Announcement: Restaurant Success initiative aimed at immigrant, minority entrepreneurs

The International Examiner October 30, 2014 1
A Restaurant Success flyer targeted toward Chinese entrepreneurs.

A Restaurant Success flyer targeted toward Chinese entrepreneurs.

On Thursday, October 30, state, county, and city officials announced the launch of a new initiative, called Restaurant Success, intended to provide better service and support for prospective restaurateurs.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray along with members of the Washington Restaurant Association and restaurant entrepreneurs made the announcement at the Stateside restaurant in Capitol Hill.

A spokesperson for Restaurant Success said in a statement: “Restaurants have tight margins, and are often among the first to feel the impact of shifts in the economy. More than 50 percent of restaurants close or change hands every five years. This is also an industry where there are a higher number of immigrant and minority entrepreneurs.”

Part of this initiative involves directly helping Chinese entrepreneurs, a city spokesperson said.

“I’m excited about this effort because opening a restaurant is a common entry point into the economic mainstream for communities of color, and our business assistance support will be working to reach a broad spectrum of business owners,” Murray said. “We also expect to use this initiative’s approach to shape how we break down silos within government and make it simpler for businesses in Seattle to start and grow. We’re committed to helping businesses succeed here.”

Washington restaurants employ more than 222,900 people statewide with more than 85,905 jobs in King and Snohomish counties. The majority of restaurateurs employ fewer than 20 people. State, county, and city leaders launched Restaurant Success because they believe that supporting a thriving restaurant industry will provide needed job and career opportunities and make our cities better places to live.

“Restaurant Success is an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to improve the regulatory environment for startups and existing businesses across the state,” Inslee said. “Our partnership with Seattle, King County, and the restaurant industry has made it easier for prospective local restaurateurs to navigate the permitting and licensing requirements so they can do what they do best: cook delicious food and create jobs. This is an effort we’ll soon be taking to Spokane and Spokane Valley so those cities can streamline their regulatory processes and attract new restaurants.”

Restaurant Success is a public-private partnership between the state of Washington, city of Seattle, King County and the Washington Restaurant Association. The initiative was developed in collaboration with more than 17 agencies and organizations, and includes:

· A comprehensive, one-stop online guide with city, county, and state permitting and licensing information, and tools to help restaurateurs navigate the process.

· Customer service and technical assistance in the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development led by a new Restaurant Advocate, Jennifer Tam. The Restaurant Advocate’s role is to provide direct business support and navigational help to restaurant entrepreneurs as they start and operate restaurants in Seattle. In addition to conducting outreach to businesses, specifically ethnic business owners, the Restaurant Advocate will work with partners to improve policies or programs across the public-private partnership.

· Ongoing regulatory reform and process improvements across city, county, and state agencies that interact with restaurant entrepreneurs.

“We have already benefited greatly from the City’s Restaurant Advocate, Jennifer Tam, as she has introduced us to a number of critical resources that will help us successfully open our new Indian restaurant,” said Gita Bangera, co-owner of a restaurant preparing to open in Pioneer Square in the coming months. “Getting clear information, helpful referrals, and assistance mitigating obstacles, definitely are making a big difference in our new startup venture of opening a restaurant. We are extremely appreciative of this resource.”

For more information on Restaurant Success, visit www.growseattle.com/restaurant.

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One Comment »

  1. Lance November 1, 2014 at 8:54 am -

    A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook that helps immigrants and
    minorities is “What Foreigners Need
    To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture,
    People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Endorsed by ambassadors,
    educators, and editors, it also informs those who want to learn more about the last
    remaining superpower and how we compare to other nations on many issues.

    As the book points out,
    immigrants and minorities are a major force in America. They and the children
    they bear account for 60 percent of our nation’s population growth, own 11
    percent of US businesses, and are 60 percent more likely to start a new
    business than native-born Americans. In fact, forty percent of Fortune 500
    companies were started by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant, creating 10
    million jobs and seven out of ten top brands in our country.

    More importantly, they come to improve their lives
    and create a foundation of success for their children to build upon, bring skills
    and a willingness to work hard to make their dreams a reality, something our
    founders did four hundred years ago. In describing America, chapter after
    chapter chronicles “foreigners” who became successful in the US and contributed
    to our society.

    However, most struggle in their efforts and need guidance
    in Anytown, USA. Perhaps intelligent immigration reform, White House/Congress and
    business/labor cooperation, concerned citizens and books like this can extend a
    helping hand, the same unwavering hand, lest we forget, that has been the
    anchor and lighthouse of American values for four hundred years.

    Here’s a closing quote from the
    book’s Intro: “With all of our cultural differences though, you’ll be surprised
    to learn how much…we as human beings have in common on this little third rock
    from the sun. After all, the song played at our Disneyland parks around the
    world is ‘It’s A Small World After All.’ Peace.”

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