Mayor Ed Murray delivered his 2017-18 Proposed Budget to the City Council today, and we are pleased to inform you of some key investments related to the Office of Economic Development (OED).
Mayor Murray is dedicated to an innovative and productive business environment along with an affordable and equitable economy accessible to all entrepreneurs and workers. New investments in the Office of Economic Development’s work will enable us to extend the mayor’s commitment to robust and responsible economic growth, and shared and enduring prosperity for all those living and working in Seattle.
Here are a few examples from the proposed budget which highlight how our office will better help remove barriers to employment by supporting low-income residents developing their talents, better enable employers to grow and innovate, support key industry sectors, and enhance the vibrancy of our neighborhood business districts.
Two summers ago, the mayor launched his Youth Employment Initiative, a citywide drive whose ultimate goal is to provide all Seattle youth access to meaningful employment opportunities. Through the proposed budget, the mayor ensures the continuation of this developing program with an emphasis on reaching low-income youth who face barriers to employment. Since its inception, thousands of youth have expressed interest in these career opportunities. Mayor Murray’s budget invests in the needed infrastructure that will ensure that internships continue to be available over the coming years by bolstering our engagement with the public and private sectors.
Additionally, the budget invests in Seattle’s thriving nightlife industry by funding a Nightlife Business Services Advocate position within the Office of Film + Music. This position will work on policy supportive of a safe and vibrant nightlife sector and advance this industry. The mayor’s investment will help effectively deliver business support and advocacy services to nightlife businesses throughout Seattle.
Last spring, Mayor Murray and the City Council successfully approved new Business Improvement Area (BIA) policies. The new policies help streamline and make more comprehensive the City’s process used to develop and support new BIAs. BIAs are growing both in number and revenues, generating more than $17.7 million in 2015, which enhance the quality of life in our urban districts. The proposed budget allocates funding for additional staffing to support the implementation of these new policies. Doing so will accelerate the establishment of new BIAs and provide greater support to existing BIAs.