Business slowdown in Issaquah

City sees an increase in businesses closing.

Business slowdown in Issaquah

The fiscal year for the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce starts April 1 and during its first five months, Issaquah has lost just as many businesses to closing or relocating as it has to all of last year said Kathy McCorry, executive director of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

McCorry believes there are several factors that have influenced the slowdown in the city, including common and expected causes.

According to McCorry, some of the closures are natural given the fact that 50 percent of all start-up companies will fail within the first three years of business.

“When we position ourselves to encourage innovators, entrepreneurs, home-based and start-ups it is natural that there will be a higher percentage of closures compared to communities that cater to mid-size companies and recruitment of established companies,” McCorry said.

Without having a proven track record or funding to fall back on compared to corporate giants, it’s only a given that something might happen to push a small business out of the market, but one interesting trend McCorry is seeing with Issaquah businesses is how commercial property is being used.

Despite the fact that Issaquah is a destination location and many people are choosing to call the city their home, businesses, on the other hand, are looking at bigger cities like Bellevue for its infrastructure.

The commercial property in Issaquah is predominantly small office spaces under 1,000 square feet. As businesses grow and hire more employees they will need larger spaces. Issaquah has not kept pace with cities like Bellevue and Redmond preparing for growth spurts McCorry said.

“I spoke with three local businesses today alone that also have offices in Bellevue,” McCorry said. “It is those businesses that are dedicated to Issaquah that help us continue to thrive. Unfortunately, some companies find it easier and more cost-effective to simply move their business to a neighboring city.”

McCorry said the trend is slowly going to change.

“We do have a new office building being built with opportunities to lease large spaces,” McCorry said. “We will also have some commercial properties become available again when Costco completes its campus and moves some of its operations back onto their property.”

According to McCorry the spaces Costco vacates will be older and more affordable, which bodes well for young, growing companies and startups.

McCorry went on to say small businesses need a supportive environment in which to grow and thrive, while large companies are continually being wooed by other “more affordable” states. Trying to please both sides, small business needs and large companies can sometimes put cities in tight positions in terms of development and growth. McCorry said the state and cities should be cognizant of this when looking at the overall health of communities.

McCorry is more concerned about the future economy slowing down and what impacts that could have on Issaquah and Issaquah businesses.

“As the economy continues to slow, all communities will experience business closures to some degree. However, an even greater danger may be if the businesses that are expanding right now decide not to,” McCorry said.

Although McCorry doesn’t believe that will be the case, she still thinks it’s worth keeping an eye out for, especially since it’s the small business owners who feel new taxes the most.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Eastside King County restaurant owners discuss challenges with U.S. Rep Suzan DelBene at Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond. (Photo credit: Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
Restaurant owners discuss labor difficulties with U.S Rep. Suzan DelBene

Experienced service and kitchen staff are reportedly hard to hire as food service reopens.

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

Images of dishes from Issaquah’s Umi Cafe posted on the SMORS page. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Ho)
Facebook page promotes minority-owned restaurants across Puget Sound region

Miya Nazzaro used to be a member of Facebook pages that were… Continue reading

The Moe Vegan food truck serves meals at the city of Kent’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 21, 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
King County fire marshals offer regulatory relief to food trucks

39 fire authorities have reportedly agreed to standardize fire codes and inspections.

Cash Cards Unlimited partners, left: Nick Nugwynne, right: Cassius Marsh (photo credit: Cash Cards Unlimited)
Former Seahawks player Cassius Marsh cashes in on trading cards

Marsh and his friend open physical and online trading card store as collectibles boom amid pandemic.

Teaser
First large-scale, human composting facility in the world will open in Auburn

“It’s what nature meant us to do. We just do it faster.”

Whole Foods grocery store entrance (Shutterstock)
King County considers grocery store worker hazard pay for those in unincorporated areas

The King County Metropolitan Council will vote during its next meeting on… Continue reading

Screenshot
WA Democrats consider new tax on billionaires

Plan could raise $5 billion from fewer than 100 taxpayers. Detractors fear it could drive Washington’s wealthiest out of state.

Last summer, people took advantage of the outdoor dining along First Avenue between Gowe and Titus streets in downtown Kent. In Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Photo courtesy of Kent Downtown Partnership
Restaurant reprieve: State to relax some indoor restrictions

On Monday, area restaurants and certain entertainment venues may resume indoor service, the governor said.

Stock photo
State Senate passes $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance tax relief

Targets relief to the most affected businesses; helps low-wage workers by raising their benefits

Jason Wilson is a James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of The Lakehouse in Bellevue. Courtesy photo
James Beard Award winner wants to cook with you – virtually

Chef Jason Wilson can give customers an interactive dining experience in their own homes.