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Seattle Office of Economic Development and Community Partners Present the Future of Seattle Economy Framework

Seattle City Council Passes Resolution supporting Future of Seattle Economy 

The Seattle City Council today approved a resolution establishing a community-driven framework for inclusive investment in Seattle’s economic recovery. The Future of Seattle Economy (FSE) report, facilitated by the Seattle Office of Economic Development, identifies investments needed to make Seattle a desirable place to live, work, and visit. It presents a detailed strategy that identifies investments needed to address the impacts of COVID19 in the near term and create an economically diverse, just, and resilient city over the long term.  

The Future of Seattle Economy encompasses five pillars: 

  • Investing in Talent and Building our Workforce 
  • Supporting Small Business and Women- and Minority-Owned Business Enterprises 
  • Building BIPOC Community Wealth 
  • Investing in Neighborhood Business Districts 
  • Growing Businesses and Key Industries 

“Our dedicated efforts to expand economic opportunity are supporting Seattle’s recovery from the pandemic and have helped us once again become one of the fastest growing cities in the country; however, this prosperity still feels out of reach for too many,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “As we continue to grow as a city, we must intentionally create an economy that is equitable and inclusive. Eliminating racial income disparities would help us shrink the racial wealth gap, spur generational wealth building opportunities, and add billions to our metro economy each year. The Future of Seattle Economy framework will guide critical investments today to help all communities and small businesses access the tools and support to reach their full potential.” 

The FSE investment recommendations will guide the City of Seattle in directing a portion of payroll expense tax revenue, also known as Jump Start funds, allocated for economic revitalization. Further, this will serve as a guiding document for OED, the City, and aligned partners who will make further investments in pursuit of the vision developed by community stakeholders. 

“The Future of Seattle Economy framework is a community-driven approach to the City’s investments in inclusive economic growth. Our resolution adopting the five pillars as City policy also reflects a focused, intentional pathway to shared prosperity in Seattle,” said Councilmember Sara Nelson (Position 9, Citywide). 

“This is an opportunity for the City and OED to create meaningful change and strengthen partnerships in the community and with industries. It is also a critical roadmap to building a Seattle economy that is more equitable, just, and prosperous for all,” said Markham McIntyre, Director of the Seattle Office of Economic Development. 

Throughout 2022, OED facilitated a robust stakeholder engagement process centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. OED worked with stakeholder partners from over 80 organizations and government offices to create the FSE investment agenda, to promote inclusive economic growth especially for communities that have systemically been excluded from such opportunities.  

The Future of Seattle Economy framework plan and investments will be coordinated with the Downtown Activation Plan that is focused on creating more affordable housing, diverse opportunities for small businesses and workers, and expand fun and exciting Downtown activities to foster a more vibrant, inclusive, and resilient hub for residents, workers, and visitors of all ages.   

“What I really appreciate is how the Future of Seattle Economy work continues: it’s how we implement changes that really impact the stability and feasibility of small business. This framework also asks for collaboration between City departments – which is where the City really shines. To create active neighborhoods and support small business, we need departments working together, and the end winner is the City and its residents,” said Donna Moodie, Executive Director, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and Chair, Supporting WMBE & Small Business Enterprises Workgroup. 

“As someone from a community-based organization that has worked with the City for decades, I appreciated the bottom-up approach to building these recommendations. The Future of Seattle Economy investments are a combination of scaling up City pilots that our communities have seen working well, and communities bringing new ideas forward as well,” said Erin Goodman, Executive Director, SODO Business Improvement Area.