Dick Beazell, the new executive director of the Kirkland Downtown on the Lake Association, is trying to resurrect Jazz Nights, a monthly...
Dick Beazell, the new executive director of the Kirkland Downtown on the Lake Association, is trying to resurrect Jazz Nights, a monthly concert series he started 13 years ago to bring more business to the city.
The free shows were immensely popular and grew to include 18 restaurants in downtown Kirkland by the late 1990s. But the event grew too big and interest died in the late 1990s when restaurants started offering weekly concerts.
“We need to generate foot traffic and business in the early evening hours for restaurants and stores,” Beazell said. “It’s been a little slow, like many places, at our retail businesses over the past year and a half.”
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Prodded by the sluggish economy and lower-than-expected retail sales, Beazell plans to restart the jazz shows in March or April. The city’s art galleries sponsor a monthly art walk that has become a major draw over the past 10 years.
Kirkland’s 400 downtown businesses last year supplied the city with about $890,000 of its $12.7 million in sales-tax revenue. About 7 percent of the city’s sales-tax revenue has come from the downtown businesses in each of the past 10 years, said Chip Corder, Kirkland’s financial-planning manager.
In two recent reports the city commissioned, consultants suggested that Kirkland improve its business environment, form an economic-development group, develop a regional marketing plan, and focus on Totem Lake and downtown. The City Council plans to review the plans at its upcoming annual retreat.
Beazell is working to encourage local businesses to stay open until 9 p.m. Wednesdays when the farmers market starts in April. In the late spring, he’s planning to start a monthly festival on the third Wednesday evening of each month.
The Kirkland Downtown Association is holding a meeting with restaurant owners and managers at 3 p.m. Thursday at Hector’s, 112 Lake St. in downtown Kirkland, to discuss restarting the concerts and forming a restaurant group.
For more information or to R.S.V.P., call Beazell at 425-893-8766.
The Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce wants to do whatever it can to keep manufacturing jobs in town.
Next week, the chamber, Redmond and Lake Washington Technical College are teaming up to focus on what they can do to support small and medium-sized manufacturers in a workshop, “Retaining Redmond’s Manufacturing Edge,” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Sonora Conference Room, Building 33, on the Microsoft campus, 16070 N.E. 36th Way.
A business-development plan will be drawn up based on the workshop.
For more information, call the chamber at 425-885-4014.
Eastside Business Notes appears every Wednesday in the Eastside edition of the Seattle Times.
Kristina Shevory: 206-464-2039 or firstname.lastname@example.org