Sixteen Reasons YOU Should Shop Local, Love Local

The following is A GREAT, must-read article from the Chamber Professional network and our friends at FrankJKenny.com. Check out the 16 reasons to shop local instead of online.

Magnolia merchants are open and ready for you to shop, dine, and receive services. Check out our directory to learn more about Magnolia’s small businesses so YOU can love local, shop local

There is nothing more convenient than whipping out your phone, typing in a URL (or opening an app), perusing offerings, and hitting a few buttons to buy something…anything…everything. We even get our groceries that way these days. But as convenient as online shopping seems, there are several reasons to shop local.

In person is the way to go this Small Business Season. If you can suspend disbelief for a few minutes, we’ll explain why.

Our Favorite Reasons to Shop Local During Small Business Season

Yes, online shopping is convenient. You don’t have to change out of your PJs and it’s always open. But in the t-chart of holiday shopping options, there are a lot of reasons to shop local. Here are a few of our favorites:

You’re supporting your neighbors.

When you support Small Business Season and shop local, you are supporting your neighbors and they are more likely, in turn, to keep the money you spent with them local as well (for every $100 spent locally, $68 of it stays local).

You are able to get in-person advice.

Not sure of the right size, color, or other option? Maybe you want to buy something but don’t know what else you need to make that purchase complete (like buying a fishing rod without any hooks or lures). An in-person shopping experience can help you straighten out the choices. Small business owners offer complete information and suggestions and you can ask questions about those suggestions. Doing that via chat online can be cumbersome and delayed as they are answering questions from several other shoppers at the same time.

You know what you’re getting.

Have you ever ordered something online only to be disappointed when it arrives? Maybe it’s smaller than you thought or the color is just too much. Online images can be very hard to discern. (Remember that dress a few years back? What color was that any way?) If you don’t read the description carefully, your item may be smaller (or larger) than expected and may not include things you had assumed came with it. Even when you do read the description, some items are sized differently or have unexpected variations. Don’t even get us started on what happens then.

For every $100 spent locally, $68 of it stays local.

Local yields easier returns. Even though you have a clear understanding of what you’re buying when you buy in person, sometimes you need to return your purchase. When you do, it’s easier to do it locally than to send something back to an online store. Between paying for shipping to going to the post office and insuring it, bringing it back to a local business is generally easier than online returns.

Satisfaction guaranteed.

If you’re not satisfied with what you purchased, but it’s not something you can bring back (like a service or a food item), you know how to get in touch with the local provider. Some online sellers make it impossible to speak to a human. Try arguing your point with AI that uses keywords and automated language responses. Talking to the local business owner is much easier and they may be able to suggest something that is more along the lines of what you’re looking for.

Local shopping becomes an experience.

Yes, online shopping is quick, but you also have no memory of doing it. This can lead to overbuying. How many times during the holiday do you come home to find a package on your door step and you can’t remember what you purchased? You’ll remember when you go out. Plus, when you shop in-person or local, you can invite friends, family, or just make a pleasurable outing for yourself. This creates appealing memories of a wonderful seasonal experience.

It brings on the holiday spirit.

When you are out among the sounds and smells of the holiday, it brightens your mood. Who doesn’t love sparkling lights, glitter, snow (real or fake), and all of the happy tunes of the season? It’s hard to get those same smiles shopping online.

You may miss the best things when you only go online.

When you shop online, you do a few searches for things you are looking for. You are less apt to stumble across the perfect gift or item because you are on a targeted mission and only see what the online store presents. When you’re shopping in person, there are a lot of serendipitous moments where something catches your eye and you walk out knowing you found a treasure.

You meet and interact with people.

When you shop in-person, you meet and interact with people. We have been sequestered long enough. There’s something to be said from those chance meetings that occur when walking around town. Who knows–you could meet your next business partner or a former friend. From the warm smile of the business owner to a suggestion, compliment, or affirmation you receive from a fellow shopper, there are many times when these sorts of introductions can be very helpful.

You’ll receive better reviews.

