Marketing Tools and Resources for Small Business: Chamber partners with UW Foster School to create valuable information just for you

Since 2019, the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce has developed a partnership with the renowned Michael G. Foster School of Business at our state’s flagship research institution, the University of Washington. The Chamber has worked with four different teams made up of UW Foster School MBA candidates. The teams have collaborated, delivered analyses, and proposed solutions to address critical relevant business topics and challenges as proposed by the Chamber.

In the Spring of 2021, a UW Foster School MBA team conducted industry and market research to gain insights and propose actionable recommendations regarding the application of loyalty programs. They assessed whether loyalty programs are an effective way to stimulate traffic into local Magnolia businesses and generate long-term customers. The team was specifically charged with examining the viability of a chamber-wide loyalty program to encourage locals to patronize member businesses.

After a thorough review and seeking insights through questionnaires and interviews, the team recommends against the introduction of a consolidated Magnolia neighborhood loyalty program by the Chamber of Commerce, at least at this time.

However, the team recommends that the Chamber provide the resources and data driven research the team compiled regarding loyalty programs to small businesses while simultaneously pursuing other strategies to attract more foot traffic to the neighborhood. The team created a resource for small businesses that helps entrepreneurs understand the value of loyalty programs in customer retention, revenue growth, extending market reach, and building lasting relationships by offering customers rewards. The loyalty program primer provides you with an array of loyalty programs to consider for your business, how best to apply a loyalty program to your business, and a step-by-step guide in how to launch such a program with your customers. The primer guide is available to all businesses interested in learning more about loyalty programs and provides a suite of best practices. To receive your copy of step-by-step loyalty program guide, please contact Jason at or by phone at 206-618-1589.

The team also recommends that the Chamber develop a strong marketing strategy to promote local businesses. The team suggests the Chamber can clarify the Magnolia brand to attract our various target audiences while creating a compelling and strategic ‘shop local’ narrative that is communicated to various market segments. We are busy assessing the recommendations and building into our marketing and strategic communications efforts.

The Chamber reminds our members of the 2020 UW Foster School MBA team’s in-depth market analysis aimed at assisting Magnolia businesses learn more about the unique demographics and consumer profile of our neighborhood. The report presentation is replete with data and information about consumer habits and preferences of the Magnolia neighborhood. Such marketing data is helpful when building customer loyalty while improving outreach to your most immediate consumer base and increasing sales and clients. With consumer habits changing in a market still responding to the impacts of the global pandemic, the report helps you better understand consumer-based characteristics of the Magnolia neighborhood, which assists you in boosting sales, receipts, and revenue. 

Governor Orders for Phased-In Reopening Washington State

As expected, Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Friday, May 1 that Washington’s stay-home order to curb the coronavirus spread has been extended through May 31. Also on Friday, Governor Inslee unveiled a four-phase plan that state officials will adhere to as they try to navigate the reopening of businesses in Washington.

Inslee noted that each phase will run for a minimum of three weeks to give officials time to evaluate whether it’s safe to move to the next level. He conceded that it’s possible the four-phase timeline could be accelerated if “we catch some massive break because of climatic conditions or because a cure is found.” But, “We can’t count on that,” Inslee reported.

Based on that rough timetable, here’s the best-case scenario of when to expect various attractions and amenities to reopen.

Phase 1 — expected to begin in early May 

What’s allowed:

  • Some outdoor recreation (hunting, fishing, golf, boating, hiking). Note that camping is still not allowed and state campsites remain closed.

  • “Drive-in” spiritual services with one household per vehicle

  • Only essential travel

  • Essential businesses

  • Existing construction that meets agreed-upon criteria

  • Landscaping

  • Car sales

  • Retail — only curbside pickup.

  • Car washes

  • Pet walkers

Phase 2 — earliest expected date based on current data trends: May 25

What will be allowed:

  • All outdoor recreation involving fewer than five people outside your household. Camping and beaches are expected to reopen.

  • Gatherings with no more than five people outside your household

  • Limited nonessential travel within proximity of home

  • All remaining manufacturing businesses

  • New construction

  • In home/domestic services such as nannies, house cleaning

  • Retail — in-store purchases allowed with some restrictions.

  • Real estate

  • Office-based businesses. Telework remains strongly encouraged.

  • Barbers, hair and nail salons

  • Restaurants — must operate at under 50% capacity, with table sizes capped at parties of five.

Phase 3 — earliest expected date based on current data trends: June 15

What will be allowed:

  • Outdoor group recreational sports activities — capped at groups of 50 people.

  • Recreational facilities such as public pools — operating at less than 50% capacity

  • All gatherings capped at 50 people

  • Nonessential travel can resume

  • Restaurants can operate at up to 75% capacity, with table sizes capped at parties of 10

  • Bars at under 25% capacity

  • Indoor gyms at under 50% capacity

  • Movie theaters at under 50% capacity

  • Government offices open. Telework remains strongly encouraged.

