About Seattle


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.

"Seattle connects Alaska to the world"

By: Maggie Wilson Posted: 02/08/2019

Experts discuss the cruise industry's positive economic impacts on Seattle and Alaska


(Photo: Wikimedia Commons, author Sunnya343, in Ketchikan, Alaska)

Over breakfast Thursday morning at the Chamber’s February Alaska Business Forum, business and community leaders discussed the growing cruise industry, infrastructure needs, and opportunities for innovation.

Charlie Ball, Executive Vice President of Land Operations and Customer Service for the cruise line Holland America Group, was our first speaker. He walked attendees through Holland America Group’s background, why they chose to be Northwest-based, and the scope of their work.

“Alaska is a networked destination,” Ball said. The Holland America Group, originally founded in 1873 as a Dutch shipping line carrying both freight and passengers, is headquartered here in Seattle and, Ball said, proud to be based in the Pacific Northwest.

Ball talked about how the presence of the cruise industry drives meaningful economic impact in every community it touches, including through supporting local jobs you may not think about, like florists. He highlighted the importance of having flowers, local eggs, locally produced milk, and locally grown produce on cruise ships. The company is gearing up to hire seasonal employees in Alaska, a state known for its high economic seasonality.

Then the group heard from Stephen Metruck, executive director of the Port of Seattle, who discussed infrastructure needs, the cruise industry's impact across Washington state, and the Port of Seattle's connection with Alaska.

“Seattle connects Alaska to the world,” Metruck said.

He noted that continued infrastructure investment is critical to stay competitive. An example he shared was that container ships are getting larger, which requires adaptation. Cruise ships are also growing in size, and industry leaders are working toward higher sustainability and a cleaner environmental footprint.

Metruck also shared how personal and significant cruises are to people. With his own family, he celebrated his tenure with the Coast Guard by taking a Holland America cruise to Alaska.

Our final speaker was Carl Uchytil, Port Director for the City and Borough of Juneau. Uchytil shared insights around the redevelopment of Juneau’s waterfront and how to best engage residents with increased tourism.

“We are all about the visitor experience,” Uchytil said. Juneau does have mines in town, but tourism is the brightest contributor to its economy, he said.  

Uchytil noted how unique Juneau is: it’s off the road system, they own a ski resort, a hospital, a gold mine, and an airport.

In the last decade, there has been a 50 percent growth in Juneau cruise passengers. One challenge has been getting the community on board to invest in tourism.

Uchytil showed photographs of Juneau’s waterfront redevelopment. Parking lots were reorganized and cruise ship berth capacity was expanded.

He also highlighted a success in community reception. Many residents were concerned the Juneau waterfront changes would be an eyesore. But when they visited after construction, there was joy that the quality of their own lives had improved with the new Seawalk. Through Juneau's waterfront development, Uchytil learned, "If you build it for the tourists, the locals will hate it. If you build it for the locals, the tourists will love it."

Alas1(Photo: James Nguyen, Seattle Metro Chamber)

About this event series: The Alaska Business Forum helps build relationships in the business community and provides information on issues of concern to the Alaskan and Puget Sound regions. The monthly events offer insights on a variety of industries, including maritime, seafood, and technology.

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