Updates

MAGNOLIA MADE WHOLE IN AMENDED MAP – REDISTRICTING COMMISSION NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 22ND

Background. On August 3rd, the Seattle Redistricting Commission released a single map recommending Magnolia be split almost down the middle and create two separate council districts for our neighborhood. The Chamber penned an op-ed on the impacts of the redistricting process that ran in the Seattle Times on August 17th. Many Magnolia residents provided comments over the last month and a half, resulting in a newly proposed amended map by Commission O’Sullivan that keeps Magnolia whole and in a single district.

Update on the Redistricting Process – Amended Map offered on September 20th and proposes to keep Magnolia in one Council District. The Seattle Redistricting Commission is now considering an amended map that keeps Magnolia in a newly drawn and proposed 6th District. The map was created by a redistricting commission member, Rory O’Sullivan, and presented at the meeting of the Commission held on Tuesday, September 20th. The amended map proposes to incorporate SE Magnolia and Interbay with the western portion of Magnolia. The newly proposed 6th District as amended, will divide the 6th and 7th Districts at 15 Ave W. Hence, the amended map keeps all areas of Magnolia intact in one new council district, including Magnolia Village.

The Redistricting Process Moving Forward. The amended map is a proposal for the Commission to consider. It was discussed publicly at the regular meeting of the redistricting commission on September 20th. Commission O’Sullivan collaborated with the GIS specialists working with the Commission to redraw and propose the amended council district lines.

The amended council district map is posted on the Seattle Redistricting Commission website. The commission must continue to hear from Magnolia residents from now until the conclusion of the process in mid-November. The Chamber suggests that the amended map is a vast improvement to the initially proposed map that the commission released on August 3rd.

Why the “O’Sullivan” Amended Map is an Improvement. The amended map includes all the entrances and exits to and from Magnolia and the Interbay area. It recognizes that geographically, Magnolia is a clearly defined neighborhood, bordered by water and located on a distinct peninsula. It acknowledges that the entirety of the Magnolia neighborhood is a well-defined “community of interest,” a vital component of redistricting. Magnolia has long-established neighborhood events such as Summerfest and Halloween in the Village. Neighbors walk along the entirety of Magnolia Bluff and recreate in the playfields adjacent to the Magnolia Community Center and Mounger Pool. Our history and a shared sense of community are captured in three different historical books penned by local authors and published by the Magnolia Historical Society. Our neighborhood enjoys a Magnolia Little League and Magnolia Soccer Club. It has its own Seattle Public library and a distinct business district in Magnolia Village undergoing extensive, community-driven, and local donor-supported streetscape improvements.

Contact the Commission TODAY if You Support the Amended Map. If you agree with the amended map that keeps Magnolia in the newly proposed 6th Council district and includes Interbay along 15th Avenue W., please log on to Seattle Redistricting Commission’s website and its “How to Participate” page. Extend appreciation to the Commission for listening to concerned residents. Share support for keeping Magnolia as one district. Please use our updated and suggested talking points immediately below, if needed.

Suggested Talking Points in Support of the Amended Council District Map

– The amended map proposed by Commissioner O’Sullivan better adheres to the principles guiding the city’s redistricting process: boundaries should follow existing district boundaries and rely on recognized waterways while following geographic boundaries that help preserve communities and neighborhoods.

– The amended map proposed by Commission O’Sullivan recognizes that Magnolia is a distinct community of interest. It is a neighborhood well defined by its high voter turnout, support for public projects funded by levies, its organizations such as the Magnolia Chamber, the Magnolia Historical Society, Magnolia Soccer Club, Magnolia Little League, Magnolia Community Council, Magnolia Village Beautification Committee, among others. The amended map recognizes that Magnolia residents have a direct stake and interest in the growth and development along 15th Ave. W. from Smith Cove to the Ballard Bridge and Interbay given Magnolia’s limited ingress and egress transportation corridors.
The amended map keeps Magnolia’s most identifiable public assets whole, including schools, parks, libraries, playfields, the sidewalks of Magnolia Boulevard, bike routes, etc., The amended map recognizes that these essential cultural facilities and amenities help to define Magnolia as one community of interest and will be kept intact by the Commission’s redistricting process.

