The Ethnic Business Coalition (EBC) received a $25,000 endowment from theWashington Hospitality Association to help it cultivate new programs the Seattle Foundation‘s 2017 GiveBIG Event. These funds will help the EBC develop and create ambassadors for ethnic hospitality businesses. The Seattle Foundation also donated through its Give Big campaign.
“The Ethnic Business Coalition is grateful for this donation from the Washington Hospitality Association. Washington Hospitality has been a strong ally and partner of the EBC, and this generous donation allows the EBC to grow our program and continue our work of supporting people of color and immigrant owned businesses,” the EBC said in a statement. “Washington Hospitality is the leading voice and advocate for the hospitality industry and we are grateful to have them as a partner. We look forward to working with them to build a strong hospitality industry.”
According to the EBC, many ethnic hospitality businesses could be considered “micro-businesses.” In Washington, 84 percent of all restaurants have fewer than 20 employees while ethnic hospitality businesses have fewer than ten. Restaurants work within tiny profit margins (4 percent) and the average profit before taxes is less than $31,000 annually. Micro-businesses make even less and need extra support to survive regulations, changes and economic shifts that are part of the business landscape in Seattle. Additionally, these businesses have language barriers, cultural differences and a lack of access to key resources.
The donation from the Washington Hospitality Association opens up a relationship with immigrant owned businesses and EBC members so they can make use of association membership benefits. In Washington, 23.4 percent of the workforce was born outside of the U.S. Immigrants are the foundation of the hospitality industry. All employees, whether they immigrated to the U.S. yesterday or generations ago, are critical to the success of the hospitality industry and Washington communities.
“We support the work of the Ethnic Business Coalition as it empowers and amplifies the voices of ethnic and immigrant business owners, who in turn vitalize our communities and enrich Washington culture,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association.