Vision and Purpose
Seattle Good Business Network is a coalition of residents, local businesses, non-profits, and municipal organizations. We envision a vibrant, inclusive, local economy that supports resilient, prosperous, and joyful communities.
Our purpose is to connect and inspire people to buy, produce, and invest locally, so that everyone can have a meaningful stake in our local economy.
What keeps you up at night?
Climate change? Growing income disparity? Disappearing neighborhood businesses? Your kids' prospects for a healthy, prosperous future? Our current system concentrates wealth and power, and those entrenched interests generate political paralysis. We can't wait for top-down solutions. We believe our best hope lies in a bottom-up reclaiming of our economies and communities, in Seattle and across the globe.
Imagine what's possible.
All around us, entrepreneurs, innovators, farmers, investors, and citizens are re-imagining a locally owned, relationship-based economy, grounded in fairness, the uniqueness of our place, and a deep respect for our natural environment. Durable, meaningful jobs. Sustainability. And a very special place to call home. That is what resilience looks like.
Not all jobs are created equal. We want jobs that increase our individual and collective security, self-reliance, and well-being. This means creating jobs that are diverse across all levels of education, skill and sector; durable—that can't be eliminated by decisions made thousands of miles away; and meaningful—that enhance our community's vibrancy and resiliency.
We can create these jobs by increasing the number of residents who have an ownership stake in economy. This means supporting local entrepreneurs, increasing the number of employee-owned businesses and co-ops, and increasing opportunities to residents to invest in local enterprises.
Sustainability is well-being that can endure. To get there, businesses must reduce climate emissions, conserve resources, and eliminate toxic chemicals. Localizing our supply chains and building entrepreneurial capacity to produce basic needs like food and energy as close to home as possible is also essential. And fair and equitable distribution of opportunities and resources ensures shared and lasting prosperity.
Keeping Seattle Seattle
With its distinctive business districts in nearly every neighborhood, and a culture of local independence and stewardship, Seattle is a truly special place. Yet many neighborhoods in and around Seattle struggle with business closures and encroachment by chains. And as our economy has become rapidly dominated by global corporate icons, it has also become dangerously bifurcated. We envision vibrant independent business districts in every Seattle neighborhood; strong, locally owned enterprises competing in every sector; and a collective pride in our locally owned enterprises.
Ultimately, our success here can be a model for cities around the country and world. BALLE sums it up nicely: "We envision a global system of human-scale, interconnected local economies that function in harmony with local ecosystems to meet the basic needs of all people, support just and democratic societies, and foster joyful community life."
How we work.
System change requires a movement, and a movement requires lots of collaboration and being open to new ways of getting things done.
Connect and inspire
How well, and how quickly, the movement forges a path to resilience depends on the collective strength and connectedness of the network. Together, our ideas are better, our voices are stronger, and our impact transforms how we think, work, and live. The more of us who see that we're part of something bigger—a hopeful, inspiring future—the more certain we are of success. Cheerleading, storytelling, and partnering whenever possible are key to growing and strengthening the network.
Empower and promote
The network is made up of local entrepreneurs, innovators, farmers, investors, and citizens. With care and attention, the network can get stronger, denser, and more vibrant. A critical function of Seattle Good Business Network is to empower each member with resources, information, and ideas; connections to customers, suppliers and investors; and shortcuts to quicker success. Promotion and recognition—through local media partners, events and educational campaigns—makes the whole network shine more brightly, energizing members and attracting newcomers.
Replicate and innovate
There are amazing local economy innovations and success stories happening all over the country and world. We love borrowing good ideas from other places, then innovating to make them work for Seattle. Our Think Local photo campaign was inspired by a "local first" campaign in Oakland. Seattle Made is modeled on SFMade in San Francisco. And we in turn share our successes with local economy peers in other places. This is the essence of the collaborative economy.
Finally, we believe...
Ownership and Opportunity Matter
With local ownership comes local accountability—local owners care about our place, just like we do. And having more local businesses means higher per capita income, more jobs, and real resiliency in our local economy. We also know that real security comes from real community; we’re all better oﬀ when we’re all better oﬀ! We can rebuild the middle by decentralizing power and ownership, and engaging in fair trade.
Place and Nature Matter
When we choose and cultivate diverse, local resources—food, energy, raw materials, finance, and other locally made goods and services—we develop a deep respect for and connection to the natural and human resources of our place. Without respecting the natural ecosystems of the animals, plants, soil, and water on which we depend, we will not have wealth or health for our own species going forward.
What We Measure Matters
How our economy runs can improve the well-being of our people and place, or it can degrade it. We're motivated by new measures of success that track the social and environmental impact of how we consume, produce, and invest.
Relationships Matter Most
Only by working together can we reconnect eaters with farmers, investors with local entrepreneurs, and business owners with the communities and natural places on which they depend. Plus, it’s way more fun!