Sure, online reviews are helpful but so are reviews from people around you. Plus, people you meet in person who are commenting on what you’re buying have a personal connection. They are vouching for the item or dish face-to-face. If you have questions about what they’re saying, you can ask. Online reviews are one-sided with very little chance for follow-up from the original poster.

No worries about delivery this small business season when shopping local.

With ports backed up and short-staffing throughout the supply chain, there’s a lot of talk about potential delivery delays this holiday. If you shop in-person, you won’t need to worry about this.

In-person shopping is perfect for procrastinators.

Sure, there are some online mega retailers who can get an item to you same day depending on where you live, but most times–especially as we get closer to the actual holiday–your best bet for last-minute gifts is a local shop. If you’re a procrastinator, feel free to take this reason to shop local as permission. You’ll feel less stressed about waiting , plus you won’t be depending on someone else’s delivery schedule.

Displays help you visualize.

Store displays are better than “you might also like” options in online stores. After all, the online suggestions are based on the buying patterns of others or using products the online retailer links together. Store displays are created (and stores are arranged) to help you find what you need and want. Collections are curated with the shopper in mind. You may find a lot of treasurers browsing that way.

Window shopping can lead to ideas.

When you shop in-person around the holidays you’ll be treated to beautiful window and decoration displays. These could inspire your holiday home décor or help you figure out something for your hard-to-buy-for aunt. A display may also draw you into trying a new business that you hadn’t noticed before. There are so many serendipitous possibilities when shopping in-person this Small Business Season.

Stores like Vixen Collection is full of fun holiday gifts for all ages – and great holiday outfits for the discerning fashionista

You could find your next job.

If you shop in-person, you’ll quickly realize how many businesses are hiring. Who knows? You might decide to work at your favorite shop over the holidays.

One’s couch has never been the setting for a Hallmark holiday movie, but Main Street certainly has.

And we all love those movies, don’t we?

We aren’t telling you to never shop online again. Online shopping is simply too convenient and there are many times when you can get things delivered online faster than you are able to clear your schedule and shop in-person. There are also many local sellers that have an online presence so you can buy online and still “shop local.”

Still, there are several reasons to shop local, including the ability to spread some holiday cheer to your local businesses this Small Business Season.

Those business owners would just love to see your smiling face and the serious ones of Mr. Jackson, Hamilton, and Washington.

This Small Business Season, let’s give Magnolia’s local and small businesses something to be thankful for.

Let’s give them the gift of our support. Love local, Shop Magnolia.

Election Results and Analyses – election to be certified on Nov. 23rd

The local election results from the evening on November 2, 2021 have produced a new Mayor for Seattle, the re-election of a long reigning King County Executive and a new Councilmember for the Seattle City Council. As of Friday, November 5, all three marquee city-wide races – the Mayor, City Attorney, and Council Position 9 – have been called based on voting trends over the three days following election night, though outstanding votes are still being counted.

Elections will be certified by King County Elections on November 23rd at 3pm. To keep current on daily vote counts thru certification on November 23rd, click here.

Of additional interest, the School Board position that represents the Magnolia area was decided and there were upset losses for two longtime Port of Seattle incumbents.

Below, we provide the election counts from election night through Friday, Nov. 5. We also link political insights from KOUW, Seattle’s local independent, non-profit newsroom.



  • Lorena González: 40.1% (first count 35%; second count 35.5%; third count 37.8%)
  • Bruce Harrell: 59.3% (first count 64.6%; second count 64.2%; third count 61.6%)

City Attorney

  • Ann Davison: 52.2% (first count 58.3%; second count 57.8%; third count 55.1%)
  • Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: 47% (first count 41%; second count 41.5%; third count 44.1%)

City Council Position 8

  • Teresa Mosqueda: 58.8% (first count 52.4%; second count 53.2%; third count 56%)
  • Kenneth Wilson: 40.8% (first count 47.1%; second count 46.3%; third count 43.5%)

City Council Position 9

  • Sara Nelson: 54.5% (first count 60.3%;’ second count 59.8%; third count 57.3%)
  • Nikkita Oliver: 45.3% (first count 39.5%; second count 40%, third count 43.5%)

