Over the last few years, the City of Burien’s economic development team has worked with our colleagues and regional partners to enhance support for small businesses by attracting visitors to shop in Burien through targeted marketing campaigns, increasing access to business capital and grants, advocating for and securing new investments in public safety programs, and providing technical assistance to access pandemic relief.
While we continue to prioritize retaining and supporting our vibrant local businesses, it’s important that Burien’s economy continues to grow.
The 2022 Burien Community Survey showed that residents value the contributions of businesses, with more than half of residents responding that “attracting businesses of all sizes that provide jobs for local people”, “ensuring the city has enough money to fund current levels of services”, and “programs to encourage and support small businesses” are high or very high priorities for the community.
Businesses are integral to the success of Burien. Not only do they provide jobs, goods, and services to our residents, they are a critical component in enhancing the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. Sales tax revenues fund essential government services, which support the entire community.
Advisory group recommends retail, hotel, and office industries for business attraction
The Burien Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP), an advisory board appointed by the Burien City Council to provide recommendations on policies and programs that support economic development, studied Burien’s current business landscape and recommended the City target retail, hotel, and office industries in business attraction efforts. It was identified that more retail could fill gaps in the current supply of goods and retain customer spending that is leaking out to surrounding cities. The City could leverage its proximity to the airport to attract hotels that would help diversify the economy and attract more visitors to Burien. And office industries could attract more family-wage jobs in the tech or creative economy.
New program helps investors choose Burien
In response to these recommendations, the City developed the “You Belong Here” business and investment attraction program to recruit these industries. These attraction initiatives include working with the BEDP to identify a program tagline, create a business attraction website, and activate digital marketing campaigns targeted to these industries.
This economic development initiative is the first proactive business and investment attraction program of this scope the City has ever completed and will build a foundation for a development and investment pipeline through consistent marketing efforts, a standardized process for responding to investment inquiries, and the development of stronger relationships between the private and public sector.
As the City works with the community to shape our city’s future through long-range planning efforts like the Ambaum and Boulevard Park Community Plans and the Urban Center Plan, we have an opportunity to attract new businesses and development that benefit the community, while identifying and mitigating barriers to investment in the community. Our goal is to encourage a vibrant, diverse, inclusive, and connected community and help businesses, investors, and developers see that they too belong here!