– The amended map solves the division of Magnolia Village that is in the proposed map of August 3rd

Below is the amended map of September 20th and proposed for consideration by Commissioner O’Sullivan. The pink area of SE Magnolia and Interbay has been proposed to be located in a new District 6 and will make Magnolia “whole” with all neighborhood areas in one council district. Fremont would be moved into a newly redrawn District 7.

Additional Background and Context

Why Should You Care and Why is Redistricting Important to Magnolia Residents? For community groups like the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce, the proposed splitting up of core business areas by the council draft district map released on August 3rd, including the splitting of Magnolia Village, will require the Chamber to work with and have access to two city council members and staff and collaborate with two different constituencies on issues important to our membership.

The Magnolia Chamber’s membership reflects the geographic boundaries of Magnolia, usually described as the area west of 15th Ave W to Puget Sound, with the Ship Canal acting as the northern Magnolia boundary and Smith Cove acting as the southern Magnolia border (see Seattle Police West Precinct MMCP Location map). The Magnolia Chamber serves businesses in Magnolia Village and many other neighborhood businesses, services, and family members located along Government Way, Gilman Ave W., Interbay, Thorndyke, and Elliott Bay Marina.

We believe the city should promote direct lines of communication between the residents and governments that serve them: In this instance, the city council, the legislative branch of the city of Seattle. The city council is a crucial policy-making body with local taxing authority and oversight over the city’s land use decisions, transportation, and public utility needs while guiding the city’s and its neighborhoods’ growth.

If the amended map of September 20th is not adopted, the Chamber and Magnolia residents will be compelled to work with multiple staff from two different elected council members who may or may not agree on important public policies, city budgets, establishing tax rates, critical infrastructure improvements, and addressing constituency concerns. The proposed redistricting map of August 3rd, and the splitting of Magnolia into two separate council districts will disrupt the long-established “boundaries” of our neighborhood and potentially disassemble decades of community unity, collaboration, organization, and identity. The amended map of September 20th fixes these concerns.

Indeed, the location of City Council district lines decides which voters vote for which Seattle Council member and changes the communities each district must work with. Splitting Magnolia and Magnolia Village into two separate council districts, as in the proposed map of August 3rd, will change the relevant voters’ and the council members’ identity, allegiance, and political priorities. The proposed fracturing of Magnolia will also result in council members being less accountable to our neighborhood and avoiding responsibility when challenges occur. The Chamber supports the amended map of September 20th to avoid these issues.

What is a Community of Interest in Redistricting and Why is it Important? A community of interest is a group of people with shared concerns, interests, and characteristics. It is an essential element in redistricting criteria and is missing in the August 3rd proposal to split Magnolia into two separate council districts. Magnolia, a long-established neighborhood in Seattle, is a community of interest and should be maintained in a single council district as is done in the amended map of September 20th. Magnolia is geographically defined neighborhood and comprises people with common policy concerns and interests.

Magnolia Has a Distinct Voting Pattern and Behavior. One indicator that Magnolia is a specific and defined community of interest is its voting patterns. Magnolia precincts vote. Most of its precincts have a 50% or more voter turnout, with some precincts as high as 80% depending on election cycles. The Seward Park neighborhood is the only other area in Seattle with as high a voter turnout as Magnolia.

Magnolia is also a neighborhood that supports – often quite strongly – levies aimed at improving the quality of life throughout all of Seattle. For example, voters in Magnolia have consistently voted in large numbers to support levy-generated funding for affordable housing, public transportation and safety, public schools, parks, and libraries. Magnolia voters’ support for property tax increases has generated billions of dollars in funding via the Seattle Housing Levy, Seattle Public Schools Operating and Capital levies, Library levies, the Levy to Move Seattle, the Parks and Green Space Levy, and the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy. Magnolia’s voter support for levies also funds King County property taxes to improve public services throughout greater Seattle and King County. Every community in Seattle benefits from Magnolia’s commitment to voting and consistent support for Seattle’s ‘greater good’ projects and operations that depend on levying property owners to achieve necessary funding.

