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Newsletter for September 25, 2009

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Nickels proposes 2010 budget in last major speech

Today, Mayor Nickels presented his 2010 Proposed Budget to the City Council. The Council will deliberate and is expected to adopt a 2010 budget by the end of November. The Mayor's proposed budget continues his strong support for the Office of Economic Development, maintaining funding levels consistent with 2009. The Mayor's budget also positions OED to play a more aggressive role in pursuing new opportunities to keep the Seattle region competitive in a changing global economy. This budget will enable OED to partner more effectively with industry leaders, research institutions, and other economic development partners to maintain a strong manufacturing and maritime base, and generate new jobs and wealth in the areas of clean energy, global health and life sciences, and content technology - the promising field of merging our strengths in creative arts and information technology.

OED study on Southeast Seattle retail shoppers featured on KING 5

How do you keep shoppers spending close to home? A recent story by KING 5 asks this question - and looks to Seattle's Office of Economic Development for answers. Business Development Manager Tina Vlasaty talks with Jane McCarthy about OED's Southeast Retail Study, which analyzes where people in the Rainier Valley area are spending their money - and how OED hopes to foster a brighter shopping future for the area through a dynamic mix of retail and residential properties.

Farmers market ordinance reduces payments, streamlines permit process

Farmers market permitting costs will be dramatically reduced under a new farmers market ordinance approved last week by the Seattle City Council. The ordinance, spearheaded by the Office of Economic Development with collaboration from other city departments, will reduce fees for street closures and used of parks as well as streamline the permit application process. Under the new rules, permit fees for a year-round market utilizing a street closure will drop from $8,312 to $251 per year. In 2008, Seattleites spent more than $10 million at neighborhood farmers markets. With the addition of two new farmers markets in 2009, Seattle shoppers now support 14 markets all over the city, ensuring that fresh, local, and seasonal produce is never far away.

Office of Film + Music launches all-new Seattle City of Music website

Seattle is the City of Music - a city with a rich musical heritage and a deep dedication to musical innovation. Now, after many months of work, the Seattle Office of Film + Music is proud to announce the launch of the all-new Seattle City of Music website. With live feeds of the best local music events, a history of Seattle music and the City of Music Initiative, and information on partnering with the project, the new website is a vital resource for anyone who cares about the future of music in Seattle.

Seattle moves forward in bid to host World Cup

Seattle is one of 27 cities advancing to the next round of consideration as a host city for the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The city of Seattle is working closely with local government agencies, companies and organizations including the University of Washington, Seattle Sports Commission and Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, to make sure that Seattle continues to be a contender for this prestigious honor. The last World Cup hosted in the U.S., in Atlanta in 1994, drew a record crowd of more than 3.5 million spectators and had an estimated economic impact of $4 billion.

Stimulus awards help Seattle arts employees through downturn

Mayor Greg Nickels and Seattle's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs announced last month that the city will award $250,000 in federal stimulus awards to help preserve dozens of jobs at 22 Seattle arts and cultural organizations. The funds will support a range of staff positions, from performers and production staff to business managers and artistic directors. Organizations that will receive stimulus awards include Maureen Whiting Dance, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Center for Wooden Boats, Wing Luke Asian Museum and the Young Shakespeare Workshop, among others.

OED Daily Digest keeps your business on top of the information economy

Compiled daily from over 50 news sources, including major business publications, local and national newspapers, industry and partner websites, and even neighborhood blogs, the Office of Economic Development's Daily Digest is the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about doing business in Seattle. There's no better way to keep up with the latest in business, technology, workforce, real estate, and economic development news. Sign up a friend or colleague in the next week (let us know via e-mail at and be entered into a raffle to win two free tickets to the 2009 Mayor's Small Business Awards!

