About Seattle


Seattle is...

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 4.2 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 Resources 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 2,600 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 Resources page to find resources to help you 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.

Showcasing small business success

By: Maggie Wilson Posted: 05/24/2019

Our Elevate NW Conference inspired and connected small businesses


Our 2019 Elevate NW conference was held in bright sunshine at Seattle Center at the end of April. Attendees followed green and black balloons to the Fisher Pavilion, where our CEO and president Marilyn Strickland opened the conference.

Marilyn shared her joy in bringing a Seattle Metro Chamber event that recognizes the critical role each attendee, as representatives of small and mid-sized businesses, play in creating a competitive regional economy.

She introduced keynote Brian Canlis, owner of Seattle’s Canlis restaurant, who spoke about how he and his family his family's restaurant’s history, his individual journey. 

“Our mission is to inspire all people to turn toward each other,” Brian said of Canlis. He projected photos of his family and their restaurant over the years. In the restaurant business, Brian said a challenge is that when you are 20 or 30 years old, you become about a nostalgic experience – a tribute to what you once were.

We are doing something different, he said – evolving and working to stay relevant.

There were two key pieces of advice Brian shared about keeping a business successful:

  1. Make your vision and mission matter
  2. Differentiate between rules and strategies

Brian shared his family's story that started with Nicholas Kanlis in Greece, touched California and Hawaii, and eventually brought them to Seattle to develop beloved Canlis restaurant. After Brian’s inspirational keynote, attendees moved into Seattle Center to choose from three professional development sessions.


PEOPLE: We learned strategies that business leaders can use to improve morale, employee engagement, retention, communication and productivity from our Creating a People-Centric Workplace panel, moderated by organizational development consultant with Archbright, Tina Janni.

Brook Nelson, project manager of global workplace strategies with OAC Services, defined a people-centric workplace as “believing in the unlimited potential of people” — and leadership recognizing that “people really are your most important asset.” Friction is often caused by lack of communication and lack of personal context, Brook observed. That friction can be reduced by team building – creating that context.

Importantly, Kim Sullivan, Vice President and Chief People Officer with Kaiser Permanente, highlighted the large amount of time we spend at work. How people feel there is important, said Kim. And when you invest in maintaining a healthy workforce, all aspects of your work benefit. Kim also encouraged using tools to solicit employee feedback – and then acting on feedback.

How do you keep people a priority? Stacy Klimek, Vice President of People at Payscale, said her company makes sure they are very intentional about where they are going. “And we look at HR departments as strategists,” she said. “We are always asking, ‘How does this impact the employee?’”


GROWTH: How can a business map a growth strategy, take calculated risks, recover from stumbles, track success and continue to grow? A panel, moderated by the Chamber's director of business expansion and retention,  Ashton Allison, answered these questions at our Smart Business Growth session.

Leverage technology to help you grow, Nikcole Sanner, Senior Vice President and Managing Director U.S., with SAP Concur, advised. Knowledge and data are so important to help make decisions quickly, she added.

Panelist Sue Sanford, CMO of Upstart Group, said that if you stumble, you should make a plan for recovery – and set specific goals so that you know when you are recovering.

One more important piece of the puzzle? The people you work with. Beto Yarce, executive director of Ventures, pointed out that investing in your team is essential. He urged attendees, "Think about what the culture is that you want to represent with your company." Panelist Monica Dimas, chef and owner of Milkwood & Co., advised getting different perspectives from a diverse crew who believe in you and who you believe in.


FINANCING: In the Financing 101 session, a panel discussed the most appropriate and helpful financing options available to small businesses at various stages, and how to navigate them.

Panelists agreed that it’s never too early to start the conversation around financing. Columbia Bank VP Kerin Patel noted that having that conversation, whether it is with a lender or prospective investors, gets you in the mindset of telling a compelling story about who you are and where you are going.

"Speed equals cost," pointed out Cathy Griffith, Lender Relations Specialist with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Another benefit of thinking early and often about financing is that by taking time to prepare yourself, you can better navigate the financing options out there - and are less likely to get rushed into making a decision that could have very high trade-offs. A good lender will help you think through options, even if they’re not the right fit, she noted.

Panelist Sunil Nair, SVP and chief credit officer with Business Impact NW, said that if you are weighing financing for your business, you should look at the complete picture, including equity and debt. You know you’re ready when you’ve raised around 10-20 percent equity.

The financing panel, moderated by assistant director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at Seattle University, Amelia Marckworth, also shared some of their favorite free and low-cost resources:



Looking for more programs tailored to small businesses? Join us at our Elevate NW series, a free quarterly workshop designed specifically to help startups and small to mid-size businesses with different challenges they face. 

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