Magnolia has Policy Interests Related to the Growth of Interbay. A second indicator that Magnolia is a specific and defined community of interest is its shared policy needs. Access and exiting the Magnolia neighborhood is a longstanding and ongoing concern, given that residents, visitors, and businesses depend solely on three bridges to get to or from the Magnolia peninsula:

  • The Magnolia Bridge is just north of the Port of Seattle’s Pier 91 at Smith Cove, currently a home port for several large cruise lines, and is accessed by 15th Ave. W
  • The Dravus Street Bridge moves vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians exiting from 15th Ave. W. to access Magnolia
  • The Emerson Street Bridge is accessed from 15th Ave. W. and Nickerson. It serves as the northernmost entrance/exit to/from Magnolia via the intersection of W. Emerson Street and Gilman Ave. W.

There are numerous concerns related to transportation activities and growth plans for the area, much of which are driven by the city’s proposed Industrial and Maritime Strategy that will impact the Interbay area and the three bridge access points to Magnolia along 15th Ave W. This includes but is not limited to development projects such as the Terminal 91 Uplands Development Project to support maritime manufacturers and fishing industry suppliers in the Ballard Interbay Manufacturing Industrial Center. It also includes the 25-acre Interbay Armory site north of the Magnolia Bridge, currently owned by Washington state. It may eventually be redeveloped to have a mix of uses such as industrial, office, and maker spaces. It also consists of a proposed Smith Cove light rail station that will impact access to the Magnolia Bridge. Though the City of Seattle has studied options for replacing the Magnolia Bridge, it has yet to determine the bridge’s type, size, or location. All these projects and plans aim to transform the area in the future.

As proposed by the map released on August 3rd, Magnolia residents must cross one of the three bridges to access their homes or apartments via 15th Ave. W. yet will not live in the proposed 7th District, where the Interbay transformation projects will be located. However, most Magnolia residents will live in the proposed 6th District. Magnolia – as a community of interest – has a direct stake in how the Interbay area along 15th Avenue W. from Smith Cove to the Ballard Bridge is developed, given that the area provides the only entrance and exit points to the neighborhood. It is essential that Magnolia residential areas are included in the same council district as 15th Ave. W. in the Interbay area. We believe the amended map of September 20th addresses these concerns and keeps Magnolia and Interbay together.

It is important to note that we are NOT against any of the redistricting efforts to date by other organizations and neighborhood groups. We appreciate that redistricting is a public process and there are many points of view. As we understand public processes, public comment periods, and the spirit and intent of the Administrative Procedures Act, all of the public should be allowed to and can weigh in and provide thoughtful feedback to help inform decision making.

MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD! The Commission Needs to Hear from YOU! Now is the time to provide comments to the Commission and support the amended map offered on September 20, 2022.

PROVIDE WRITTEN COMMENTS HERE

Keep those comments coming – stay informed and involved

The Commission will host public forums, meetings, and online public comments between now and November to receive your comments and listen and respond to recommendations and concerns from Seattle residents.

The current schedule is as follows:

Residents can provide verbal public comment during the weekly Tuesday meetings of the Redistricting Commission from 12:00pm-1:30pm | Join Online or in person at the L280 Boards and Commissions Room at 600 4th Avenue, Seattle WA, 98104

Redistricting Citywide Public Forum #1 | Watch Recording

Redistricting Citywide Public Forum #2 | Watch Recording

Redistricting Citywide Public Forum #3 | 10.08.22 from 10am-12pm at the Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall 1st Floor or join online

Your voice ensures that communities like Magnolia have equitable and consequential representation and voting influence.

Magnolia Community Council releases statement on redistricting and splitting Magnolia into two districts

The Magnolia Community Council released a statement and provides analyses and information regarding the Seattle Redistricting Commission’s recommendations to split Magnolia into two separate city council districts.

