Carnation enlists help from A Supportive Community For All

Nonprofit organization is hosting a survey for current and aspiring business owners.

Local nonprofit organization A Supportive Community For All (SCFA) has been hired by the City of Carnation to conduct a survey on the feasibility of a microbusiness incubation center in the Snoqualmie Valley.

This arrived as the newest development in Carnation’s targeted focus on local creatives following the increased support and visibility of local musicians in the past several months.

SCFA is a relatively new installation in the Snoqualmie Valley, only achieving 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in the past two years. Centered on extending the value of equity into the community through collaboration, the group was primarily formed to serve as the leading force within the Snoqualmie Valley Human Services Coalition, a collective of local services intended to connect community members to the variety of human services available. Organizations within this coalition include Empower Youth Network, Hopelink, Acres of Diamonds and more.

The upcoming feasibility survey will connect with current and aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs of the community in order to define the range of needs that these community members have in their endeavors.

From this input, a judgement will be provided as to whether there is enough interest in the creation of a physical space where these business owners could access support relative to their needs. From the data, concrete ideas on the location and design of the potential shared space will be determined as well.

Jody Meisel, executive director of SCFA, summarized the upcoming effort in the spirit of Ray Kinsella: “It’s kind of like an ‘If we build it, will they come?’ situation. Who are the entrepreneurs, the small business owners, the aspiring business owners, what needs to they have to support their businesses? And if we created a physical space for them to develop their skills, whether that’s budgeting, marketing, or maybe it’s a physical space to actual do work in, would they show up?”

Malia Pownall, partnerships and engagement manager — and lead on the project — noted how this upcoming survey aligns with their newer efforts in creating support systems prior to potential hardship, as opposed to more standard human services that come in response to community crises.

“We want to start working upstream of crises, so addressing some root issues that cause inequity in the Valley,” Pownall said. “This project connects to that in that we are aiming to build support for folks in the Valley to survive economically so they don’t have to leave and pursue business ventures elsewhere.”

SCFA will host three community engagement sessions on July 16, July 17 and July 18 to educate interested members of the public on the feasibility survey process as well as connect with business owners and entrepreneurs. An online survey will also be administered in addition to the sessions. Both of these events are open to business owners and entrepreneurs as well as interested community members. Registration and details for these events can be found on the SCFA website.

Also, find SCFA at their community outreach stand — their two next appearances will be at the North Bend Block Party on July 20 and at the Duvall Farmers Market on Aug. 1.

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