Marysville Toyota is the Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce's New Business of the Year.
The award from the chamber is meant to highlight businesses that provide jobs and products as well as contribute to the community.
“Volunteer activities, economic and civic contributions, strong community presence, representation of the community in a positive way, presenting job opportunities, sponsoring youth clubs,” are all among the criteria, said Dave Watson, membership development coordinator with the Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce.
“Marysville Toyota had multiple check marks in every single one of those categories,” he said.
The award is available to those businesses who started in Marysville up to two years ago.
“Each business that qualified and wanted to be represented submitted their credentials,” said Dave Watson.
Chamber officials selected the final candidates while chamber members voted on the eventual winner.
“I thought it was a great honor, just coming to the community and being recognized,” said Perry Watson III, general manager for the business.
“Myself and owner Jim Colon have a shared philosophy that when you come into the community you become a good community citizen and you don’t become a taker. You give back,” he said.
That spirit was one of the reasons they received the award.
“I think, for us, as a community-driven resource, it was the community presence we saw time and time again with Marysville Toyota,” said Dave Watson.
Through their first year and a half the business has given $12,000 to various charities and foundations, including the Albertson’s Safeway Foundation, the American Cancer Society and Housing Hope.
They sponsored last year’s Strawberry Festival Kid’s Day and the Albertson’s Safeway Foundation golf tournament.
Dealership owner Jim Colon said they sought to make impacts on the problems in the area.
“We opened the store in July of 2018, but two years prior to that we came up to purchase the property and build the facility. So we were up here and back and forth,” he said.
“We came in town one time and Perry noticed the amount of homelessness in the area and I remember him saying ‘when we get up here, we have to do something about this,’” said Colon.
The business has supported Housing Hope, a local housing nonprofit organization, since they opened.
“We’re looking for how we can continue to make that impact and look for the areas that are most beneficial to Marysville,” said Colon.
Colon also points toward the good customer and employee experience as a contribution to the community.
Marysville Toyota does no-negotiation, no-commission sales which are simpler and less stressful, he said.
Perry Watson III said this could be a reason why their staff is more diverse.
“Traditionally only 8 percent of people in our industry is female, and it’s also white male dominated. Organically, we’re at 40 percent female,” he said.
He said he didn’t really understand how businesses impact the community before getting involved at Toyota.
“A business, if you really look at it, is a giving tree. You open for business and hope people like what you do … as you begin to really, really do business the roots of that business go deeper and deeper and deeper and that tree becomes a major institution,” he said.
“Now when I hear a business depart and they use the term ‘uprooting’ I can see why that adjective is used.”