The Magnolia Community Council’s comments coincide with the Seattle Redistricting Commission’s regularly scheduled public meeting on Tuesday, September 6th starting at 12 noon through 1:30 pm. The meeting can be accessed by visiting the Redistricting Commission’s website.

We note that the Commission’s website continues to offer ever-changing dates for public forums. Today’s regular meeting of the Commission will hopefully finalize dates and times for public forums so more of the public can be engaged in the redistricting process.

Access the Magnolia Community Council’s comments by clicking here.

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Chambership has its privileges – join the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce this August and receive 30-dollar store credit from Modele’s Home Furnishings.

Win-win opportunities abound this August for the new family, individual, or business members who join the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce. You become a part of Magnolia’s inner circle AND receive a $30 in-store credit as you shop Modele’s for unique high-end brands and gently used furniture, home accessories, and one-of-a-kind gift items.  

Modele’s Home Furnishings, located in the heart of Magnolia Village, and the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce are teaming up from August 1 to the 31 to encourage Magnolia Chamber memberships while showcasing one of Magnolia’s most beautiful retail stores in our community. Modele’s is a proud member of the Chamber and knows the value of membership firsthand.

“I receive so much support from the Magnolia Chamber,” says Modele’s owner Deb Bluestein. “It is because of the Chamber’s networking opportunities, business resources, and ample opportunities for meaningful community involvement that I am excited to sponsor the ‘Chambership has its privileges’ membership drive and offer a $30 store credit to those who join the Chamber this August.”

“With Summerfest back this year on August 5-7th, I want to encourage all families, individuals, and businesses to participate in the “Chambership has its privileges” membership drive and join the Magnolia Chamber right now; this month,” says Deb. “Please join as soon as possible and then stop by Modele’s while you’re enjoying Summerfest and make great use of the $30 store credit!”

Every Magnolian is welcome to join, be a part of the inner circle of our community and support the Magnolia Chamber. Families or individuals pay only $60 per year to be a member and support or help promote community events such as Summerfest and the Chamber’s Vino in the Village, Winterfest, Trick-or-Treat in the Village, and more. Family and individual members receive local event discounts and invitations to special member-only events. Chamber family and individual memberships are also a great way to support our local businesses like Modele’s and help you engage in the community we call home.

Based on your organization’s size, we have four membership tiers for new business members, including non-profits. All membership levels allow business members to increase visibility and connect with other merchants and our local community. If you are a business with 15 or fewer employees, you also automatically receive FREE membership with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber. Value-added benefits include the Chamber’s revamped website and continuously improving business listings. The business listings now consist of an interactive, searchable directory of member businesses that you can maintain with descriptions, logos, contact information, and images. Business members also have ample opportunities to meet potential customers by participating in the community’s Vino in the Village and as we help to promote Summerfest events.

To learn more about the “Chambership has its privileges” August membership drive and Modele’s $30 store credit offer to reward new members, please call Jason Thibeaux, Magnolia Chamber’s executive director, at 206.618.1589. You can also visit Modele’s at 3220 W. McGraw St., in the heart of Magnolia Village, join the Chamber in the store, and start shopping!

JOIN TODAY

Are you ready to join the Magnolia Summerfest party on August 5-7?

Donate today in support of our community-run, volunteer-powered festival of fun

For 70 years, Magnolia Summerfest has made the first weekend of August an annual must-do, must-see community festival filled with fun activities and memories that last a lifetime. We missed the event over the last two years, but we’re excited to welcome back the neighborhood celebration on August 5-7. And the Summerfest team of volunteers is ready to welcome you to our party ranks to ensure a full array of fun family activities, all while raising funds to give back to worthy Magnolia causes.

Magnolia Summerfest is our homegrown community-run and volunteer-powered annual festival. Indeed, it is neighbors just like YOU who make the annual event a success.

Your financial and volunteer support today means Summerfest 2022 can raise the $72,000 it takes to organize, stage, manage, and permit this year’s three-day festival.

