Small businesses brace for hardship following Boeing announcement

VIDEO: Boeing announcement could have impact on other businesses in Snohomish

EVERETT, Wash. — Following Boeing’s announcement of job transfers to South Carolina, Snohomish County workers noted the company’s move will affect everything, including retail stores, restaurants and even other aerospace companies.

Among the small business left scrambling is Commercial Aircraft Interiors; an Arlington, Washington, company that constructs and remodels the insides of airplanes.

“It was always nice to go, ‘Yeah, I’m from Washington. We own aviation.’ And now, it’s like, ‘We used to, but we let aviation down,’” remarked Dustin Welch, vice president of Commercial Aircraft Interiors.

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In the past, workers at Welch’s company only had to drive half an hour to have critical meetings with Boeing.

Following Boeing’s announcement, employees will now likely have to fly across the country just to complete a deal.

“At some point, you have to get back to business the proper way, and that’s a meeting face to face, a handshake. And that’s how we move forward,” said Carlos Veliz, business strategist for Commercial Aircraft Interiors.

“It’s definitely gonna make things more challenging to travel out there, especially during these times.  A Zoom call can only get you so far,” added Welch.

KIRO 7 found that Boeing’s announcement was met with disappointment but not necessarily anger.

One of the company’s strongest supporters is the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County.

In a statement following the announcement, the alliance issued a statement saying in part:

“Together we will get through this public health and economic crisis, and continue to create the future of air travel. We will help Boeing through the biggest drop in airplane demand in the history of the industry in every way possible. As more details unfold in the coming weeks, we will focus on all those affected in Snohomish County and Washington State.”

At Commercial Aviation Interiors, company workers said they do not fault Boeing either.  Instead, they faulted elected officials for not doing enough to support Boeing during the COVID-19 crisis.

“For me, it totally makes sense to see these big corporations leaving because they’re gonna get better support somewhere else,” said Welch.