  • Libraries

  • Museums

  • All other businesses other than nightclubs and events with more than 50 people.

Phase 4 — earliest expected date based on current data trends: July 6

What will be allowed: 

  • Public interactions will be allowed to resume, though physical distancing should still be observed.

  • All recreational activity can resume

  • Gatherings of more than 50 people can resume

  • Nightclubs

  • Concert venues

  • Large sporting events

On Wednesday, May 6th, Governor Inslee announced three “Safe Star”t advisory groups that will focus on health systems and public health, social support, and economic readiness. Each advisory group will operate like a forum, offering community leaders, labor, business, and nonprofit sectors to advise the governor’s office and state agencies as they determine Washington’s next steps.

Advisory groups will report out to local elected officials and the legislature to provide updates on progress and the status of the State’s efforts. The three community leader advisory groups will be led by state cabinet officials:

  • Public Health and Health Care System, led by Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman, will look at broadening testing efforts, preparing for a second wave and preparing for treatment or vaccine distribution.

  • Safe Work and Economic Recovery, led by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown, will advise on recovery plans, guidance for maintaining health standards during re-opening and assistance to Washington’s workforce.

  • Social Supports, led by Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Cheryl Strange, will offer perspectives on the increasing need for social services because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including food security and safe shelter and housing. It will look at recovery through an equity lens to defend the state’s most vulnerable and make sure that every Washingtonian is part of the recovery.

Prep for Additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding

During this interim time between PPP appropriations – the U.S. House is expected to vote today, April 23rd following the U.S. Senate’s vote – small businesses can continue to work with their lenders on possible future PPP options.

The best way to find a PPP lender is to start with your existing bank or lending institution. If they don’t plan to offer PPP loans should more funding become available, businesses can search online for eligible PPP lenders or contact their local SBA district office.

Three things you can do today include:

Explore other funding options

Since funding continues to be a top need for small businesses, traditional SBA lending programs – ranging from $500 to $5.5 million – are still an option for small business. Plus, the SBA is automatically paying the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months; and, on new loans issued prior to September 27, 2020. The SBA also offers Express Bridge Loans which enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Create a business plan for now and life after COVID-19

The SBA Resource Partner Network – which includes Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Mentors and Women’s Business Centers – has experienced business advisers who are guiding businesses through this crisis and helping them plan what their business will look like on the other side of this outbreak. SBA Resource Partners provide business resiliency readiness webinars and virtual one-on-one advising at no-cost to small businesses.

Connect with local, state and federal resources

Government at all levels are doing all they can to support small businesses during this difficult time. Visit your local city, county or borough’s website for resources along with the Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska state government websites. Also look into additional federal resources for small businesses, like tax relief from the IRS, scam alerts from the FTC, and USDA funding relief for agriculture businesses.

Pending Vote: Fourth COVID-19 Relief Package – Focus on Small Business

U.S Congress to Vote 4/21 – 4/23
Fourth COVID-19 Relief Package – Focus on Small Business


Congress has reportedly reached an agreement on the fourth stimulus and relief package to assist Americans impacted by the COVID-19 response measures. Votes on the new package are expected as early as this afternoon, April 21st in the Senate and Thursday, April 23rd in the House of Representatives.
The vote will appropriate nearly $500 billion and become the fourth COVID-19 virus-related bill rushed through Congress in just two months.
The new package would amount to roughly $470 billion in new spending, with $370 billion directed to small businesses, $75 billion going to hospitals, and $25 billion set aside for testing, which has been deemed critical to getting the U.S. back open for business. Specific to small businesses, the new measure reportedly devotes an additional $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by last month’s Cares Act that was initially funded $349 billion. It has since run out of funds.
There are several workshops that are being held later this week and based on the anticipation of relief appropriations, could be of interest to our Chamber members. Please click below to access additional information and registration instructions:

Magnolia Chamber Workshop: Crime Prevention

Zoom Workshop April 23rd, 1:00 pm

Crime Fighting Facts, Tips, and Building Relationships during COVID-19 Response

Join the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce and Seattle Police Department West Precinct’s Barb Biondo, Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Magnolia neighborhood on Thursday, April 23rd, at 1:00 pm for a special workshop focused on reducing property crime and increasing public safety. The meeting will be held via Zoom. 

Please register here.
The workshop provides an opportunity to learn the facts related to burglaries, particularly over the last five weeks since the COVID-19 response of “stay home, stay healthy” have closed down small businesses and significantly changed operating hours. With less foot traffic and customer base across Magnolia’s various business districts, concerns have spiked that businesses are at greater risk for property crimes. A few Magnolia businesses have been victims of burglary since early March.
The workshop will focus on how the West precinct is actively working to ensure burglaries are addressed by law enforcement, and how directed patrols are emphasized in problem areas. In addition, you will learn what techniques and protection measures are most effective in deterring burglaries. Finally, the workshop is aimed at bringing Magnolia together with local law enforcement to build shared awareness and enhance relationships essential to effective community policing, particularly during this unique period of time. The value added benefits include learning how best to protect your business and collaborate with law enforcement post-COVID-19!
Please provide your questions in advance.

