As we prepare to ring in 2019, we would like to highlight our top 10 achievements of 2018:
10 - Chamber Launches New Website To kick-off the new fiscal year, the Chamber launched a new website on October 1, 2018. This mobile-friendly site with easy navigation aims to be a top business resource in the South Sound by providing insightful articles from area experts, instructions on how to maximize your Chamber membership, and much more!
9 - South Sound Summit Reaches New Heights Over 500 area leaders attended the 2nd annual South Sound Summit, featuring keynote speaker Mitch Lowe, Co-Founder of Netflix and CEO of MoviePass. Attendees heard lightning talks called, “Influencers of the South Sound” from local business and community leaders including Congressmembers Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, and Developers Loren Cohen and Mike Absher. Attendees also learned new skills during “Tactical Business Solutions,” where topics including HR, marketing, and tech, were designed to provide practical business applications.
8 - World Trade Center Launches New Export Store The World Trade Center Tacoma Export Store is a Business-to-Business (B2B) Cross-Border e-commerce store hosted on Alibaba.com, the world’s largest B2B e-commerce platform. Local businesses can easily enter foreign markets and showcase their products and services across a network that reaches over 150 countries.
7 - BIA Tacoma Renews for Ten More Years With three decades of experience providing maintenance, security, and cleaning streetscapes in an 84-block district, the Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) Tacoma was voted unanimously to be renewed to 2028. This dynamic organization helps keep downtown safe, clean and accessible through security services, graffiti removal, maintenance, and beautification. FAST FACT -- BIA Tacoma made it possible for the Tacoma Link to be a “no-fee” ride!
6 - Spaceworks Increases Entrepreneur Footprint Through Spaceworks Tacoma’s Business Incubator program, the Chamber supported six businesses in a new space and eight more in the business planning stage. The Incubator program provides relevant and meaningful small business training, technical assistance, workshops, coaching, and peer-to-peer support to entrepreneurs creating or growing Tacoma-based businesses.
5 - Veteran Business Service: Job Placements and Chamber Valor of the Year Recipient During five years of partnership with Camo2Commerce, 1,440 servicemembers and spouses were placed in permanent, family-wage jobs. Of these, 99 were placed by the Chamber’s Veteran and Business Services (VBS) team in 2018! As a result of their work supporting our local heroes, the Chamber was honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Hiring Our Heroes as the 2018 Chamber Valor of the Year recipient.
4 - A HUGE Win for Business: Interim Regulations Renewed Without Amendments In November 13, Tacoma City Council voted to renew the existing Tideflats Interim Regulations as-is with no amendments, a big WIN for industrial lands in Tacoma which will allow continued growth and investment from our existing businesses.
3 - Sue's Tech Kitchen Comes to Tacoma Randi Zuckerberg, serial entrepreneur and creator of Facebook Live, brought Sue’s Tech Kitchen, a tech-fueled wonderland, to Tacoma. Sue’s Tech Kitchen, which was designed to spark interest in STEM and cutting-edge technology among youth, introduced over 3,000 local kids to binary code, algorithms, chemistry and more during the three-day event at the Armory. FAST FACT -- Tacoma was chosen as one of only nine cities across the country (and was the only west coast location) to host this exclusive event.
2 - Manufacturing Industrial Council Launched The Manufacturing Industrial Council of the South Sound (MIC South Sound) grew from the momentum created by the Place for Job coalition. MIC South Sound is the voice for the manufacturing, industrial, and maritime community and promotes & enhances a positive business climate for manufacturing and related industries. It is dedicated to safeguarding and improving people’s lives, creating a sustainable environment, and providing the jobs that anchor Washington’s economy.
1 - CHAMBER BREAKS THE INTERNET! No Head Tax Here In May 2018, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to implement a Head Tax on employees,penalizing employers in an attempt to balance failed budget policies on the backs of business. This $275 tax per employee on companies grossing at least $20 million per year was bad news for regional economic development. The Chamber reacted quickly, letting Seattle employers know that this is NOT how we do business in Pierce County. The Chamber produced a 30-second video and promoted it heavily across all social media channels. The video, which quickly went viral, championed the region letting everyone know that the South Sound is, “Open for Business.” The Head Tax was quickly recalled by City Council.