Seattle School Board District 4

  • Vivian Song Maritz: 71.7% (first count 67.9%; second count 68.5%; third count 70.2%)
  • Laura Marie Rivera: 28% (first count 31.6%; second count 31.1%; third count 29.5%)

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 1

  • Norman Z. Sigler: 25.1% (first count 26.2%; second count 26%; third count 25.4%)
  • Ryan Calkins: 73.87% (first count 73%; second count 73.3%)

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 3

  • Stephanie Bowman: 46.3% (first count 50.7%, second count 50.4%; third count 48.6%)
  • Hamdi Mohamed: 53.2% (first count 48.7%; second count 49.2%; third count 50.9%)

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 4

  • Peter Steinbrueck: 46.1% (first count 50%; second count 49.7%; third count 48.1%)
  • Toshiko Grace Hasegawa: 53.4% (first count 49.4%; second count 49.8%; third count 51.4%)


King County Executive

  • Dow Constantine: 55% (first count 57.3%; second count 57.17%; third count 56.3%)
  • Joe Nguyen: 43.9% (first count 41.6%; second count 41.73%; third count 42.5%)

Apply to the Small Business Stabilization Fund by 11/14

The city of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development has announced that they are extending the application deadline for the Small Business Stabilization Fund until November 14 at 11:59 p.m. In addition, the City of Seattle added $2 million to the Stabilization Fund to support small businesses and organizations impacted by the new vaccination verification requirement. Eligible small businesses and organizations that are required to enforce this policy will receive additional funding of up to $1,000. 

Key information for this new round:  

  • The Fund will provide $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 grants. 
  • Small businesses with up to 50 full-time equivalent employees can apply. 
  • Businesses who received a Stabilization Fund in past rounds can apply. 
  • Eligible sectors for the new vaccination verification funding include restaurants, performing arts and cultural institutions, nightlife spaces, and extracurricular/recreational indoor activity spaces (such as bowling alleys, gyms, gaming facilities, etc.).  

Please note that eligible applicants will not be required to submit a separate application to access this additional vaccination verification funding. Applicants who already submitted their Stabilization Fund application do not need to reapply.  Apply here.

If you need assistance to complete the online application, language access services, accommodations or accessibility information, please contact the city’s Office of Economic Development at 206-684-8090 or oed@seattle.gov

Mural on WBL Services Building Completed

WBL Services building is sporting a beautiful, if not stunning new mural that celebrates the history of the Magnolia area immediately adjacent to the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The mural is on the northern side of WBL Services building, which is located at 4433 27th Ave. W. and accessed just off of Fort Street. Local artist, Ariel Parrow collaborated with the Magnolia Chamber to design and paint the amazing large-scaled mural. Parrow’s art celebrates local industrial themes, including railroads and the maritime industry, long prevalent in the NE quadrant area of Magnolia. As many know, the area is part of the specially designed Ballard Interbay Manufacturing Industrial Center and home to an array of light industrial and manufacturing businesses, as well as retail and the service sectors. The mural is the first in what the Chamber hopes will be ongoing improvements to the visual appeal of area building to delight workers, customers, and visitors to local businesses. Deep appreciation goes to WBL Services for providing the canvas for the beautiful mural, and to sponsors Cantera Development Group, LLC, Alaska Ship Supply, Brian & Youkie Chambers of State Farm, Queen Anne Painting Company, Lydia Brewer Photography, and the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce.

State celebrates Entrepreneurship Month -offers free trainings, support for small businesses in November

Small business owners can take advantage of a selection of free online workshops and sessions as part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Month. The month-long celebration launches in November and learning opportunities will feature a wide range of topics designed to address the significant challenges businesses face now and in the years to come as small business owners rebuilt, recover, and restart.

Leading professionals will conduct online sessions to spur new business starts and inspire entrepreneurship statewide over the month of November. The Department of Commerce will lead the state’s participation in the events teed up by the annual international Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration (Nov. 8-14, 2021).

Over the last seven years, the department has co-hosted and coordinated more than 300 events in-person and online. With public safety top of mind, Commerce decided only to hold online sessions again this year. Leading experts from state and federal agencies and the private sector will teach the free online sessions.

