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On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, the Business Resource Open House met virtually to discuss how to work together towards an equitable relationship economy with a focus on Seattle’s local food economy. As we waited for guests to arrive and the meeting to start, multi-instrumentalist and Seattle musician Benjamin Hunter played guitar and sang, and spoke on our theme: The Business of Community. Read on for a quick recap of the resources and thoughts shared during this engaging online meeting.

The Business Resource Open House (BROH) is a free panel discussion that connects Seattle’s small business owners, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations with local business experts, community leaders, and resources like mentoring and financing. The goal of these meetings is to strengthen businesses that serve their local communities. This webinar series is presented with live translation services in Amharic, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Business Resource Open House 9/21/21 Graphic Recording by Mari Shibuya

Local artist and muralist Mari Shibuya created a graphic recording informed and inspired by the discussion that took place throughout the meeting. Below is her artist statement.

“This graphic tells a part of the story of the network of community that brings to life any vision. It is through relationships and building trust that we can begin to heal as a collective from the toxic forms of systemic racism that have imbalanced the playing field for black-owned businesses and communities of color. It is through our relationships, access to education, and resources that we can begin to move as a collective and build a connective and resilient relationship-based economy. To do this, it is imperative that we slow down and think of how our choices are impacting one another.”

Co-Host Jenefeness Tucker, Certified Business Advisor: Jenefeness Tucker has been coaching, educating and training entrepreneurs for more than 16 years. She joins the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by way of Columbus, Ohio, and also served clients at the Connecticut SBDC. Jenefeness is the author of several books, including “Finesse My Business: From Launching to Levitating,” “21 Day FI$CAL Bootcamp Workbook” and “Finesse My Time Management System.” Over the course of her career, Jenefeness has worked in the private sector, the public sector, for start-ups, for large corporations and small businesses, always seeking opportunities to educate and empower herself and those around her.

Jenefeness recommends Black-Owned Business Excellence for resources and an excellent calendar of events and training opportunities.

9/21/21 BROH Chat Quote: “WE ARE RESILIENT!!!!”

Co-Host Jay Lyman, Librarian: Jay Lyman is a librarian at The Seattle Public Library where he empowers entrepreneurs at every stage with skill-building workshops, access to market data, and connections to other community experts that help in many different ways. He has organized a number of programs that help small businesses use technology to market and deliver services and products to their customers.

Jay recommends the Seattle Public Library’s Library to Business program for resources, classes, and workshops. Jay also curated a full list of BROH 9/21/21 panelists and resource partners.

MC John Chen, Founder & Owner Geoteaming: John started Geoteaming 23 years ago and is a recognized thought leader on digital team building. He is the John Wiley and Sons author of “50 Digital Team Building Games”, a top-selling business book. More than 200,000 clients across the United States and in countries including Spain, France and Taiwan have experienced breakthrough results.

John recommends checking out his Engaging Virtual Meetings website for programs and events and his book Engaging Virtual Meetings.

Panelist B.J. Stewart, Chief Operations Officer: B.J. leads Urban Impact’s economic development efforts, supporting entrepreneurs in Seattle’s under-resourced communities. As C.OO, he directs Urban Impact’s Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Financial Management, and Administration functions. He also manages Urban Impact’s Strategic Initiatives, including Urban Impact-owned programs and fiscal sponsorships.

B.J. recommends Urban Impact’s Thrive Business Academy and Sharks on the Beach, a business pitch training program.

9/21/21 BROH Quote: “When someone knocks on your door to take advantage of resources (that are mostly FREE), now is the time to take advantage!”

Panelist Sheryl Wiser, Director of Outreach: Sheryl Wiser is the Director of Outreach at Tilth Alliance and lead staff for Eat Local First & The Washington Food & Farm Finder, a multi-partnership collaboration between food system organizations around the state. She is a passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture and consumer education promoting the local food economy.

Sheryl recommends registering for Eat Local First, for farmers, fishers, and food businesses or organizations.

9/21/21 BROH Chat Quote: “In the first three months of the pandemic, e-commerce reached the levels predicted for ten years worth of growth. This was reported in the Puget Sound Business Journal.”

Resource Partner Jennifer Tam, Food Business Advocate: Jennifer is the Food Business Advocate at the Seattle Office of Economic Development. She helps people navigate through the requirements and regulations when opening or expanding a small business in Seattle including providing information about the permitting and licensing processes and connecting businesses to small business development resources.

Jennifer recommends the Seattle OED Youth Web Design Program and Seattle OED Digital Sales Access Program.

The Business Resource Open House webinar series is co-created by Beacon Business Alliance and SPL’s Library-to-Business. Production by John Chen, CEO Geoteaming. Sponsors include Rainier Ave Business Coalition, Essential Southeast Seattle Collective, with partial funding from Verity Credit Union and the Office of Economic Development.

For a full list of Business Resource Open House 9/21/21 co-hosts, panelists, and resource partners check out the Seattle Library to Business list here. You can also watch the full live stream of the BROH event in English through the BBA Facebook page.

We are building a video library of BROH highlight clips and live in-language translation recordings of the full meeting. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and help us reach our goal of 100 subscribers!


For people who love Beacon Hill’s ethnic, social, and economic diversity, Beacon Business Alliance promotes the neighborhood, connects stakeholders, and more.


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