We don’t need to tell you that inflation has made the costs of almost every aspect of Magnolia Summerfest more expensive. Staging, tents, tables, permitting, and insurance fees and rates have all skyrocketed. Yet, with your generosity and donations of time and dollars today, we will work together to make up for the increases in costs and the loss of some vendors and sponsors. 

Your gifts in support of our community ensure the parade, free kid’s crafts and games, food trucks and tents, beer and wine garden, live music ALL weekend, the popular outdoor movie, the bouncy houses, and so much more will rock the Magnolia Playfield and Village on August 5-7.

Remember: after the all-volunteer festival organizers and workers finish the festival, any extra proceeds go to various local entities such as the Magnolia Rotary, local schools, and a dedicated account to support next year’s Magnolia Summerfest.

Your gift today is tax deductible under the Magnolia Better Together non-profit dedicated to supporting our community and efforts such as Reimagine Magnolia Village beautification. Our favorite event is back in 2022, and we look forward to having some fun with you and all our neighbors on August 5-7. But we would be grateful if you could volunteer and invest in what makes Magnolia a great place to live, work, and play.

Thank you for your generosity, and see you at Magnolia Summerfest August 5-7!


August 2nd is primary election day – updates on key races

“Tis the season” to get informed and vote in the primary election on August 2, 2022. Mail-in ballots started arriving on Friday, July 15th, and accompanying voter pamphlets are available to assist voters. We encourage voters to visit the helpful “one-stop” virtual voting tools provided by King County elections officials.

REMINDER. Ballots MUST BE postmarked or dropped in a ballot drop box by Tuesday, Aug. 2. The two candidates with the most votes will move on to November’s general election on Tuesday, November 8th.

This is an important election cycle with several key races, including a U.S. Senate seat, Washington’s Secretary of State, and all 10 Congressional House seats.

One of the more important races in 2022 is the open House of Representatives seat in the 36th District, which includes Magnolia and areas of Queen Anne, Ballard, Fremont, and downtown Seattle. Current State Rep. Noel Frame, D-Seattle, announced in late January that she would run for the state Senate seat being vacated by state Sen. Reuven Carlyle, the district’s long-serving Senator, who chose not to run for re-election. This leaves Frame’s House seat open. Five candidates have announced their campaigns in a quest to serve the people of the 36th Legislative District.

Below is a quick rundown of the candidates for the open 36th District seat in the State House of Representatives and their campaign websites. You can also find more information in your 2022 voter’s pamphlet. Online tools include a great resource from the Washington State Secretary of State’s elections office.

Primary Candidates for the 36th District State House Seat

Tyler Crone – https://www.electtylercrone.com/

Tyler Crone is an attorney who has advised government agencies on global health issues. Most recently, she was co-founder and coordinating director of the ATHENA Network, an organization focused on advocating for women’s rights in the worldwide response to HIV. Crone, who announced her candidacy in March, is running as a Democrat. In addition to a law degree, she holds a master’s degree in public health. 

Nicole Gomez – https://www.electnicole.com/

Gomez is the co-founder and board secretary of the Alliance for a Healthy Washington. She has lobbied for universal health care at the state Legislature and advocated for other state policies to help make health care more affordable. Gomez previously handled workers’ compensation claims and worked as a crime victims advocate. She is a past chair of the 36th Legislative District Democrats. 
 

Jeff Manson – https://www.votejeffmanson.com/

Manson is an administrative law judge who resolves individuals’ disputes with state agencies. As an attorney, he represented low-income clients who were appealing state agency decisions to terminate their benefits. He has lobbied the Legislature to let administrative law judges form a union. He serves on the executive board of the 36th Legislative District Democrats.
 

Julia Reed – https://www.votejuliareed.com/

Reed, a Democrat, announced her candidacy for Frame’s seat in February. Reed was a senior policy adviser to former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and the City of Seattle’s regional affairs director. Before working for the city, she had positions in the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration. She chairs the 36th District Democrats and currently works for a consulting firm that helps businesses with workforce development and diversity.

In a somewhat unusual occurrence for a local race, Reed has been endorsed by both the Seattle Times and The Stranger.

