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

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Experts share forecasts for Alaska economy and population in 2019

By: Maggie Wilson Posted: 01/11/2019

Chamber hosts Neal Fried and Mouhcine Guettabi

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Over breakfast Thursday morning at the Chamber’s January Alaska Business Forum, experts Neal Fried and Mouhcine Guettabi painted an economic outlook in clear and concise terms – and discussed industries including construction, oil and gas, professional business services, and other trades that provide growth in Alaska.

Fried and Guettabi presented data on job growth and loss, past recessions and timelines, residential rates, population projections, and migration in the 49th state.

Both forecast an end to Alaska's recession in 2019 but noted that the end of a recession means the beginning of recovery, and that recovery can be slow.

Their presentations included their latest findings for the Alaskan economy.



Highlights by speaker:

• Mouhcine Guettabi, Assistant Professor of Economics at the Institute of Social and Economic Research

Guettabi walked attendees through his forecast for Alaska, joking that “forecasting is half science, half art, and I’m not an artist.” He forecast that Alaska turns a corner in 2019. Several positive signs indicate the recession is coming to an end. However, Guettabi cautioned, the path to recovery will be slow, and his forecast is conditional on oil prices behaving and no massive budget cuts.

In the short-term, Alaska state government faces a $1.6 billion deficit, and Guettabi predicted a decrease in state government employment. While much of the conversation centered on employment loss, he noted that long-term structure losses could also be expected while reducing the budget deficit.

Speaking to employment trends more generally, Guettabi reviewed data and noted that since the start of the recession, the state lost 1.82 percent of its jobs in 2016 and another 1.25 percent in 2017. This loss is consistent with those of other oil-producing states. “Oil states are the ones that lost a considerable number of jobs” between 2015 and 2017, Guettabi noted. The state also lost jobs in 2018, he said, though final numbers weren’t in. Overall, cumulative wages decreased in Alaska between 2015 and 2017.

For transparency, Guettabi showed attendees graphs of how his forecasts performed historically, noting some discrepancy. He also discussed the Alaska Permanent Fund, which is heavily invested in stocks ($24 million of $61 million invested in stocks).



• Neal Fried, Economist from the Alaska Department of Labor

Fried said his forecast was a little less optimistic than Guettabi’s. However, he similarly expects the recession to end in 2019. Fried emphasized the end of the recession does not mean recovery.

Recovery usually takes four or five years, he said, and Alaska has much ground to gain back.

He felt construction couldn’t fall further. Alaska’s transportation employment record has stayed positive throughout the recession, Fried noted, saying that was sort of “amazing.” Alaska is often showed negatively in the media, eyeing unemployment. He said when considering Alaska’s unemployment rate, the high seasonality of jobs should be considered.

Numbers of uniformed military members in Alaska are stable, Fried said. Also stable (both historically and in forecasts) were mining employment numbers.

Fried spoke about a new press release published Thursday on migration loss in Alaska. Alaska’s population decreased by 1,608 people – 0.2 percent – from July 2017 to July 2018, based on population estimates released by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

This marks the second year of decline for the state’s total population, and has had implications for housing. Vacancy rates have increased as Alaska loses residents. Furthermore, not a lot of housing stock has been added in Alaska, said Fried, and in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, there has been even less.

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