New Seattle Citylink website delivers neighborhood updates fast

Residents have a new, faster way to keep in touch with what's happening in their neighborhood as the city launches CityLink Seattle, a new website and network of news feeds from utilities, parks, police, fire, economic development, and many other city departments. Use Citylink to find out the latest police and fire activities, events at parks or Seattle Center, and up-to-the-minute news about traffic and utilities. Eleven city departments are part of the initial launch, each creating news feeds that are fed immediately into the Citylink Seattle website.

Forbes: Washington moves up to No. 2 on list of best states for business

Washington moved to second from third on Forbes annual "best states for business" list, trailing only Virginia. The ranking measures six vital categories for businesses: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Common themes among Forbes' top-ranked states are an expanding, educated workforce and a steady housing market. Washington ranked No. 1 in the country for growth potential and was ranked highly in labor force and quality of life.

  • Read the Forbes article

  • Read OED's FAQ about Doing Business in Seattle

  • Seattle is one of ten best places for tech jobs

    This year, U.S. News and World Report scoured the best places in the country for tech jobs. After analyzing over 2,000 cities, the magazine concluded that Seattle's tech sector has "enormous potential to become more diverse." Furthermore, the city was among the "most active" for start-up activity this year, with an especially high-demand for computer software applications engineers and other tech employees.

  • Read the U.S. News and World Report article

  • Study: Majority of businesses unprepared for influenza outbreak

    A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the majority of American businesses are unprepared to deal with widespread employee sickness due to seasonal or H1N1 influenza. Already, outbreaks at Washington State University have demonstrated the potentially large impact that a high-impact flu season will have on schools, businesses, and families. The Harvard study recommends that businesses and employees review sick leave policies, as well as develop a flu contingency plan in advance of the fall season. Combined with individual actions like frequent hand washing, these precautions can prevent the flu from threatening the economic viability of impacted businesses.

  • Read the Seattle Times coverage of the study

  • Download helpful information from King County Public Health's flu page


    Join us at the 25th annual Mayor's Small Business Awards on October 13th!

    Come celebrate the 2009 Mayor's Small Business Award winners, and the role of small businesses in Seattle, at the 25th Annual Mayor's Small Business Awards! The awards honor the diversity and excellence of ten small Seattle businesses and their contribution to the city's economic vitality and quality of life. 2009 marks the 25th year of the Mayor's Small Business Awards program, which has recognized more than 240 small businesses in the past two decades. The event, presented by Wells Fargo, takes place on October 13th, 2009, and is hosted by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. A public reception at 5:30 p.m. precedes the program. Tickets are $20 (online and at the door).

    Inaugural Seattle City of Music Awards to be held October 14th

    Seattle City of Music, Seattle's effort to celebrate and enhance the city's renowned music culture, announced this week that it will honor Quincy Jones, Fleet Foxes and radio and online music hub KEXP at the inaugural Seattle City of Music Awards on October 14th, a spectacular evening of entertainment at the Showbox at the Market. Tickets to the Awards show will be distributed to the public free of charge on the new Seattle City of Music website and through independent music retailers Easy Street Records, Everyday Music, Silver Platters and Sonic Boom Records.

    New 12-hour conference series unites great minds in business and technology

    FiReGlobal: West Coast, a new 12-hour conference series that brings together global and local thought leaders in business and technology, will launch on October 15th in Seattle with a focus on the Pacific Northwest. The series is organized by Mark Anderson's Strategic News Service (SNS) and is part of the noted Future in Review (FiRe) series, which The Economist called "the best technology conference in the world." Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, Nobel-prize winner and President of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Lee Hartwell, RealNetworks Chairman and CEO Rob Glaser, and others will speak and participate at the conference.

    Clean energy takes center stage at Chamber's annual leadership conference, Oct. 21 - 23

    Join 250 business, government, and community leaders in crafting a bold, impactful vision for clean energy in the Puget Sound region - one that resonates with the people who live and work here. This year's conference will focus on the region's clean energy sector, current energy initiatives and programs, opportunities for expansion within the sector, and ways that other industries can support and benefit from growth in this industry. The conference will run from October 21 - 23, 2009, at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum.