SEATTLE - The "no parking" signs are set along 1st Avenue South as men in gray suits scour Pioneer Square. The President is coming and he's expected to visit a small Seattle gem tucked away in the heart of Pioneer Square.
"They're a fantastic company," Kress IGA manager Christina Conrad says about Grand Central Bakery, a Seattle company with four locations in the Seattle area and several more in Portland. "It's really a great business because it's creating all of these communities and it's making us sustainable."
She's not surprised the President's team picked this bakery, which focuses on using local ingredients and selling to local businesses.
"What we're looking for especially in the Seattle market right now is local and they source a ton of local ingredients."
If only it were so easy for everyone. Ali Fallahzadeh's rug gallery is next to Grand Central. He once had three employees, now he's down to one.
"I can't afford it. I don't have sales," he says.
For luxury stores like this, credit is hard to come by; people aren't buying $20,000 rugs like they used to.
"If I cannot get a line of credit from the banks I cannot purchase," says Fallahzadeh.
Jewelry shop owner Beto Yarce believes Grand Central works because it's focused on appealing specifically to Seattle. Yarce also works for Washington Cash, an organization that helps businesses grow with little capital. If he could talk to the President, he'd tell him, the next evolution is building up micro-businesses.
"Not just small businesses, because small business is just a part. Micro-enterprise takes it farther, it's how you can start your business with little money."
The President will visit the bakery around 11 a.m. on Tuesday. These two won't be at the President's table, but they're hoping their voices will be heard.