Waylon Robert – https://electwaylonrobert.com/about/

Robert has lobbied in Olympia to encourage the legislature to provide more money for libraries in cash-strapped counties. He has been a fundraising coordinator for the City of Hoquiam, as well as for Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, and King County Councilmember Larry Gossett.

Summerfest Needs YOU – volunteer information meeting on June 27, 6:30pm, Starbucks

Summerfest 2022 is coming this August, and we hope you will help make it a big success. Once again, there will be live music, a beer garden, bouncy houses, vendors, our Magnolia parade, and more. But we need to have a volunteer workforce to make it happen.

The misperception from some is that Summerfest is run by some outside event organization or a paid entity. This could not be further from the truth. This Magnolia-run event is only made possible by volunteers from our community. It is dependent on our friends and neighbors working together to make the festival one to remember!

We ask YOU to give back and volunteer to make this year’s Summerfest a well-run event. There are untold opportunities to make a difference and enjoy the camaraderie and satisfaction of volunteering at our local festival. 

Join us on Monday, June 27th at 6:30 pm for an informational meeting with members of the core planning team of Summerfest. Starbucks and its hardworking staff will be our meeting host in the heart of Magnolia Village (3300 W McGraw St).  Enjoy some light appetizers and tasty bites from our friends at Metropolitan Market. Starbucks will also donate an array of beverages for meeting attendees.

Please join us to learn more about Summerfest, our community’s iconic summer event, and how you can volunteer and help spread the word to recruit others to be a part of the celebration. Remember, no paid group runs Summerfest – It depends upon Magnolians to make it happen. See you at Starbucks on Monday, June 27th at 6:30 pm – we’ll have some fun!

TikTok Basics for Business

Are you on TikTok? Maybe you’re just figuring out video and livestreaming and you have written off TikTok as a site for kids.

While you aren’t wrong about that (32.5% of users are between 10 and 19, while 41 percent of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old), the TikTok adult audience has grown at a rate of about 5.5 times in just 18 months.

The app now boasts 1 billion active users. TikTok videos are becoming a way to pass time for many people and the average user spends about 52 minutes per day on the app. It also has huge reach. 167 million TikTok videos are watched in a minute on average.

So, if you’re looking to reach an under 35 audience in your business, TikTok might be the avenue for you. Here’s what you need to know as a beginning user:

TikTok Basics for Business

If you’re new to TikTok or are considering it for your business, it’s a little different than other social media platforms.

Premise

TikTok is a video platform. Some people lip sync, act, create short video blogs, or showcase their products. Humor is a popular driver for likes on this platform.

Before creating anything, think about visuals and short, punchy ideas. This is not the place for a long diatribe. The audience is constantly swiping and liking. Comments will tend to be shorter and emoticon driven.

There are lots of editing options in app, but some people still prefer to use other programs (like Canva) to create videos and then upload them to TikTok. Going viral on this platform seems a little easier than Facebook or YouTube.

Business Accounts

Like most social media platforms, you can—and should—create a business account, instead of a personal one. The main reason for this is that it will keep you out of trouble. A creator account is a copyright infringement waiting to happen because the app allows users to attach music (and not the safe royalty-free kind either) to their videos. While Kenny Chesney may not sue a parent for adding his latest song to the background of a video of their kid’s first step, you can be certain he’s not going to want people associating his music with their product (not that he has anything against your product, of course. It’s just that he—and any other music creator—is going to want to be compensated for his music. While I don’t speak for Kenny, proving me wrong about how he feels regarding your product by using his music without permission could be quite costly for your business). It’s just too easy to get yourself in copyright troubles with a creator or personal account.

Business accounts have music available as well but none of it will get you in trouble with rights holders. The music available on the business side is royalty-free. A business account also has analytics that personal accounts don’t.

Links

Like Instagram, website links are a bit of a challenge at first. TikTok doesn’t let you have a link in your bio until you reach 1,000 followers. It used to allow businesses to add a link before the 1,000-follower mark but that changed in January. These days, you must meet the follower threshold for links and the ability to go live.

