About Seattle

AboutSeattle

Seattle is...

Named by Kiplinger's as one of the "10 Best Cities for the Next Decade," the Seattle metropolitan region is a great place to live, visit and do business. It's home to some of the most recognizable global companies and a diverse population of more than 3.7 million people. Whether you're looking for economic opportunity, cultural events or educational excellence, you'll find it—and much more—in Seattle. 

The Seattle metro area has it all: globally recognized companies, growing small and minority-owned businesses, highly skilled workers, cutting-edge research and thriving industry clusters. Learn more about how to grow your business here on our Business Tools page.

5 things you may not know about businesses in the Seattle metro area:

1. Seattle is home to many globally-recognized organizations that are headquartered in our region, including: Amazon.comBoeing Commercial AirplanesMicrosoft CorporationStarbucks Coffee CompanyCostco, WeyerhaeuserNordstromREIAlaska Airlines, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

2. Small and minority-owned businesses are a vital and thriving contributor to the Seattle metro economy and the community at large. The Business Index 2010, produced by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, ranks the state's tax system fifth in the nation for entrepreneurship and small business. According to the 2010 Washington Minority Small Business Survey, conducted by the University of Washington's Business and Economic Development Center, 36 percent of minority-owned businesses anticipated hiring within the next three months.

3. Seattle consistently ranks as one of the most highly educated cities in the nation with 56 percent of residents having at least a bachelor's degree. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook, Salesforce.com, Zynga and Google are some of the Bay Area tech companies that have opened offices in the Seattle area to tap into the region's deep talent pool.

4. Seattle is home to world-renowned public and private research institutions. Including the University of Washington, one of the top public universities for research funding. Private institutions and companies also have extensive research functions. According to a study by the Technology Alliance, Washington state has especially strong R&D spending by business and nonprofits.

5. The Seattle metro area has a strong base of established industry sectors, such as aerospace, information technology and retail. It's also a center for creative and emerging industry segments, such as interactive media, music and clean technology.

The Seattle Metro Chamber's nearly 2,200 member companies are here to help make your stay memorable. Visit our membership directory to search for hotels, restaurants, event planners, taxi and bus services, tours, museums and other attractions. 

5 things to know about visiting Seattle:

1. Seattle's many restaurants are as richly diverse as the region's people. Choose from a variety of cuisines such as, Moroccan, Indian, Asian, French and Thai. Or, treat yourself to fresh seafood—a signature of northwest dining.

2. Seattle Metro Chamber members offer a variety of lodging options including hotels, resorts, long-term rentals, apartments and more.

3. Are you attending a conference or planning an event in the Seattle area? Chamber members are here to help! Search our member directory for trusted venues, photographer, caterers and more.

4. Looking for transportation options around the Seattle area? Search our member directory for reliable airline, taxi, charter, bus or limo services.

5. Seattle is packed with things to do. We've got aquariums, stadiums, casinos, cruises, festivals, museums, tours, zoos and more!

Looking for reputable businesses to help your business or family relocate to Seattle?

5 things you need to know before you relocate to Seattle

1. There are many components to moving your business to Seattle. Check out our Business Tools page to find all the resources you need to get started.

2. Planning to relocate to Seattle, but still looking for office space? Our Membership Directory can help you find available locations.

3. If you're looking for a moving company to help make the transition easier, check our list of movers in the Membership Directory.

4. Choosing a realtor for your home or business can be stressful. Use one of our trusted realtors to help you get settled.

5. Looking for more information about schools in the area? The Seattle Times has compiled a Seattle school guide to help you make important decisions about your child's future.

Community News

View recent news below, or view all articles.

Four issues to pay attention to this summer

By: Editorial Staff Posted: 08/06/2019

Speakers at the Chamber's July Business Issues Forum dig into local elections; operational issues for local employers

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Summer may be here, but as Chamber members learned at July’s Business Issues Forum, there are plenty of active policy and political issues affecting businesses in our region.

Chamber’s political arm focuses on transparent, accountable leadership in the 2019 City Council elections

Markham McIntyre, executive director of CASE, the Seattle Metro Chamber’s political action committee, gave an overview of the upcoming elections for the seven district seats on the Seattle City Council and business community engagement to date. Polling shows that voters are frustrated with the current Council, creating an opportunity to elect leaders who will restore trust and represent their districts.

CASE released its endorsements in June, and McIntyre encouraged interested members to reach out for more information about how to get involved. 

Council’s proposed “hotel legislation” also has high financial and operational impacts for small, non-hotel businesses

John Lane and Anna Boone with the Washington Hospitality Association briefed Chamber members on several bills moving through the Seattle City Council that would affect small businesses that are tenants of, or vendors to, a Seattle hotel property, such as restaurants and retailers on the ground floor of a hotel. 

As currently drafted, these bills would have steep financial and operational impacts on these ancillary non-hotel businesses. Any of these businesses with 20 or more employees worldwide would need to take on healthcare expenditures above what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires, blacklist accused guests, and follow preferential hiring requirements. 

Read more from the Washington Hospitality Association and contact Council about these proposals.

City Light completes new substation in SLU; looks for business input on updates to Strategic Plan  

Debra Smith, general manager and CEO of Seattle City Light, gave Chamber members a window into the utility’s recent activity, as well as forthcoming updates to its six-year strategic plan. City Light recently completed its first new substation in decades, with the opening of the Denny Substation in South Lake Union. 

Smith highlighted her priorities at Seattle City Light:

  1. Creating a customer-centric culture
  2. Enhancing the employee experience
  3. Revenue stabilization through rate redesign
  4. Innovation is electrification
  5. One Seattle

Smith noted that the Seattle City Light review panel is looking at how to stabilize rates, and emphasized how important listening and engaging with the business community is to Seattle City Light.

She also elaborated on her fifth point: the Mayor has launched a good government initiative aimed and Smith noted that “we are focusing on how we can work closely together and make it easier to deal with the City of Seattle.” This includes a more uniformly positive experience with various departments, from Seattle City Light, to the Seattle Department of Transportation, to Seattle Public Utilities.

Is your building’s fire and life safety system up to date?

For one out of three systems in Seattle, the answer is no, said Ken Brouillette, technical code program manager with the Fire Prevention Division of the Seattle Fire Department.  

To address this, the Seattle Fire Department is increasing education, engineering, and enforcement around building owners’ responsibility to conduct mandatory systems testing. SFD has made 48,000 contacts in first 12 months of the systems testing program. Brouillette shared that the Fire Department is also working to add a citations as a new, less punitive enforcement tool to help gain compliance, compared to the current penalty of $1,000/day fines and court prosecutions.

SFD is also working with building owners to reduce preventable false alarms, which account for about one out of every three fire calls.

 



The Chamber's Business Issues Forum is the place to learn about and discuss emerging policy issues that matter to your business and the community. A benefit available only to members, meetings include informational briefings from guest speakers and structured discussion with fellow members.  

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