|Rep Cindy Ryu (D - 32nd Dist)|
Economic Development is an area Rep Cindy Ryu is very familiar with. She is a small business owner
(former Allstate Agent and Business Property owner), and served as President of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce. As Shoreline Mayor and councilmember, she served as Enterprise Seattle representative for the City.
She saw a problem with the ADO's (Associate Development Organizations) like Enterprise Seattle, and their need to be able to do more outreach to small businesses and organizations like Chambers of Commerce. Her bill would empower these ADO's to better assist the businesses and therefore protect and build more job creation.
The House voted 98-0 for Ryu’s House Bill 1916, which seeks to expand the development organizations’ outreach to small business.Counties designate ADOs to serve as the Department of Commerce’s primary partner in local economic development. The organizations help to recruit and locate new businesses, offer assistance to help businesses get started and expand, and work with communities on asset building and regional planning.“Our and Washington’s Associate Development Organizations do wonderful work helping businesses and local economies, and this legislation will ensure that more small businesses in more places will benefit from the services they offer,” said Ryu (D-Shoreline).Ryu served on the board of the King County ADO—enterpriseSeattle—from 2006-09 as a representative for the Suburban Cities Association. She is also a past president of the Shoreline and a former mayor of Shoreline.“Rep. Ryu’s legislation is a very good economic development bill to help small businesses,” said Rep. Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney (D-Seattle), who chairs the & Housing Committee in the House. “Rep. Ryu made a convincing case that a great many small businesses in suburban King County and elsewhere would benefit from assistance they are not getting now.”Ryu said her legislation would also improve communication between local development organizations and the Department of Commerce.If signed into law, Ryu’s bill would:· Direct the Department of Commerce to establish specific guidelines for sharing information with ADOs about business and retention efforts, to ensure that resources are targeted efficiently.
· Emphasize in law that each ADO must assist businesses and communities “throughout the county” it serves.
· Require enterpriseSeattle to include additional information in its annual performance reports—including the number of small businesses it has helped and specifically the number of businesses it has helped that are located outside of Seattle city limits.
No one testified against Ryu’s proposal at a Feb. 16 public hearing on her bill. Democrats and Republicans on the Community Development and Housing Committee gave her measure a unanimous “do pass” recommendation on Feb. 17.
On Feb. 22, enterpriseSeattle announced the opening of new offices in Federal Way and Bellevue, which it said will help the organization to expand services “throughout the county.”“I am very pleased that enterpriseSeattle is upgrading its effort to reach out to businesses in all of King County, including businesses located outside of Seattle,” said Ryu. “Let’s also ensure that small businesses are a key part of this expanded outreach.”
For more information:Rep. Cindy Ryu:Representative Ryu is a Democrat, elected last November to the State House for the 32nd LD. She represents Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, and portions of Edmonds, Bothell and Kirkland.