For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, both current and prospective
SIMBA members gathered together in person to discuss how Spokane’s local
businesses can make a difference.
Although almost everyone in attendance was small
business owners, the discussions and plans that were made addressed much more
than individual businesses.

The gathering began by enjoying catered Jordanian food from Maisa Abudayha of Feast
World Kitchen. The excellent food was supplemented with live musical entertainment by
singer-songwriter Madeline McNeill.

After some time to socialize and enjoy the food and music had passed, everyone
gathered together to brainstorm.

One of the first issues brought up was how difficult and expensive it can be for a small
business to provide robust benefits to its employees. A lot of interest was expressed
in finding a way for small business owners to obtain cheap, but comprehensive
coverage. starting an insurance company whose entire purpose was to provide excellent
coverage at cheap prices. Several implementation ideas were discussed, such as
creating an insurance company whose entire purpose was to provide excellent
coverage at cheap prices. This company would implement strict internal and external
controls that ensured small business owners would be the main focus rather than

As the conversation moved forward, many of the small business owners identified how
difficult it can be to get in front of investors. On the other side, investors find it difficult to
connect with local business owners with whom they can invest. To address this issue, the
gathering discussed starting a “Local Investment Network” where small business
owners and local investors can be connected. Such a network is in huge demand and is
severely underserviced.

One of the group members brought up how difficult it is to qualify for and obtain
affordable real estate. Several points around this subject were addressed; such as
barriers to entry, alternative ownership solutions, and implementation models.

One of the last subjects discussed concerned how difficult it can be for small business
owners to obtain and retain quality employees. Several solutions were discussed; such
as creating an employment agency that was accessible to SIMBA members. This agency

would do more than provide employee solutions to SIMBA members, it would also
provide robust career services to the employees themselves. Management
opportunities and internal promotions would be available to all employees that serve
SIMBA members.

Although the gathering was no more than a few hours long, it was an exemplary
example of what advantages SIMBA members enjoy: innovative solutions, priceless
networking and personal connections being only a few.
It was a perfect example of
exactly what can be done when local like-minded entrepreneurs get together to solve