The GSBA Blog

  • Meet Taylor Briggs: GSBA Business Outreach Coordinator

    by Eric Moss
    | May 18, 2018

    We know that in today’s business climate, the time of a small business owner is in high demand. It can seem like there isn’t enough time in the day to run a business, let alone keep up with the ever changing requirements imposed by new laws and ordinances. We know it is easy to sometimes put off change until tomorrow, and tomorrow never seems to come. We also know it that you don’t have to go at it all alone.

    Late 2016, the City of Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) awarded GSBA and other Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Coalition  ECCC partners a grant of $285,000 to provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to Seattle small businesses. The purpose is to help the businesses understand their responsibilities under Seattle's Minimum Wage, Wage Theft, Paid Sick and Safe Time, Fair Chance Employment, and Secure Scheduling ordinances. GSBA’s focus is on outreach to employers not typically served by traditional outreach methods including people of color, immigrants and refugees, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.

    Taylor Briggs, GSBA Business Outreach Coordinator

    In early 2018, Mayor Jenny Durkan and OLS announced recipients for the new award to continue the same work. This time, with the city's renewed two-year commitment to fund small business outreach, GSBA was able to take the next step and hire a half-time staff to fill this role. In March of 2018, we hired Taylor Briggs as the GSBA Business Outreach Coordinator.

    If the name Taylor Briggs sounds familiar to you, it should! Taylor is a very recent GSBA intern with the GSBA Scholarship Fund, completing 300 hours of work for his internship, and a long-time volunteer with the chamber. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Taylor onboard as staff, and our small business members are already reaping the benefits of Taylor’s work.

    His work for now primarily focuses on helping small business owners fully understand the new laws, analyzing the economic impact of complying with the new ordinances, one-on-one counseling with business owners, providing in-person workshops to diverse communities to help them understand the complexities of the new laws, and also connecting businesses to resources to find compliance.

    I hope to develop strong and trusting relationships with business owners so that they can feel comfortable approaching me for help,” says Briggs. The job is part educator, part analyst, part counselor, and part connector - all in one.

    Some businesses might be nervous about contacting someone for help if they feel like they don’t understand or are embarrassed if they already know they are not in compliance.

    When someone reaches out to meet with me, they should know they are entering a judgement free zone. My goal is really just to help them run the best possible business they can, and I am committed to helping them get there,” says Briggs.

    The Ethnic Chamber of Commerce Coalition (ECCC) has developed online training materials which outline the specific requirements of each labor ordinance and how they can be implemented in your business. The training takes about an hour and is a very helpful place to start if you are not sure you want to contact Taylor right away.

    You’re probably asking yourself right now, “how can I get in touch with Taylor to set up a one-on-one counseling session to review all of the new city ordinances and how they are impacting my business?”

    Easy! You can call Taylor Briggs at 206-363-9188 or send him an email directly to to ask a question or set up a time that works for you.

    Changing rules, laws, and ordinances can be scary and sometimes be overwhelming, especially for a small business owner, but you don’t have to tackle it alone. GSBA is here to help, so contact Taylor today and find out how he can help.


  • AIDS Memorial Pathway at Cal Anderson Park: Call for Artists

    by Paul Feldman / Project Coordinator / The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway
    | May 17, 2018

    What do you get when you mash up one of Seattle’s most famous and well-used city parks with a public plaza surrounded by 428 affordable and market-rate apartments built over a light rail station?

    With the selection of a lead design team artist(s), The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway will get an integrated art plan for its site at Cal Anderson Park and the transit-oriented development above the adjacent Capitol Hill Link light rail station. Information for artists and others about the public art opportunity is available here.

    Submissions are due May 29.


    What is The AIDS Memorial Pathway? The AMP, community-driven and -funded, will use public art to create a physical place for remembrance and reflection; utilize technology to share stories about the epidemic and the diverse community responses to the crisis; and provide a call to action to end HIV/AIDS, stigma, and discrimination. The AMP is now raising $2.5 million for the project.

    Why now? Because many long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS and community leaders who built King County’s impressive continuum of care and prevention when AIDS surfaced in the U.S. in 1981 are our elders, and it is important to record their oral histories now. And because The AMP was able to secure an iconic location for The AMP at and near the park named for our beloved Cal Anderson, Washington state’s first openly-LGBTQ elected official, who died from AIDS in 1995.

    How can I help? The AMP needs donations of time and funds. To learn more about volunteering – and to be invited to The AMP’s next monthly volunteer orientation – email To donate, please visit the website at

    Paul Feldman, project coordinator for The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway, has been living with HIV/AIDS for almost 40 years and has been an AIDS activist for almost as long. 


  • Member Spotlight: Socialistics

    by Jason Yormark
    | May 11, 2018

    This week, we’re happy to shine the spotlight on GSBA member business Socialistics.

    My name is Jason Yormark and welcome to Socialistics. After 20+ years of doing it “their” way, I’m ready to re-write the rules when it comes to marketing and it starts with focusing on what really matters…content. Channels and technologies evolve, change, come and go, but great content stands the test of time. If you can effectively tell your company or organization’s story across all your channels and with the right people, well, that’s marketing. Unfortunately many companies and organizations don’t have the time, money or expertise to pull it off. That’s where I hope Socialistics can fill the gap.


