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A message from Burien City Council Candidate Hugo Garcia, who is running for Position No. 1:

The Experience Needed to Help Burien Small Businesses

Growing up in Burien, I saw family and friends start and run their own businesses to realize their version of the American dream. Through their eyes and experience, I was exposed to the value that small businesses bring to the community, but also the challenges that they can be for owners and their workers.

My entire career has been focused on supporting and helping small businesses because I saw how challenging finances were for my immigrant parents. I am proud to have helped hundreds of small businesses over the years get connected to the resources they need and especially proud when I was able to help fellow Spanish speaking immigrant entrepreneurs.

I am the only candidate in this race with hands-on experience in local community banking, non-profit community development, and local government that will be necessary to continue supporting Burien small businesses, as well as encouraging new ones to open in our community. This will be critical as we continue to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I started my career in finance and business centered around helping our local entrepreneurs in our community. I joined a local bank in Burien and was able to assist both businesses and individuals with their needs. I saw how hard it was for small businesses to get access to funding and support they needed to survive.Burien City Council Candidate Hugo Garcia: 'The Experience Needed to Help Burien Small Businesses' 1

As a result, I became passionate about community economic development and joined a non-profit that was exclusively focused on providing small business funding and business planning support in underserved communities in both urban and rural communities in the Pacific Northwest. I was proud to advise small businesses around the region to help them do everything from get started with business plans to managing capital projects to realizing dreams of opening retail storefronts.

In my current job, I work at the county level to help connect businesses in unincorporated areas with small businesses resources, business planning, and grants to help them get through the pandemic. As an Economic Development Manager, I work with business owners one-on-one and I am committed to helping Burien business owners and workers recover from the pandemic and economic shutdowns of the past year and a half.

Here locally, I have seen that Burien’s local small businesses and workers have felt the brunt of the shutdown and fought through it. I served on the Business Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) for the last two-plus years. As the chair of the BEDP during COVID I worked closely with local business owners, residents, and city staff to help our businesses with everything from promotional and marketing support in pivoting to take out or delivery only to deploying a small business grant program that reached many of our most hurt businesses.

Small Businesses and entrepreneurs are the economic engine of our city, and I am the candidate with the most one-on-one experience helping small businesses and their workers.

To learn more about me and our campaign, please visit:

https://hugoforburien.com/

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