Hashtags

TikTok is another hashtag driven site. There are very specific hashtags used here. For instance, for writers there’s #BookTok, #writertok, and #authorsoftiktok. There are hashtags for business like #biztock and #smallbiztok. Take some time to research these. They are very specific but will help you find your ideal audience.

Filters and Film-Ready Face

If you’re like me, you may have some hesitancy being in front of the camera. Heck, most of us barely make it out of pajamas these days, let alone put on makeup or look presentable on camera. To this challenge, there are several solutions:

  1. You don’t have to show your face. People do a lot of things with babies, pets, products, etc and subtitles.
  2. Use a filter. You can alter the way you look using filters. I understand there’s even a perfect skin and makeup filter (I’m still looking for that one.).
  3. Record your videos on “shower day.” You can make yourself camera ready and record several at once.

Sponsored Toks

TikTok, like other apps and social media platforms, allows for sponsored videos. They appear in a user’s stream marked as sponsored but they blend in quite well. Most businesses that pursue this option also use either influencers to record the video or create their own. This is not the place for a formal commercial. You want to think about fun entertainment, not a salesy pitch.

Video

The best way to figure out TikTok is to go in and start playing around. (Here are the app’s directions for video creation.) If you’re older than 40, you may feel like you’re crashing a kid’s party at Chuck E Cheese at first. But stick with it. Scroll through until you find a video you like. When you do, you can use the same effects they use by clicking on the links in the video.

On TikTok, imitation is the sincerest compliment. No one thinks anything of copying someone else’s Tok (unless that someone else is your competitor. You might want to avoid that.)

You can create, like, and share content on this platform. If you entertain and are true to yourself and your business, you’ll quickly amass followers and likes (they are counted separately as are your video views). Keep in mind the social rules you use on other platforms should be used here too. When people comment on your Tok, respond back. Don’t simply publish. Like other people’s work and comment on their posts as well.

If you want to learn more about using TikTok for your business, check out TikTok’s business page.

Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so. 

Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.

Three Creative Ways to Become Top of Mind

Do you want people to think about your business before all others? Of course, you do. The first step to patronizing your business is remembering it exists.

Imagine you have a free evening, and you want to go out to eat. It doesn’t matter how amazing the food is at the new place down the street; if it doesn’t pop into your mind, you won’t be going there.

The same is true of your potential customers. They need to think of you to spend money with you.

So how do you ensure you’re top of mind and that they will think about your business over the competition? You need to find a way to stand out and be memorable. A good product or service is the first step. Good customer service is also a solid choice. But to truly stand out you must do something slightly different.

Ways to Ensure Your Business Is Top of Mind

Events

Hosting an event at your business is a great way to help people remember you. It also provides an experience, and many individuals admit to enjoying them over physical purchases. When you host an event encourage people to share the occasion on social media for even greater reach.

There are several types of events that draw crowds:

  1. Sampling your offerings or services. You can host an event that is directly related to what you do. For instance, a restaurant may have an invitation-only, special tasting night to sample its new menu.
  2. Education event. You could also offer an evening out based around something that you sell. For instance, a yarn store may hold classes on how to knit.
  3. Block party. Celebrate your customers and potential customers by throwing a party outside your store. A patio furniture store held a parking lot party every weekend with a band and hot dogs. It drew a crowd and people lingered. It was a nice tie in with the product they sold—outdoor furniture. It helped people imagine hosting their own parties later with their new furniture.

A Facebook Group

Depending on the nature of your business, and the things your ideal customer/target audience may have in common, a Facebook group can connect your buyers to you and to one another. This idea works well when you can find a connection or mutual interest among your customers. For instance, a bookstore might create a Facebook group for writers or for fans of a specific genre. In a Facebook group you can share information and flash sales, stream events, and invite your audience to talk about their favorite books. The online community will keep your brand center stage while uniting and engaging your audience.

