Sammamish City Council adopts new business regulations

May 24, 2012

New: May 24, 2:18 p.m.

The City Council tilted a set of regulations on home businesses to favor the neighbors of those businesses. The council, at its May 14 meeting, cited concerns about the traffic, noise and other impacts on residential neighborhoods.

The updated regulations passed 6-1 after extensive last-minute amendments. Councilwoman Nancy Whitten, the dissenting vote, led the charge on the neighbor-friendly tweaks, worrying that the Planning Commission-crafted law would lead to a proliferation of people running disruptive businesses out of their homes. She said that the changes still did not go far enough to protect the neighbors. Read more

New business owners brave current market

September 1, 2009

Jason Schaefer, owner of Golf USA, takes a swing in his business’ indoor driving range. Photo by J.B. Wogan

Jason Schaefer, owner of Golf USA, takes a swing in his business’ indoor driving range. Photo by J.B. Wogan

Recession or no, Ray McCorkle decided to open A-Game Sports in Inglewood Plaza in August. He said he believed the presence of three high schools in Sammamish would create a steady demand for sports apparel.

So far, it’s been a struggle.

“We’re breathing. It’s short breaths, but we’re breathing. We need more business,” McCorkle said.

It might seem crazy to open a new business in today’s retail market. People aren’t buying like they did a couple of years ago. The state Department of Revenue released figures in July that said taxable retail sales in King County were down 14.4 percent from last year — about $3.5 billion.

But at least three local entrepreneurs are braving the market anyway and opening new businesses in Sammamish.

McCorkle, who calls himself a “gym rat,” said he has bought advertising in local newspapers and in high school football booster programs, but he still needs to find ways to get the word out that his store exists.

Deb Sogge, executive director of the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce, said McCorkle’s problem wasn’t unusual.

“I think the number one challenge is getting the word out that they’ve opened,” Sogge said. Sogge said new business owners often approach her about marketing strategies. Read more