Pilot project to strengthen regional Korean-owned small businesses: Bridging the Digital Divide

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Information session at Shoreline Library Sunday March 5 at 3:30pm
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
OneEastside SPARK and its partners today announced the launch of the Get Your Business Online Pilot Project targeted at strengthening Korean-owned small businesses in King County. 

Funded by a grant from the Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA), the pilot project aims to increase the number of businesses with an online presence. 

OneEastside SPARK is partnering with BigHug/Korean American Resource Center (KARC) and Restart Partners, including a team from the University of Washington’s Communication Leadership program on this community-driven project.

Surviving the effects of pandemic and current economic uncertainty requires the knowledge of, and access to, digital tools. 

The “Get Your Business Online” Program will help business owners by empowering them to build sustainable digital marketing skills. Staff and volunteers are developing in-language, step-by-step, training modules that will be delivered in-person. A series of short, in-language instructional videos will also be produced and shared publicly on YouTube.

"Around 50% of the Korean-owned small businesses that we assisted in Washington state are closed because of COVID-19," said Lori Wada, Executive Director of BigHug/KARC. 
“Many of these businesses were lacking or unaware of digital marketing tools that are readily available at no or low cost. Having a digital presence is vital to accessing today’s digitally savvy shoppers and strengthening their resiliency.”

“Our digital economy has created many barriers to business ownership and success, especially for non-English speaking entrepreneurs,” said WSMA Executive Director, Lisa Smith, 

“WSMA is excited to support OneEastside SPARK and their collaborating partners on the Get Your Business Online pilot that helps businesses overcome these hurdles and thrive in this age of technology.”

Visit https://karc.bighug.org and https://oneeastside.org/spark for more information or sign up for the upcoming information sessions at https://bit.ly/get-online123.

Support for the Get Your Business Online pilot project was provided in part by the Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA), made possible by the Washington State Department of Commerce, and the OneEastside Foundation.


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