Chamber president sees a brighter outlook for businesses

Lynn Wallace sees hopeful signs in the local business community that she tends as CEO and president of the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce.

Lynn Wallace has completed her first year as president and CEO of the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce.

By DEAN A. RADFORD

dradford@tukwilareporter.com

Lynn Wallace sees hopeful signs in the local business community that she tends as CEO and president of the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce.

The veteran of chamber work has held the post for slightly more than a year, arriving in April 2011 when the recession still had a lingering grip on the local economy.

Today, high gases prices don’t help the bottom line, and, she says, the economic uncertainty weighs heavily on business owners.

“But I think there is a slight steady increase in the economic outlook right now,” she said.

Still there is caution, with businesses owners “testing the waters,” wary of major moves such as hiring employees or expanding, she said. “They don’t want to slip backward,” she said.

She’s bullish about the chamber, too, that brings together and promotes the member businesses from Tukwila, SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.

The chamber has about 380 members today and hopes to grow that number to more than 400 by year’s end, she said.

“A very large component of what we do is building the membership and providing programs for the members,” she said.

About a third of the chamber’s members are Tukwila businesses, followed by Burien with 20 percent, SeaTac with 17 percent, Des Moines with 7 percent and the remaining 22 percent from other areas.

The cities are a team, not competitors, she said, working together to draw new businesses to the region and to advocate for the idea of “buy local.” The idea is to compete as a region against other regions as partners, she said.

“They don’t try to poach within their own backyards,” she said.

Each city brings it own strengths to the table: Tukwila its retail and industry (including Boeing), SeaTac its airport, Des Moines its waterfront and Burien its “great downtown,” she said.

So what is Tukwila’s strongest business advantage? Location, location, location, she answers.

Tukwila is a regional transportation hub, with two major airports nearby, rail service and three major freeways.

And Southcenter is a “major attraction,” she says, drawing customers from all over the region who might also stop at a small business in Tukwila to make a deal.

“The smaller businesses can take advantage of that,” she said.

 

[flipp]

More in Business

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Page Carson Foster. Photo credit Washington State Legislative Support Services
Carson Foster serves as page in Washington State House

The following was submitted to the Reporter: Carson Foster, a student at… Continue reading

Microsoft has expanded their AccountGuard service to 12 new European Countries. Yellow: European countries already protected. Blue: European countries now protected. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Microsoft warns of hacking ahead of elections

Launching defense services in Europe.

Praerit Garg joins Smartsheet as CTO

Bellevue-based company employs 760 people

OfferUp founder Nick Huzar makes customer safety a core pillar

Bellevue-based CEO wanted a simpler solution to his own problems

Photo by Tiffany Von Arnim/Flickr
Puget Sound companies join to create middle-income housing

Several are the same companies that opposed Seattle’s head tax last year.

Washington to begin collecting sales tax from out-of-state sellers

On Aug. 3 the Washington Department of Revenue said it will require some out-of-state retailers to begin collecting sales tax.

Seattle’s Misstep highlights need for new approach

Last week, Seattle’s City Council did an “about face” revoking the onerous… Continue reading

Hotel Interurban is now open

This is Tukwila’s first boutique hotel in over 20 years and offers 185 hotel rooms.

PCC Community Markets brings first certified organic grocery to Burien

The grand opening for the new market in is May 23 and is the first PCC store south of Seattle.

The exterior of Hotel Interurban. Courtesy photo.
Hotel Interurban is accepting reservations for spring 2018

Tukwila’s first boutique hotel in over 20 years will feature local artists, dynamic meeting and event spaces.

Boeing held an event to celebrate the production of the 10,000th 737 jetliner. The Southwest airplane was displayed at the Renton plant on March 13. Leah Abraham, Renton Reporter
Celebrating the 10,000th 737

Boeing has reached a significant milestone — its 10,000th 737 jetliner. Hundreds… Continue reading

Raina Labrum plays with her dog, Riven, right, as well as Daisy, center, and Poby, left, at Piper’s Playground indoor dog park in Federal Way. Heidi Sanders, the Mirror
Piper’s Playground offers indoor play space for dogs

The first Federal Way indoor dog park opened Jan. 18.