To the Editor
July 1, 2014
Small businesses help keep taxpayer dollars in Issaquah
Last week’s Issaquah Press contained an interesting article in its Living magazine. “A Startup’s Startup” spoke very tellingly about Issaquah’s potential to become to Seattle what Mountain View is to San Francisco.
Startups are technological ventures and, supposedly, there’s a lot of them happening all around us, behind closed doors. According to Jay Weeldreyer, founder of Lendjoy and director of business strategy with Lender Gear, Issaquah is an “untapped market … a bedroom community for startups. And I mean literally. It’s full of people doing this stuff in their bedroom.”
He goes on to say, “There’s a lot of business that gets done at the Issaquah Coffee Co. … You see familiar faces there, you meet designers there. There is stuff that happens.”
Paul Hammann, founder and CEO of Ombitron, spoke of Issaquah as “a very good meeting place,” but eventually settled his company in Seattle. Richard Gabel, owner of Meadow Creek Business Center, acknowledged that businesses have left Issaquah because the money is in Seattle.
In addition, Hammann claims that other problems facing our city are transportation and the high cost of leasing a limited pool of available commercial space. Next-door neighbor Factoria is cited as being more attractive, rent-wise.
I would add another important element to attracting more small businesses to Issaquah — helping them survive beyond a few months, or a couple of years. While the city seems intent upon housing more and more taxpayers, there’s not the same focus in keeping those taxpayer dollars in town.
Many antique dealers who rented spaces in the Gilman Gallery are taking their small businesses elsewhere. I secured a space in Seattle.
Likening Issaquah to Mountain View in Silicon Valley is awesome. Growing the dream involves a city of visionaries taking action … now.