    Socialistics is about providing an agency solution that doesn’t feel like an agency solution. We work exclusively with small and medium sized businesses and we do so affordably. Big fancy downtown office? Nope. Expensive, over-sized staff? Nah. Streamlined, results-oriented, experience at your disposal? You bet. Digital, print, social media, search, website… whatever your marketing needs, we can help.

    I’ve been a long time member of the GSBA with previous businesses, and there hasn’t been a better partner I’ve had that has provided not only incredible support for my business and career, but multiple colleagues, business partnerships and friendships along the way. I thoroughly enjoy working with GSBA members and I’m happy to provide free one-hour consultations with anyone about their business and marketing needs. 


    I’ve spent the past 20 years building towards Socialistics by gaining a wealth of experience, a network of subject matter experts, and a business model that just plain works. No matter what the scope is of your specific marketing needs, Socialistics can help create, curate and connect your story to the world.

    So what’s your story?

  • See you at SIFF – LGBTQ films on our list this year

    by Al Smith
    | May 09, 2018

    Seattle International Film Festival – SIFF – opens next Thursday, May 17, which means we’re well on our way to summertime in Seattle, Pride season, and all sorts of community happenings. Time to update your calendar and grab your tickets! This year, GSBA is the proud sponsor of several LGBTQ films at the festival, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating all that queer cinema has to offer.

    See you at the movies! 

    Looking For?

    SIFF 2018 - Looking For

    Mon, May 21, AMC Pac Place 7:00 PM
    Tue, May 22, AMC Pac Place 4:30 PM

    What should be one of the simplest of questions in setting up a dating profile isn't so easy for gay Taiwanese filmmaker Chou Tung-Yen to answer, leading him on a globetrotting journey interviewing a variety of men who share their stories of love and lust to reveal how dating in the gay community has changed since the rise of dating apps.

    A Kid Like Jake

    Sat, May 26, AMC Pac Place, 7:00 PM
    Sun, May 27, AMC Pac Place, 1:30 PM

    Claire Danes and Jim Parsons star in an emotional and nuanced look at modern parenting as a married couple whose precocious, creative four-year-old begins to exhibit gender-expansive behavior. Directed by Silas Howard ("Transparent") and with an impressive supporting cast that includes Octavia Spencer and Ann Dowd.

    I Miss You When I See You


    Fri, May 18, SIFF Cinema Uptown, 6:00 PM
    Sat, May 19, SIFF Cinema Uptown, 2:30 PM

    After reuniting in Australia after nearly a decade, chronically depressed Kevin follows his old secondary school friend Jamie back to their native Hong Kong, forcing them both make a choice between following their heart or subscribing to the suffocating normality of heterosexual society.

    My Big Gay Italian Wedding


    Mon, June 4, SIFF Cinema Egyptian 7:00 PM
    Tue, June 5, SIFF Cinema Uptown 4:15 PM

    In this merry movie of matrimony, happily engaged Antonio brings his fiancé Paulo to the exquisite old Italian village of his birth to meet his headstrong parents and reveal his sexuality, setting out on a quest to make a city founded on religious tradition understand that love is love.



    Sun, May 27, SIFF Cinema Uptown 8:00 PM
    Mon, May 28, AMC Pac Place 1:30 PM

    A young gay man starving for connection in rural Argentina is set to escape the confines the countryside for an education, until his father suddenly passes and the immense responsibility of the family ranch falls to him, in this gripping feature based on remarkable true events.



    Wed, May 30, AMC Pac Place, 7:00 PM
    Thu, May 31, AMC Pac Place 4:30 PM

    During the first wave of the AIDS crisis, a closeted gay New Yorker returns to his Texas hometown for the holidays and struggles to disclose his terminal illness to his conservative Christian parents (Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis) in this delicate indie drama from Yen Tan (PIT STOP).

  • Member Spotlight: Irons Brothers Construction

    by Al Smith
    | May 04, 2018

    Going into people’s homes as contractors is an intimate experience. As owners of an LGBTQ allied business—Irons Brothers Construction—Joseph and Melissa Irons recognize that the values of equality, inclusion, and diversity help to create a safe, positive experience for their customers and their staff.

    “Irons Brothers Construction work is impeccable and their community engagement is widespread and ongoing,” says Louise Chernin, GSBA President and CEO.

    In 2010, we honored Joseph Irons as GSBA’s Business Leader of the Year.

    Which is why it’s no surprise to us that Iron Brothers Construction recently received a 2018 Guildmaster Award from GuildQuality for demonstrating exceptional customer service within the residential construction industry. What is truly astounding about this award is that more than 90% of customers must respond to the GuildQuality survey that they would recommend you to their friends and family.

    Friends of GSBA will recognize Irons Brothers Construction as a Bronze Sponsor, a generous donor to EQUALUX: TASTE of GSBA, and a supporter of the GSBA Scholarship Fund. Strong ally-owned businesses who are committed to investing in future leaders though scholarship is a strong statement in-and-of-itself, but then continuing to be involved throughout the year and to engage with GSBA, and other GSBA member businesses is truly phenomenal.

    It’s clear that Irons Brothers has a special place at the heart of GSBA. When GSBA staff moved into our current office location on Pine Street, our space lacked one vital feature: a kitchen. Joseph Irons offered his generosity and services in the form of a pro-bono kitchen build out for GSBA.

    “Irons Brothers is known for not only their outstanding work but for coming in on budget and on time and leaving customers very happy,” says Chernin.