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Economic Development

The Port’s Economic Development Division is responsible for spurring our regional economy, sustaining and creating family-wage jobs by supporting small businesses, workforce development, tourism and leveraging real estate development to create jobs.

The Port owns property in King County that can be developed to provide jobs for thousands of people. Our Real Estate Strategic Plan is being prepared and will provide a roadmap to maximize the benefits and build regional prosperity.

Economic development partnership program

The Port of Seattle has authorized a new Economic Development Partnership Program to support local community economic development activities. More than $962,000 is available to cities in King County as matching funds. Based on population, each city would receive between $5,000 and $65,000 for the following eligible activities:

  • Business recruitment initiatives designed to attract new companies to a region or city
  • Small business development (including incubator/accelerator projects) 
  • Industry retention and expansion assistance (ex. Maritime, Aerospace, etc.)
  • Tourism development 
  • Downtown revitalization 
  • Commercial or industrial property development 
  • Other community or economic development projects that support new investment and job creation 
  • Cities may collaborate or aggregate regionally to enhance impact

Applying for the partnership program

To apply for the program, please read the program guidelines and eligible activities carefully and attend a workshop if you are able. Then, complete an application form and return it to
The Port will accept applications during July and August 2016. All projects must have approval and be under contract no later than mid-September.
Please email Susan Chamberlain at with any questions you have about the program.
Select this link to read FAQs about the partnership program.

Economic Development Partner Cities

In June 2016 the Port Commission created a new economic development fund that provides 38 King County cities funding to advance local economic development. Funding is being provided on a $1 per capita formula with a maximum of $65,000, while ensuring each city receives at least $5,000. Each city is required to provide a local match.

Port staff held three application workshops to promote the new program.  Staff also connected with cities via email and responded to numerous questions from municipalities.

The following nine cities have completed their partnership applications, demonstrating each initiative is impactful and ties to Port business interests. Other participating cities are finalizing applications for review at the September 27 Commission meeting.

Auburn  - $65,000

  •    Develop a business to business supply chain database to promote local business
  •    Support microbusinesses and Auburn incubator tenants
​​​ Des Moines - $30,100   
  • Complete a pre-design feasibility study for a multi-use facility at the downtown Marina location.
  •   Complete a market demand assessment of the Marina and downtown as “destination locations” to accommodate future growth.
  •   Complete a parking study assessment for downtown and Marina redevelopment.
Duvall - $7,345
  •  Update City Economic Development Vision and Plan
  • Support “Savor Snoqualmie”, a new regional tourism promotion group supported by each Snoqualmie city.
  •   Continued branding and marketing efforts
Issaquah - $33,330
  •  Provide six workshops through the Chamber of Commerce for business training
  • Create a video for business recruitment and community marketing to support existing print materials.
Kenmore - $21,500
  •  Provide training and technical support to companies involved with the City’s business incubator
  •   Promote the City’s image for business development and tourism
  •    Build on local assets like Bastyr University, Kenmore Air, Edward State Park, Lakepointe and Kenmore’s emerging brewery district
Kirkland - $65,000
  • Partner with Bellevue and Redmond to promote ICT cluster growth
  • Participate in tradeshow events to attract technology companies
  • Provide business assistance to startup companies
  • Prepare an engineering study to increase transient moorage at Kirkland Marina
Normandy Park - $6,420
  •  Provide training through SBDC at Highline Community College to address small business needs 
North Bend - $6,460
  •   Develop a series of videos to promote outdoor recreation and tourism related businesses
Redmond - $59,180   
  • Develop a marketing and media package that includes video, business cluster fact sheets, print and digital brochures.
  •  Participate in business recruitment events including D.I.C.E (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) and the Space Foundation Symposium.​ 


Port of Seattle staff held workshops for cities in King County to share information about the Port's new Economic Development Partnership Program developed to support local community economic development activities. More than $962,000 is available as matching funds to the 38 cities of King County. Depending upon its population, each city would receive from $5,000 and $65,000. The funds will be used to support small businesses in growth, job creation, expansion, retention and recruitment.
In the pictures below, taken on July 6 at a workshop at Kent City Hall, the Port's Economic Development Coordinator Susan Chamberlain, Procurement Administrator Patty Etzkorn and Director of Tourism and Development Ron Peck met with cities staff members from Auburn, Tukwilia, Redmond, Kent and Federal Way. Staff answered questions about the program guidlelines, application and contract specifications and budgeting.
Staff conduct an Economic Development Partnership Program workshop


Staff conduct an Economic Development Partnership Program workshop

Economic Development Partnership Program participants

Economic Development Partnership Program workshop participant

Des Moines Creek Business Park

The Port owns land around Sea-Tac Airport that is being redeveloped to support our airport communities and the region. The Des Moines Creek Business Park has seen high demand among businesses to locate there. In June 2016 the Port participated in a groundbreaking celebration for the new FAA Regional Headquarters that will be built there, bringing 1,600 employees. Greencore Group, a leading international manufacturer of convenience foods, is building a new facility at the Business Park for 400 employees. In total, the City of Des Moines will see more than 6,000 new jobs come to their city from the Business Park, diversifying the economic base.

Des Moines Creek Business Park aerial
Des Moines Business Park rendering


Click the images to enlarge

Economic impact report

The most recent economic impact report commissioned by the Port of Seattle, based on business activity data collected in 2013-2014, showed that greater than 216,000 jobs were generated by Port activity, including over 129,000 direct jobs. These jobs generated $4.2 billion of direct wages and salaries. In addition, businesses providing services at the Port-owned properties received $19.8 billion of revenue and generated $894 million of state and local taxes.​​​



Economic Development Partnership Programmo

Learn how the Port of Seattle is working with other maritime businesses to encourage K-12 Career Tech programs in schools here​.


Economic Impact Report