Garth Schmeck, owner of Pedego Sequim, talks with Sequim Mayor Dennis Smith and U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd on March 28 about his business and some of the challenges in the city during a walking tour as part of the Rural Strong Initiative. Sequim Gazette photos by Matthew Nash

Garth Schmeck, owner of Pedego Sequim, talks with Sequim Mayor Dennis Smith and U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd on March 28 about his business and some of the challenges in the city during a walking tour as part of the Rural Strong Initiative. Sequim Gazette photos by Matthew Nash

Sequims small businesses connect through rural initiative

Last week, leaders with the City of Sequim and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District Office met with some of Sequim’s small businesses to hear concerns and connect them with local and federal resources.

As part of the Rural Strong Washington Initiative, SBA officials held informational sessions March 27-29, at the Sequim Library and Sequim Civic Center on a number of topics, including loans and grants, exporting and a small business town hall.

Melanie Norton, SBA regional communications director, said one reason for the initiative is to ensure rural areas like Sequim aren’t left out during an economic boom and business owners are made aware of resources similarly to urban areas.

On Thursday, city and SBA officials took a walking tour of Downtown Sequim to check in with a handful of businesses, including Tedesco’s Italian Fresh, Pedego Sequim (electric bikes), Pondicherri/handprints, Purple Haze Lavender, Super Tart Scented Wax Co., Design2Scan3D, and Wind Rose Cellars.

Owners and managers shared behind-the-scenes looks at their businesses, spoke about their history and shared any challenges their business may be facing.

Along for the tour were SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd, Sequim Mayor Dennis Smith, Apollo Fuhriman, a regional advocate, Barry Berezowksy, Sequim community development director, and SBA officials Norton and Lisa White.

For more information on the U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Office, look for it on social media under @SBASeattle.

During a walking tour of some of Sequim’s many small businesses, Kathy Greenwald, operations manager for Pondicherri/handprint, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the wholesale side of the business to U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd and others on March 28. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

During a walking tour of some of Sequim’s many small businesses, Kathy Greenwald, operations manager for Pondicherri/handprint, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the wholesale side of the business to U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd and others on March 28. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Vickie Oen, general manager of Purple Haze Lavender Shop, speaks to Sequim Mayor Dennis Smith and U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd about the growth of the farm and what led to the start of the shop. Smith and Hurd were part of a walking tour on March 28 to meet-and-greet with small businesses to hear concerns and share possible resources. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Vickie Oen, general manager of Purple Haze Lavender Shop, speaks to Sequim Mayor Dennis Smith and U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd about the growth of the farm and what led to the start of the shop. Smith and Hurd were part of a walking tour on March 28 to meet-and-greet with small businesses to hear concerns and share possible resources. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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