Creating jobs and investing in community
"Seattle University has a big impact on our business," says Almaz Feissa, who offers a 10% discount to anyone with an SU ID..
Seattle University is best known for its academic excellence and service to the community. Yet SU also contributes to the livelihoods of thousands of Washington residents through the creation of jobs and invest- ments in the neighborhood and community.
"The university is part of what makes this a thriving neighborhood." Michael Wells, Executive Director, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
Just ask merchants on 12th Avenue how the university affects them.
At University Market and Deli, Asrat and Almaz Feissa have developed strong ties with SU in the little over a year they've operated the busy corner market at 12th Avenue and East Columbia Street. Almaz estimates about 85 percent of her customers are from the university.
Up 12th Avenue at East Spring Street, Moss Alley Motors General Manager A.J. Carter says SU staff and faculty make up roughly 10 percent of this foreign car repair business. Moss Alley moved to this location in 1996, in part because of the proximity to the university and surrounding neighborhood.
During its 2011 Fiscal Year, Seattle University had a regional economic impact of $522 million. That figure takes into account total spending by the university, students and campus visitors and the ripple effect as dollars are re-spent throughout the Puget Sound region.
In 2011, Seattle University had 1,446 employees and a payroll of more than $92 million, an increase of $43 million from a decade ago.
Michael Wells, executive director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and a 20-year resident of the neighborhood, says SU is a vital piece of the whole neighborhood picture.
"The university is part of what makes this a thriving neighborhood," says Wells. "It's not just the worker base but the talent and knowledge base. We can turn to the university on matters such as economic viability, population density and transportation. It's important to have SU at the table."