Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More Home Page This Department
Link to OED Home Page Link to OED Home Page Link to OED About Us Page Link to OED Contact Us Page
Start, Grow, or Green Your Business Stephen H. Johnson, Director
Business Owners Business Districts Key Industries News and Resources
Seattle Jobs Plan
Office of Economic Development
Office of the Mayor
Seattle Economic Indicators


June 25, 2013

October 17, 2012

August 25, 2011

August 24, 2010
Guiding Principles

Shared Prosperity:
The source of our strength in the United States has been the breadth and depth of our middle class, along with the promise that any one of us can achieve and reach our full potential based on talent and hard work. But the ladder to achievement no longer seems open to everyone. Government at all levels has a responsibility to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to work their way toward a better life.

Environmental Sustainability:
The economic choices we are making right now are not sustainable. We talk big and we set ambitious goals, but too often our actions are inconsistent with what we know has to be done starting now. It can seem daunting but we must change course for the sake of future generations. That means being clear-eyed about whether our actions meet the scale of our environmental challenges, or make them worse, and being determined enough to act on that knowledge.

Effective, Open Government:
In the good times, we expanded programs and services in ways that are not sustainable anymore. We have to prioritize, make difficult cuts and re-focus on providing outstanding core services. We will also have to approach our challenges with a can-do attitude, listening to the public, and leveraging creative and affordable solutions. We cant simply throw money at problems, or decide that government knows whats best. Government has a fundamental responsibility to look out for the interests of the people it serves. That means listening, making the extra effort to walk in their shoes, and having the guts to stand up and fight for them.

Meeting the Future
For us to succeed, government must shift from managing growth to being a proactive partner fighting for new jobs, shared prosperity and sustainable economic development. We all need to work hard to build on our strengths. We can't be afraid to stand up to the status quo and tackle our weaknesses head-on. We have to be willing to do things differently - to take real risks and explore new ideas.

This is what it means to take the harder path. It isn't easy, but it is what it will take for us to exert meaningful control over our future and build a solid foundation for coming generations. It's what it will take to improve our schools so that all of our kids are prepared to step up. It's what it will take to make sure our limited resources are invested strategically to build the next generation infrastructure.

Here is what we will do:

Invest in Seattle's Residents, Youth and Young Adults

All of our residents deserve an opportunity to achieve their full potential and share in our region's prosperity. We will start with focused efforts to create new jobs, bolster our most challenged businesses and communities, and increase the skills of our youth and low-income residents.

Invest in Seattle's Entrepreneurs

The City can play an important role in fostering a business climate and environment where all businesses can thrive. We will connect businesses to resources that will help them expand and remove unnecessary hurdles that inhibit their success.

Invest in Seattle's Economic Strengths

Seattle possesses rich concentrations of knowledge and experience in key economic sectors that provide a strong foundation for economic recovery. We will take stock of our existing economic strengths and nurture them where possible to encourage further diversification.

Invest in Next Generation Infrastructure

Smart infrastructure investments can create jobs while laying a physical foundation for the future that is socially and environmentally sustainable. Over the next four years, the City will be investing heavily in new capital projects and in maintaining existing capital assets, with the 2010 Adopted Capital Improvement Program totaling over $700 million supporting over 2,500 direct jobs annually in the public and private sector and at least as many indirect and induced jobs.

Count What Matters

We will stay focused and make necessary course corrections by measuring and reporting on our progress.  The City will benchmark and report to the public semi-annually on five key economic indicators:

  • Business Income
  • Job Growth
  • Business start-ups and closures
  • Performance of our K-12 and postsecondary education systems
  • Distribution of Income