Winslow Elect Sal DeRosalia Image 2010

Strong, Stable Small Business Community

Within a year of moving to Bainbridge Island I had opened my first business, a computer consulting firm. A year later I had my first brick and mortar on the corner of Winslow Way and Highway 305, Bainbridge Computer Center. Since then I have owned and operated several small businesses on Bainbridge Island. Over the years one thing has remained constant, small business is the cornerstone of our small community. Eagle Harbor Inn, Ace Hardware, Blackbird Bakery, Town and Country, Madison Diner and Windermere just to name a few. These are all local businesses that support our local community and economy. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, we found out how “essential” all of these small businesses were. 

During this time I lobbied tirelessly for the City of Bainbridge Island to support it’s small businesses. Myself and local inn owner Bonnie McBryant conducted a survey of over 40 local businesses to find out what the impacts of COVID were for them and how they wanted to receive assistance. GRANTS! 

Survey Results Here: Bainbridge Island Small Business Survey Results (48 Submissions) – 06/2020

With a lot of hard work, and lobbying, we got grants. Working with Deputy Mayor Kirsten Hytopoulos and previous Mayor Leslie Scheinder, Bainbridge Island was able to provide $200,000 in CARES Act funding towards helping small businesses on island receive up to $5,000. This was a small but much needed step to help small businesses, employees and their patrons during the hard times of the pandemic. 

Grant Information can be found here on the KEDA website and recipients were discussed in this newspaper article here.  

As a city, we need to take a comprehensive approach to our business and industry rather than continue to “hope” it all works itself out. Now that we are coming out of the COVID fog, we need to form a standing small business advisory board at the city level to continue to address the urgent needs of the small business community and our local economy. 

By supporting the advisory board’s creation, city leaders will be making a strong statement about the unique role of small businesses, development of jobs and impact both have on our local community. We need to be proactive about this, especially bearing in mind the significant role small businesses have played in all of our lives during the recent COVID pandemic. 

This will be one of my main priorities in the first year of my term. Let’s invest locally, together.

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Your donation will help us to continue to champion for small business on Bainbridge Island during our campaign.


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