Savings Clubs/Subscriptions

Have you noticed that a lot of companies are charging their customers a monthly fee for some sort of discount or benefit? It began with Amazon Prime, where customers paid an annual fee for free shipping. The program has expanded beyond that now, but you can certainly start with one benefit like that.

Panera has created an unlimited coffee subscription where coffee lovers are auto-charged a fee each month and given a free cup of coffee daily. Both programs drive sales (and loyalty). When people pay for something, they want to get their money’s worth. Often, that means buying from one store over another because they’re part of a savings club.

However, like gift certificates, there may be people who pay every month and don’t use your services. That’s OK too as the subscription (even if it’s only a few dollars) is a source of revenue you did not have before.

If you want strong sales at your business, you need to ensure that your target market thinks about you. You can do that through email marketing, social media participation, or these three ideas. But whatever you do, make sure you use consistent branding and tone. After all, you want them to remember you, not question who you are.

Magnolia Chamber supports local families, partners with local schools

Last October, Halloween-in-the-Village had a different look and purpose in Magnolia. Though the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce made the hard choice to cancel Halloween-in-the-Village 2021, it worked alongside merchants and Chamber members to collect the dollars usually used for purchasing candy and pooling these funds to donate to local schools and assisting students.

Earlier this month, the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce volunteer leadership team was delighted to deliver gift cards to Magnolia’s four local schools after raising hundreds of dollars to support students and families in need. Families from Catherine Blaine K-8, Lawton Elementary, Magnolia Elementary, and Our Lady of Fatima School will use the gift cards to purchase food and clothing items at local retail outlets.

Patrick Gray, the acting Principal at Catherine Blaine K-8, shared his feelings upon receipt of the gift cards, hand-delivered by Chamber President Daniela Eng and Vice President Thomas Powell:

We appreciate the support the [Magnolia] Chamber of Commerce has provided for families in our community. Schools are often the primary connection point for families and children in need of assistance, and having the flexibility to provide immediate financial help can have a huge impact for these families,” said Principal Gray. “Our community is stronger when neighbors support each other and I’m grateful to be able to work in a place where this support is so evident.

The Magnolia Chamber is delighted to support our local schools and further establish the relationship between our communities’ businesses and local government and faith-based institutions.

“Our Chamber’s mission is to foster connections between Magnolia’s businesses, residents, and community groups. These critical relationships add vibrancy to the neighborhood and bring relevance to the Chamber’s activities,” said Jason Thibeaux, Executive Director of the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce. “We are immensely grateful to Deb Bluestein, owner of Modele’s Home Furnishings. It was her inspired idea to collect the dollars usually used by Village merchants for purchasing Halloween candy and work with the local schools to donate for the best and highest use needs for the students.”

The Magnolia Chamber hopes the pandemic becomes more manageable in the months ahead, and we look forward to hosting Halloween-in-the-Village in 2022. In the meantime, we take great pleasure in partnering with our local schools and supporting students with meaningful “treats” that make life just a bit easier during these challenging times.

Magnolia Chamber Vice President Tom Powell, Key Bank (right), and Carrie Bruno, Lawton Elementary (left) are smiling behind those masks, with gift cards safely in Carrie’s hands. Thanks galore to the Magnolia Village merchants.
Magnolia Chamber President Daniela Eng (right), and Erin Burke, Our Lady of Fatima School were delighted to meet up and exchange the gift cards for Fatima School’s families. Magnolia Chamber is proud to nurture connections in our community

Seattle Pacific University to host Curative Covid test site

Seattle Pacific University (SPU) is hosting a “by appointment only” Curative Covid testing site.  The site is a kiosk inside the Student Union Building located at 315 W Bertona St, Seattle, WA 98119 and is open to the public by appointment.  People with appointments may use the SPU parking lots since this is not a drive-up testing site.  

You can book appointments at test sites using this link:   https://book.curative.com/search?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery#9/47.5357/-122.3503

The Mayor’s announcement about the availability of these new test sites can be accessed at this link:
https://harrell.seattle.gov/2022/01/18/mayor-bruce-harrell-announces-new-covid-testing-site-and-expanded-options/