Building a Stronger Business Community

Building a Stronger Business Community
By ana-maria

This time of holiday shopping is a great opportunity to reflect on our local business community. The PNA and its Business Member Group are committed to the growth of local business.

Earlier this year, thanks to a grant from the City’s Office of Economic Development to the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) Business Group, we began a focused effort on developing a short and longer-term vision for the business community. (Click here to read the full vision report.)

The PNA hired BDS Planning and Urban Design to lead us through the process, and we formed a steering committee that also included residents and representatives from local businesses.

We asked the community’s opinion on our business district and you responded. Almost 500 residents, and business owners and employees shared their thoughts through a survey, one-on-one interviews, and a series of focus groups.

All believed that the PNA can address and improve the following together: business community character; development impact; business mix; events, promotions, and marketing; networking and community building among businesses; public safety; and parking and transportation.

Our neighborhood is fortunate to have many business leaders committed to the growth, development and well-being of our community. We asked several of them what they love about the neighborhood, and what they hope to see happen in the future.

Here’s what they had to say:

Jason Hooyman
PNA Business Group Co-chair, owner of Hooyman Family Chiropractic of Greenwood, and resident of Greenwood:

“I am incredibly optimistic about where our neighborhood is and where it can go to. After all of the meetings and the visioning process, I am most proud of the way that all of us with different interests and different backgrounds were able to come together and build connections and unity that will take this thriving neighborhood to an even better place in the future.”

Chris Maykut
Chaco Canyon Café owner, born and raised in Greenwood:

“Our neighborhood is so strong and the pride we have in it runs deep. It’s a mish-mosh of folks who have been here for 50 years, 15 years and 15 months, and it really works.

“There is a real sense of community when it comes to prioritizing spending money, and that Buy Local isn’t a movement, but just what is. Whether it’s buying a book at Phinney Books rather than Amazon or spending a little more at Ken’s over driving to Trader Joe’s, people here really understand that keeping their dollars hyper-local makes for a stronger and more diverse neighborhood.

“Developing the dilapidated lots along Greenwood in a responsible and consensus-based fashion will not only add needed affordable housing but also allow for the possibility that the business district can fill in the spots that we just don’t have filled yet.
“The ideal would be to enable everyone living in the Phinney-Greenwood corridor to be able to walk or bike to virtually any resource they need, so as to decrease congestion, parking woes, and environmental degradation that comes with driving all over town for a CPA or a hot, new restaurant.

“Everyone has their own opinions and needs, but I feel the community can come together to help direct the development of the corridor and do it in such a way that will make our neighborhood even stronger and richer.”

Ron Lewis
-Longtime Phinney Ridge resident and business owner

“I’ve been in business here for nearly 40 years. Whether at the hardware store or with our apartment building, what we’ve really loved is getting to know our neighbors and making friends with our customers. I think that’s what makes this such a neighborly place.

“There are some real challenges facing our neighborhood. We hope to see small businesses thrive and we love to see diverse businesses doing well in Phinney and Greenwood. We need parking for small businesses or easy transportation that enables people near and far to shop here.”

Alicia Diefenbach
-Community Relations Specialist at Verity Credit Union:

“Verity loves doing business in PhinneyWood for a number of reasons that can be summed up in three words: Strong Community Ties.

“The relationships we have with our business neighbors offers opportunities to team up to create positive social experiences for residents and businesses alike. We value the myriad ways we connect with and serve residents as a result of these partnerships. The PNA is the bedrock of PhinneyWood. It’s with their leadership and support that we have ongoing conversations and create events that keep PhinneyWood vibrant and rich.

“We hope to see thoughtful growth in PhinneyWood and that conversations with developers will yield positive results in this area. We’d like to see that PNA’s needs are supported to ensure they have every opportunity to continue supporting businesses and residents alike. Our shared successes and growth are symbiotic and a strong PNA bodes well for all of PhinneyWood.”

How can you help?

Shop local! You can also support the businesses that support the community: We have an online Business Member directory with all the businesses that support the PNA by being members (and sometimes in many other ways as well!). The next time you need a haircut or hamburger, check it out.