Send your questions to:

4/23 3p: U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal CARES Act Workshop

Magnolia Chamber of Commerce 4/20

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal CARES Act Workshop, Thursday, April 23, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

Pre-Register for Zoom meeting.

(You will submit your name and email address at this link along with any questions or comments.  Once you register, you will receive an email with a link to join by device as well as phone numbers if you prefer to join by phone.)

U.S. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who represents Magnolia and the 7th Congressional district, reports that she has received many constituent calls about existing CARES Act relief programs.  During the workshop this coming Thursday, the Congresswoman will take your feedback and answer your questions about these programs, and what to anticipate in the next phase in the economic relief effort should look like. 

Congress is expected to vote as early as this coming Wednesday, April 22nd,  to infuse an additional $300 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program. She will discuss her specific proposal for a Paycheck Guarantee Act that proposes the most direct and streamlined relief to small businesses and the workers they employ. Learn more during the briefing; it is anticipated that the final bill voted on this week will include some of the measures offered by Congresswoman Jayapal.

National Small Business Town Hall – Friday April 24th at 9am

Magnolia Chamber of Commerce 4/20

Small Business Relief – Paycheck Protection Program expected to benefit. Join National Small Business Town Hall on Friday, April 24th at 9:00 am (PT)

The U.S, House could meet as soon as this Wednesday morning, April 22, to consider an expected deal to provide about $300 billion of additional money to the Paycheck Protection Program, a part of the Cares Act. The Trump Administration reports that they are hopeful that an agreement with Democratic congressional leaders will be reached early this week.

In anticipation of Congressional action to reinvest in protecting small business from the impacts of the COVID-19 response, our members may want to access a virtual workshop offered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. On Friday, April 24 at noon ET (9:00 am, PT), Inc. and the U.S. Chamber will team up again for a fifth virtual National Small Business Town Hall to help small business owners alike navigate the programs that are available to them. Learn more on how to RSVP by clicking here.

Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19 – 4/9

Copied below. Link at:


What is the Federal Government Doing in Response to COVID-19?

Health and Safety

Travel, Immigration, and Transportation

Money and Taxes


Scams and Fraud

Benefits and Grants


Federal Building Status Updates and National Parks

Voting and Elections




International Cooperation


Federal Workforce

Here’s a list of the agencies responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).

How Are States Responding to COVID-19?

Visit your state Health Department website for the latest coronavirus information, resources, and guidance.

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Private Companies Grants & Loans

Magnolia Chamber – 4/9/20

There are a growing number of private sector companies, stepping up and offering specific loans, grants, and relief funds and information to assist small businesses:

Wefunder has funded ~$130M in hundreds of small businesses from over 400,000 investors. If your business has customers who care, Wefunder can help. Or, if there’s a small business you care about, nominate them for funding. In March, as the stock market has fallen, investments have doubled on Wefunder. People want to support the businesses they care about. Wefunder allows for investments (or loans) as small as $100 into the businesses that investors support. Typically, half of the funds come from a company’s own customer base, with the other half from the Wefunder investor-base. Wefunder says they then do the work of collecting funds and send you one wire when it’s over.

This site is full of information, tips, and inspiration to help guide small businesses through the crisis. As part of the company’s commitment to supporting small businesses, they are creating Salesforce Care Small Business Grants. They have announced that they will soon be offering $10,000 grants to U.S. small businesses to provide capital to help them weather this crisis. International small business support will be announced soon. Learn more about Salesforce Care Small Business Grants.

Hello Alice
Team Alice has launched a central resource hub for small business information and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding, technology, and informational resources have, and are being created and shared daily. Hello Alice aims to ensure small business owners have the opportunities at their disposal to keep the business operating during this turbulent time. 

PayPal Working Capital
PayPal Working Capital is available to select businesses that already process payments through PayPal. If your business qualifies, the lender reviews your PayPal sales history to customize a special offer.

James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund
To help bring swift economic relief to these essential businesses, the Foundation is launching a fund that will be gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need

*NEW* State of Washington Small Business Emergency Grants Available

Magnolia Chamber – 4/7/20

Governor Jay Inslee is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Up to $5 million in funds are provided through the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund and administered by the State Department of Commerce.

 The grant program will provide a limited number of businesses in Washington’s 39 counties with a grant up to $10,000. For King County, applicants will work with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce who is the assigned local agency/economic development group to process the applications and prioritize recipients. Check out the detailed website for all information, qualifications, application process and decision-making criteria and timing