The Economic Development Program works to create community-led, anti-displacement, and anti-racist strategies and policies to create a more equitable economy in White Center. Cultivating and amplifying Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) voices of small business owners, residents and youth are central to resisting displacement. We’re committed to holding institutions, including King County, accountable to the community. We have three parts guiding our place-based equitable economy work:
Focused on holding and expanding how our BIPOC businesses resist displacement, by sustaining and expanding our ability to stay and grow in the White Center commercial core areas (White Center Downtown, Top Hat, 8th Ave. SW).
Listening to the stories and re-telling of how BIPOC small businesses have invested in our community over decades
We identify, hold and use empty and underutilized spaces for and with community
Community shaping future development, land use, and zoning policy
Sustaining and Growing BIPOC Businesses
Our current business assistance program is one component of our place-based economic development work. Our focus has been to sustain and grow existing 1st and 2nd generation refugee and immigrant businesses.
We provide 1:1 assistance to our beloved legacy businesses (business assessment and action plans – growing connection to relevant business advisors and general counseling and coaching
The White Center Business Alliance strives to be a place of connection for our BIPOC and allied businesses, where each member can engage in business-to-business networking, community advocacy, and resource sharing
Relationship building and connecting to resources (Connecting businesses to legal commercial lease support, helping resolve tenancy issues, vandalism issues, and day-to-day business operations)
Connecting merchants through pandemic challenges (WCCDA distribution of Seattle Foundation grant funding, County, State, and Nationwide grant programs, National loan products, PPE distribution- Masks, hand sanitizer, COVID testing kits, vaccine verification information for businesses
Cultivating Community-Based Innovation
The making and creating of products and services is alive and well. We provide support and mechanisms that will strengthen possibilities for neighborhood innovation. We are committed to cultivating or nurturing opportunities and passions for personal and collective investments.
Community Pop-Up Market providing space for new BIPOC entrepreneurs without storefronts
Creating Financial Empowerment education to assist business start-ups
Building a Maker-space in the HUB Development
Exploring innovative models of business ownership and operations (Commercial Land Trusts, Employee-owned Cooperatives)
Community Market Happenings
As part of our Honoring Spaces work, we are working in collaboration with the owners of Huong Xua Deli, Keving Bui, artist Craig Cundiff, and our team! As part of our White Center placemaking work, we are committed to claiming spaces for our BIPOC community stories and history, holding our culture at the center. As displacement pressures persist, it's especially important to occupy, claim and own spaces that support our future and well-being now.
Kevin Bui, the owner of the deli, wanted to have a piece that represented his home and culture of Vietnam. The symbol of the water buffalo and child are images of Vietnam, the values of holding steadfast to the daily work we're committed to, and the love we hold for family members and community.
A Vietnamese version of the inspiration explanation here.
All pictures were provided by Craig Cundiff.
ABOUT KEVIN BUI
Kevin Bui and his partner, Phuong Nguyen are the owners of Huong Xua Deli, located in the central business core of White Center. Kevin purchased this legacy business in 2019 and faced many challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the commercial core fires that occurred in 2021. Despite these challenges over the past 3 years, Kevin has continued to show his leadership and his passion for building community in White Center, a place where he deeply feels a sense of home, belonging and pride.
As of Friday, Aug 12 the mural has reached this far! Please visit our Instagram to see more of what is happening!
Kevin's Speech from WCCDA's 20th Anniversary Gala:
Good Evening, it's good to be here with all of you celebrating 20 years with White Center CDA.
White Center has always been my neighborhood. When I moved from Vietnam to Washington in 1990, I was 12 years old. My family lived in Seattle and I attended Ballard High, but my friends stayed in White Center, so White Center was where I grew up with my friends.
I still have strong feelings about White Center. I feel like I belong here. I feel at home here.
My wife, Phuong and I wanted to start a family business. A business where two generations could find meaningful work. A work place where we could be together and support our well being. When my wife, Phuong found the ad in the newspaper of the sale of Huong Xua Deli, we were immediately inspired to buy the business, no real reservations, we believed that this was the business for our family.
We purchased the business in 2019 and we continue to look forward to the future. We've experienced many challenges over the past 3 years, especially with Covid-19 and the fire we experienced in 2021 that forced us to close Huong Xua Deli. We're building back our family business and hope to open Huong Xua Deli in the near future. We're happy to celebrate with the CDA, working together to build a better future for all of us.
Thank you for being here and for listening to my story.
As you show your support to the CDA tonight, know that your supporting me and our community to rebuild.