Technical Assistance Services Workshops

The Northwest Mountain MSDC hosted a series of free online workshops for businesses interested in doing business with the City of Seattle as part of the Technical Assistance Services program. This series included insight from industry experts and open discussions on a number of topics. Missed these workshops? Click on the attachments below to review any or all of the presentations. This series will be repeated in the summer, so let Zavere Weeks, Program Assistant, know if you are interested in registering!
  1. How to register to do business with the City of Seattle? Firms learned how to properly register with the City of Seattle’s Online Business Directory. All firms seeking to do business with the City of Seattle must be registered as a Supplier. Registering here places your firm into a directory utilized by City of Seattle departments when searching for businesses to fulfill work orders. Firms engaged in the process of developing a capabilities statement. To learn more: TAS Workshop 1
  2. How to research the City of Seattle opportunities and contracts? Firms learned how to search and find City of Seattle solicitations and reviewed effective searching practices. After finding solicitations participants learned how to evaluate whether or not a particular solicitation is right for them (make go/no-go decisions). This training discussed choosing the opportunity that appropriately fits your business. To learn more: TAS Workshop 2
  3. How to read and respond to a City of Seattle Request for Proposal? In this workshop, firms gained an  understanding of how to properly respond to the City of Seattle’s Request for Information, Request for Quote and Request for Proposal. Knowing how to respond and with what information, will help to gain further consideration from the City. To learn more: TAS Workshop 3
  4. How to design and develop your marketing collateral? Learn how to develop a complete marketing strategy to prepare your business to successfully engage with the City of Seattle for potential business opportunities. In this workshop, firms discussed creating marketing with purpose! To learn more: TAS Workshop 4
  5. What are the back office responsibilities you are accountable for? In this workshop, participants learned how to interpret the terms and conditions of a contract and translate that into actionables. This helps to create deliverable timelines to better manage back office  responsibilities and comply with contract terms and conditions. To learn more: TAS Workshop 5
  6. Now that you have the business, how do you finance it for growth? In this final workshop, firms dove into a discussion around growing your business smart. Participants learned from subject matter experts in the following fields: Finance, Accounting Budgeting and Tax Planning.  They also reviewed tips on how to best use and manage credit. To learn more: TAS Workshop 6

COVID-19 Response “New Normal” Planning

Have you started working on a plan on how to reopen your business in the midst of this COVID-19 Pandemic? The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Challenge Seattle, Boston Consulting Group, together in partnership with over 200 regional/national/international companies have created a plan to help you.

Washington State COVID-19 Response “New Normal” Planning

Click here to view the short version of this report.

Click here to view the full report.

Coronavirus Small Business Loans

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Below are a couple of guides with information to help you choose which option is best for you and your business. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Small Business Guide

COVID-19 Loan Options for Businesses

Strategies to Assist Employees Affected by Coronavirus Disease

As we face hardships from the Coronavirus Pandemic, it is necessary to support our teams. Below are some tips for employers to share with their staff regarding things to think about as we move forward in combating these new and unprecedented challenges. Thank you to Tim Otani of Union Bank and NWMMSDC board member for the valuable pointers.

Strategies to Assist Employees Affected by Coronavirus Disease

Visit your State Sites for updated information and support:

Employees should visit Sallie Mae for student loan support:

Sallie Mae Student Loans: 3-month COVID-19 forbearance.  Call (800) 472-5543 and when prompted verbally reply “COVID-19.”  System will provide you with the information and place COVID-19 forbearance on your loan.

Dealing With Coronavirus Anxiety: Expert Tips

10 Considerations for Managing Your Business Through a Crisis

It is important to create a business strategy to help mitigate some of the offsets caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Below are ten recommendations by Reggie Brown, lecturer for the University of Washington Foster School Consulting and Business Development Program, to help you plan and not panic.

10 Considerations for Managing Your Business Through a Crisis

Visit your State Sites for updated information and support:

Message from our Council President

Please enjoy this quick message from Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of the NWMMSDC. We hope everyone is staying healthy and following the new safety guidelines amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Remember, the Council is here to serve you, our stakeholders! Do not hesitate to give us a call, our team is available to answer any questions.

Coronavirus: Opportunities to Help Our Community

A message from one of our partners: Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

I want to share with you two of the ways we are stepping up to help those in need during the outbreak and ways that you can help, too.

We will continue to advocate for more help from the state and federal governments. In the meantime, there are gaps in support that need to be filled and we are working with many partners to try to fill them as quickly as possible.

We have heard loud and clear from vulnerable businesses that cash flow is the number one challenge to their ability to survive. We have been looking at ways that we could reduce some of their costs and, ideally, help their workers at the same time.

We are setting up a fund here at the Chamber called the Keep Workers Safe and Healthy Fund. The fund has two main goals: to keep healthcare coverage intact for employees through April 2020, whether they have employer-sponsored benefits or receive subsidies for health insurance, and keeping employees safe by reimbursing employers for janitorial services, protective equipment, and supplies.

We want to take a cost off the table for vulnerable businesses and help ensure their workers are safe and healthy during the crisis.

The goal for this fund is $10 million. Please contact to make a contribution to this fund. The Chamber is working to set up a website to accept online contributions.

Is this perfect? No. The goal is to get money in and move money out quickly to try to buy time for businesses and workers. This is a stopgap measure that will evolve over time. We are open to suggestions for how to make it better.

I want to share a proposal from Shkelqim Kelmendi, executive director for Housing Connector:

Housing Connector is a B2B organization, incubated and housed by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber, partnering with private property owners and managers to reduce barriers and connect families with vacant units in the market. Housing Connector is requesting an initial infusion of funding of $500k to provide emergency rental support to over 570 current residents as well as an additional 100 low-income households facing hardship at Housing Connector property partners in King County.

Currently Housing Connector has housed and supports 570 individuals in over 180 households and partners with over 170 private properties throughout King County. All Housing Connector residents were previously experiencing homelessness and will be disproportionately impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19, resulting in the need for additional rental support.

To support current and future households with rental payments through August 2020, Housing Connector forecasts a 41% increase in rental payment above budget, resulting in a $200k funding gap.

Beyond current residents, Housing Connector is uniquely positioned to scale and expand housing stability support to more individuals in King County. With established partnerships with properties and build in mechanisms for distributing rental support, Housing Connector can scale to ensure hundreds of additional low-income families and property owners have the safety net to weather these turbulent times. Speed of scale is critical given that April rent payments are two weeks away.

Housing Connector projects that for every $300k in additional funding, 100 households/300 individuals can access emergency rental support through May 2020. Not only does this strategy provide stability to families, it provides financial stability to hundreds of landlords in our community. Donations to Housing Connector can be made to the Chamber Community Foundation. To donate, please contact

In cooperation with Challenge Seattle and some other key partners, we have set up a webpage with recommendations for organizations that can take contributions now and use that money to help people quickly. You can find those recommendations here.

This is all a work in progress. We are doing what we can. I am asking for your support and your brains to help us continue to find ways to help vulnerable businesses and workers.