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Newsletter for December 23, 2009

Tell Your Colleagues About Our Newsletter and Daily Digest!

Sign up for our newsletter! Are your friends signed up for OED's monthly newsletter and our Daily Digest? Compiled daily from over 50 news sources, the OED Daily Digest is the best way to keep up with the latest in business, technology, workforce, real estate, and economic development news in Seattle. Feel free to forward this e-mail to a friend!


OED awarded $1 million in financing to support local businesses

Governor Chris Gregoire announced today awards of nearly $5 million in Recovery Act grants to help Washington businesses, non-profit groups and government agencies pay for energy efficiency retrofits in residential, commercial, non-profit, and low-income housing facilities. Of the $5 million in grants, the City of Seattle will receive a $1 million award in credit enhancement funds to support the City's commercial and residential energy efficiency projects. The $1 million award will allow the City and its lending partners to write down interest rates, lend more aggressively and fund more energy efficiency projects in Seattle. The Office of Economic Development is leading the City's efforts in commercial energy efficiency projects. The Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) is leading the City's efforts in residential energy efficiency projects.

OED supports ongoing Pioneer Square revitalization

Revitalizing Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood has taken on all new dimensions this year. Seattle's Office of Economic Development, in tandem with important community and business partners, is currently working to boost Pioneer Square's economic prospects, as it has done for the Broadway, University District, and South Seattle neighborhoods. These efforts have been covered extensively in local media, alongside much speculation about the future of the neighborhood. KCTS 9's Josephine Cheng (About the Money) and Knute Berger of both reported this month that Pioneer Square's diverse mix of restaurants, clubs, bars, galleries, sports stadiums, high-tech businesses, and tourist attractions will contribute greatly to the city's active and ongoing revitalization efforts in the new year. Stay tuned as the work continues in 2010.

Seattle is "smartest," "most literate" city in the U.S.

What Pacific Northwest hub is one of the world's smartest cities and is home to the most literate citizens in the U.S.? Look no further than Seattle. Forbes announced in December that Seattle's strong infrastructure, savvy urban planning, close trade ties with Asia, and proximity to hydro-power earned it the #6 spot on the magazine's 2009 list of the world's smartest cities. And, just this week, a study from Central Connecticut State University revealed that Seattle is once again the "most literate city" in the U.S., a title it has held for several years. The study reports that Seattle is one of the safest and most walkable American cities, with an "extremely active singles' scene" driven by the city's abundance of young, single professionals.

McGinn forges ahead with new appointments

The month of December has been a busy one for Seattle Mayor-elect Mike McGinn, who has assembled not only his transition team, but also made twenty-plus City department head appointments and reappointments and selected many high-level staffers in his new administration, which will officially take office on January 1st, 2010. High-profile appointments in the McGinn administration include deputy mayors Phil Fuji and Darryl Smith; chief of staff Julie McCoy; director of policy and external affairs Ethan Raup; and director of communications Mark Matassa. Additional appointments and news can be found on McGinn's transition website, New.Seattle.Gov, which will be merged with his official city page ( on January 1st.

Shop for holiday essentials at the farmers market!

Looking for a holiday tree, gift, or the makings for a spectacular holiday meal? Seattle farmers markets are a great resource for all of your holiday essentials. The University District and West Seattle markets, which are open all year (Saturdays and Sundays) still have a great selection of holiday trees and wreaths; great holiday gifts; and the makings for a fantastic holiday feast: jam, preserves, dried fruit, chocolates and nuts, roasts, chops, steaks, turkey, chicken, salmon, hard wines and ciders, and holiday breads and pies. Celebrate the holiday spirit by buying locally and supporting Seattle's winter markets and their vendors!

Daily Digest on holiday vacation until January 4th!

OED's Daily Digest will be on vacation from Thursday, December 24th to Monday, January 4th. Enjoy the holiday season and we'll be back with the latest business, economic development, and technology news in 2010!