1. Here a Crane, There a Crane

Eastside Real Estate Symposium
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm

The Eastside is booming, with countless new residents and companies relocating here each month. The Bellevue Chamber's first annual Eastside Real Estate Symposium brings together top industry experts with key insights into both residential and commercial growth. Panelists from across the industry will examine issues including the impact of the pandemic on hospitality and retail, prevailing return to office strategies, and the residential and office development pipeline in Bellevue and across the Eastside. This is a must-attend event for real estate professionals!

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2. A Word from Our Legislators

East King Chambers Coalition Legislative Wrap Up
Thursday, June 3, 2021 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Join the delegates of the East King Chambers Coalition, your fellow local business leaders, and our Eastside legislators in a robust discussion about this year’s historic legislative session.

Our moderator, Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet, will facilitate panel discussions with the legislators that focus on four broad policy topics: transportation, budget and taxes, housing and human services, and economic recovery and will take questions from the audience.

Tune into this event, hosted by the Kirkland Chamber, to learn how our adopted legislative agenda fared this session and what we can expect moving forward.

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3. Fostering a Stronger Community

Recognizing the breadth of Eastside organizations serving vulnerable populations that are being disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon announced a $1.4 million donation to the City of Bellevue, which includes $1 million to the Bellevue Human Services Fund, $289,000 for neighborhood enhancement projects and $150,000 for parks improvements. Amazon donated an additional $1 million to the Human Services Fund in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

This new $1 million donation to the City of Bellevue’s Human Service Fund will be distributed during the 2021-2022 and the 2023-2024 funding cycles and fund a new pilot program to support small and minority-led community organizations with capacity building.

Additionally, recognizing the critical role that city parks and outdoor community spaces play to foster community well-being, Amazon will contribute $289,000 to support six community-identified neighborhood enhancement projects and $150,000 towards three parks improvement projects. The list of projects include:

  • Bellevue Botanical Garden
  • Bel-Red Mini-Park Dog Off Leash Area
  • Citywide Tree Planting via Bellevue’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative
  • Crossroads International Park
  • Kelsey Creek Farm
  • Lake Hills Greenbelt
  • Northtowne Park Playground
  • Utility Box Art Wraps in Downtown and Bel-Red

4. Since You Asked

425 Business released "The Advice Issue" last week, featuring local experts across a variety of industries. Covid has affected everyone; these experts address how their businesses have reprioritized and adapted to stay relevant.

Chamber President Joe Fain was among the leaders interviewed. When asked what worked best for companies adapting quickly, he said, "Failing fast worked best... Those who weren’t afraid to test out new products or services, learn from their failures, and move on quickly were rewarded."

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Filing Week

5. Ready, Set, File

Candidates running for municipal office across King County have officially filed for the ballot, setting the stage for a contentious 2021 election season.

Candidates formally filed with the King County elections office last week. With yesterday’s deadline to withdraw candidacy now in the past, the Eastside races are set in stone. The 2021 election season will be particularly important for business interests in Bellevue and beyond.

The Bellevue Chamber's Eastside Business Alliance (EBA) political action committee (PAC) announced its first round of endorsements ahead of filing week. EBA recruits, interviews, and endorses pro-business and pro-economic growth candidates across the Eastside running for municipal positions in local government.

You can learn more about the Eastside elections on the EBA's 2021 voter guide.

Contact a Chamber staff member to get involved with EBA. 

See Who Has Filed >

EBA's 2021 Voter Guide >

Outdoor Dining

+1 Your Table is Ready

Bellevue's outdoor dining spots are here to stay through the summer. As the city and state head towards reopening, the parking lot, sidewalk, and on-street dining expansions will remain to support local restaurants.

Originally launched last summer by the Bellevue Downtown Association and the City of Bellevue, the "Al Fresco" program helped streamline permitting and identified spaces where businesses could safely expand. This summer, the program returns to the Heart of Bellevue in partnership with Microsoft.

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