Check out the complete list of Global Entrepreneurship Month events.

Vaccination verification required for indoor activities and large outdoor events – October 25

Beginning October 25, people ages 12 and older will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter certain indoor and outdoor events and establishments in King County.

This requirement will help to protect customers and workers, protect our health care system (read a statement of support from the healthcare community), and prevent business closures as the Delta variant continues to spread in King County. You can read this Public Health Insider blog post for more information, and view the Local Health Order.

For those seeking an easy way to access your official immunization records, including providing proof of vaccination status, visit MyIR Mobile. The state of Washington is partnering with MyIR Mobile and residents can access specific information here.

To find COVID-19 vaccination locations near you, visit kingcounty.gov/vaccine.

Current mask guidance remains in effect. For more information, visit kingcounty.gov/masks.

For additional business resources, including required signage and tools for implementation and compliance, visit kcvaxverified.com.

Seattle mayoral candidates M. Lorena González and Bruce Harrell to face off in debate Thursday, Oct. 28

Current and past Seattle City Council Presidents M. Lorena González and Bruce Harrell will face off in the second of two televised debates Thursday in the final stretch of Seattle’s mayoral race.

Harrell won the August primary with 34% of the vote, surpassing González by less than 2%. Ballots for the Nov. 2 general election were mailed Wednesday, Oct. 13.

The two candidates will discuss public health and safety in Thursday’s hourlong debate, which will begin at 7 p.m.

The event is organized by the Washington State Debate Coalition and the Seattle City Club. The debate will be held in person in the KCTS 9 studio with no in-person audience, and will be broadcast on local television and radio and livestreamed on seattletimes.com. You can also access on TVW starting at 7 p.m. on Oct. 28.

The debate will be moderated by Essex Porter from KIRO 7 and feature a panel of David Kroman from Crosscut, Hana Kim from FOX 13 and Hanna Scott from KIRO radio.

Seattle’s 2021 General Election Results – election season is in full swing

The August 3rd primary election narrowed the candidates running for key races to decide Seattle’s next mayor, two at-large city council races, the city attorney, and the King County Executive along with the school board member representing Magnolia.

King County had 1.4 million registered voters for the primary election, representing a 34.37 percent turnout. King County elections is projecting turnout for the general election to be over 80% and has challenged King County voters to a 90% turnout for the November 2nd general election.

Several of the key races are extremely tight. The two leading candidates for mayor, city council position 9, and city attorney are basically in dead heats going into the general election slated for November 2nd.

In the mayor’s race, Bruce Harrell and Lorena Gonzalez are neck and neck based on the primary election results: Harrell received 34% of the vote; Gonzalez received 32% of the vote. In the city council position 9 race, Nikkita Oliver and Sara Nelson are tied going into the general election, with each receiving 40% of the primary vote. The city attorney race is equally close: Nicole Thomas-Kennedy received 36% of the primary vote and Ann Davison received 33% of the vote.

The races for city council position 8 and King County Executive are less competitive. Incumbent Teresa Mosqueda received 60% of the vote and Kenneth Wilson received 16% of the vote. In the race for King County Executive, incumbent Dow Constantine received 52% of the vote and Joe Nguyen received 33% of the vote.

Today, the Seattle Times released a helpful side-by-side comparison of Bruce Harrell’s and Lorena Gonzalez’s positions on key issues impacting the residents of Seattle, including public safety, housing, taxes, legal system, homelessness, broadband, climate, transportation, economy, wealth gap, and childcare.

Stay tuned for further updates as the election season heats up. In the meantime, please remember that all eligible voters can register and update their registration online through October 26. Make sure you are registered under your current address. Following October 26, voters will need to register in person or make changes to their registration.

There will be Vote Centers open to serve voters during the voting period, including locations at Elections headquarters. The nearest center to Magnolia is located at CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle.

Ballots will be mailed to voters on October 14. Most voters will receive their ballots by Monday, October 19. Those who have not received their ballot by October 19 should call King County Elections at 206-296-VOTE (8683) or can access and print their ballot online and then return by mail or drop box.

