Today, we presented the third installment of the Recover Seattle series alongside Downtown Seattle Association and Puget Sound Business Journal. Our panel of local business leaders shared their thoughts for building a more inclusive Seattle area economy as we move through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our top takeaways from the event:

  • As suggested by a panelist, recent data from small businesses is starting to show optimism for the economy’s recovery.
  • Early childhood education continues to be crucial. We need to figure out how to create new educational opportunities as a community, and especially for our BIPOC communities.
  • Our panelists identified opportunities to include teachings and trainings in our educational system for jobs that cannot be automated. Those jobs include in-home and community healthcare, maritime green jobs, and technology roles that go beyond coding. As we rebuild our region’s economy, we’ll need business leaders to make sure Seattle is at the epicenter of this effort.
  • We need to treat broadband (internet) as a utility and recognize it as a necessity to which we must ensure access for all communities.

Schwabe CEO Graciela Gomez Cowger concluded the event by offering a few challenges to Seattle employers:

  1. To not ask BIPOC employees to lead diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts but rather to provide support.
  2. Rethink health and benefit packages to address needs that include putting mental health on equal footing with physical health, and creating flexibility so employees have time to take care of themselves and their families.
  3. Give autonomy to team leaders to figure out what works (as opposed to implementing policy from the top down).
  4. Try to create a sense of certainty to help employees cope during these trying times.

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