O’Sullivan-Shah Map. We have one week to advocate for “One Magnolia.” Comments supporting the O’Sullivan-Shah Map are simple: please reconsider the O’Sullivan-Shah Map, as it best recognizes Magnolia as a community of interest. Provide your comments here.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in this issue and your advocacy for keeping Magnolia whole and as “One Magnolia.”

This is it – support the O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map to keep Magnolia in one council district


The Seattle Redistricting Commission is marching ahead to finalize a city council map by mid-November. Please support the O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map to keep Magnolia in one council district.

Background. On October 18th, the Commission will vote on three different draft redistricting maps. The map that receives the MOST votes from the Commission’s five members will be the preferred council district map. There will be one more round of public comment on the preferred map, and the process will be finalized no later than November 15th.

Members of the Redistricting Justice Coalition strongly favor splitting Magnolia. Indeed, the coalition’s preferred map fracturing Magnolia is one of the three maps being considered by the Commission. The coalition has achieved its redistricting goals for newly designed Districts 1 & 2, which we support. The two proposed districts ensure better equity and justice in representation for the BIPOC communities in south Seattle. However, they continue vigorously lobbying to crack Magnolia into two districts.

TAKE ACTION. Support the O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map. One of the amended maps that the Commission will discuss on Oct. 18th keeps Magnolia whole. Please support the “O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map” that keeps the entirety of Magnolia and Interbay in a newly refigured District 6.

Below are suggested talking points for your comments:

  • I support the O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map that keeps Magnolia whole in one council district. I favor a redistricting outcome that makes Seattle a more equitable, just, and inclusive place for residents to engage with their elected council members. A unified Magnolia aligns with this vision for Seattle while also recognizing other communities’ needs and the redistricting charter’s goals.
  • The O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map acknowledges that Magnolia is a definable “community of interest” consistent with redistricting rules. Residents of our close-knit community depend solely on three bridges built and maintained by the city of Seattle and funded by the Seattle City Council. Please recognize the unique geographic circumstances, Magnolia’s ongoing bridge maintenance needs, and its need to stay connected in one council district to the Interbay area and 15th Ave W.
  • Thank you for your hard work and public service. Redistricting is an essential tool in representative democracy and an important milestone in the evolution of the Seattle City Council.

We join the Magnolia Community Council recommending you submit your positive, supportive comment online, any time through this portal.

Even if you have previously sent in comments, share your thoughts about how the O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map helps Magnolia remain a neighborhood. 

Share this information with neighbors and friends. Urge them to submit positive public comments too.

If you have questions, please call Jason at 206-618-1589 or email


Crib Notes! The Seattle Redistricting Process in a Nutshell. The Seattle Redistricting Commission is tasked with redrawing the city’s seven Council districts and is expected to vote on a final amended draft map on October 18th. Redistricting occurs every decade and accounts for population shifts measured by the Census. The Seattle Redistricting Commission has received hundreds of written and oral comments since the Spring of 2022.

The map drawing process will end no later than November 15th, and the new lines will go into place for the next seven City Council elections in 2023.

The council lines determine how Seattle’s communities and neighborhoods are grouped and represented by the seven City Council members (two council members are at-large positions and voted on by the entirety of the city’s electorate) with implications for decisions about city funding, land use, and legislation. A preliminary map was first released in August. It triggered many passionate responses from all corners of Seattle, especially Magnolia residents who shared concerns that Magnolia was fractured in the first draft map and our voting power diminished.

A new draft was proposed on September 27th that kept Magnolia whole and moved into District 6. The Commission debated the map’s merits and held public hearings to seek input and guidance. Following a public forum on October 8th, the Commission offered three proposed changes to the September 27th map. We strongly support the O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map.

To support the O’Sullivan/Shah Proposed Changes Map, review our suggested talking points above and PROVIDE WRITTEN COMMENTS HERE