All voters are encouraged to return their ballot as early as possible, whether utilizing the mail or one of the more than 70 secure ballot drop box locations around the county, including Magnolia in the parking lot of Magnolia Park, due south of West Howe St. and accessed off of Magnolia Boulevard. Ballots must be postmarked or deposited in a drop box by 8 p.m. sharp on Election Day, November 2nd.

Voters can find more information and be ready to vote in October by visiting the King County Elections blog, Election Connection.

New kind of treats for Halloween 2021

Halloween-in-the-Village will have a different look and purpose in Magnolia this year. Though the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce made the hard choice to cancel Halloween-in-the-Village 2021, it is working 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.

Magnolia Village businesses and members of the Chamber are excited to celebrate Halloween in this new way while we work to keep kids safe, healthy, and merchants comfortable and giving back to the community we all love. Spurred by an idea first floated by Deb Bluestein, owner of Modele’s and a Chamber ambassador, Magnolia Village businesses and the Chamber are re-allocating Halloween candy dollars and partnering with local PTAs to support our neighborhood’s children. “We are delighted to celebrate Halloween in a new way,” said Jason Thibeaux, executive director of the Magnolia Chamber. “Halloween-in-the- Village 2021 is all about giving back, paying it forward, and staying child focused.”

The Magnolia Chamber looks forward to Halloween 2022 and crossing fingers that the pandemic will be more manageable and allow the neighborhood to go back to traditional trick and treating. “We know that Halloween-in-the-Village is a cherished event for many Magnolians,” said Thibeaux. “Yet it is truly a treat to help address student needs and build partnerships with our local PTAs.”

King County’s New Vaccine Verification Requirements

Beginning October 25, all King County residents ages 12 and over will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter the following places of business:

Restaurants and Bars

Includes indoor dining. This does not apply to outdoor dining, take-out customers, and places that aren’t primarily used as indoor dining locations, such as grocery stores. The order gives the option for a longer preparation period for smaller restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or less, with an implementation date of December 6.

Indoor recreational events or establishments

Such as professional and collegiate sports, performing arts and live music venues, movie theaters, gyms, conferences, and conventions

Outdoor events with 500 people or more

Such as professional and collegiate sports and entertainment events.

The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce believes that COVID is a community problem that requires a community solution. We are concerned that King County’s new “proof of vaccination” creates different standards for different types of eating places and business sectors. The focus on the hospitality industry — which has been one of the most impacted by changing COVID restrictions — and being used as a ‘carrot-and-stick’ for people in King County who have been unwilling to be vaccinated is less than fair and equitable public policy. We urge all customers to please be kind to all hospitality staff as work continues to stop the spread of COVID.

Below are key details of the new King County policy:

  • Hospitality guests 12 years of age and older will be required to show proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test (within the last 72 hours), or a negative COVID-19 rapid test result performed on site by a testing provider to enter restaurants, bars, gyms and large sporting venues.
  • This requirement will not apply to guests staying in hotels but will apply to patrons dining in the hotel restaurant.
  • Proof of ID is not required, although operators may require ID as part of their guest policy.
  • It will not require, but strongly recommends, employers to adopt a mandatory vaccine policy for their employees.
    • Employers with 100 or more employees may be impacted by a new worker vaccine requirement being developed by the Biden administration.
  • The vaccine requirement only applies to indoor service. Unvaccinated guests may continue to receive outdoor and take-out service.
  • Existing mask requirements remain unchanged.
  • Acceptable forms of vaccination proof include:
    • CDC COVID-19 vaccine record card or photo of vaccine card
    • Printed certificate or QR code from MyIRMobile.com
  • Smaller restaurants will be given more time to comply. Restaurants with a seating capacity of 12 people or fewer will need to verify vaccination status of guests starting Dec. 6.

Like with other previous public health mandates, the burden will be on businesses to verify vaccination status. Clear and consistent communication with guests & patrons as soon as possible about the new policy will be important for successful implementation. King County encourages the posting of signs about this new policy for guests/patrons/clients. Check out the many options you can download from  coronavirus signage library from the Washington Hospitality Association.

Learn more about the #VaxVerification policy at kingcounty.gov/verify.