An interior shot of a meeting room in Tacoma

Annual Reports

Read more about our goals and accomplishments by downloading our annual reports.
  • Primary Businesses
  • 2015–2019
  • Trends in 2020
Primary Businesses
Primary Businesses

Primary Businesses: Building Blocks of High-Wage Job Creation

Primary businesses export a product or service out of Tacoma-Pierce County and import new dollars into the local economy, thereby “growing the wealth pie.” That wealth energizes the local community through employee wages and purchases from suppliers who employ additional people.

Primary businesses typically pay higher wages than other businesses because higher-value goods and services are produced and sold. In short, primary businesses are the fundamental building blocks of high-wage job creation.

The competition is fierce. Every retention and expansion case for Tacoma-Pierce County is a potential recruitment case for another region. Tacoma-Pierce County faces regional, national and global competition to keep its existing firms, as well as recruit new firms to our market.


Five Years of EDB Successes: 2015–2019

Because most deals take well over a year to conclude, the EDB measures its results in five-year increments. The EDB’s $140:1 return on its investors’ dollars from 2015-2019 is indicative of the strength of its recruitment and retention programs. All told, Tacoma-Pierce County saw more than 4,300 jobs recruited and retained, more than $472,000,000 in private capital investment and more than $327,000,000 generated in wages and salaries between 2015–2019.

Trends in 2020
Trends in 2020

Global Interest, Certainty and Talent Among Top Trends in 2020

The EDB’s most recent 2020 annual report delves into the success of business recruitment and retainment efforts in Tacoma-Pierce County. What were some of the leading trends from 2020?

  • U.S. Expansion: In 2020, the EDB generated and attracted leads prominently from U.S based businesses. After COVID-19 hit and the reality of the supply chain struggles set in, U.S. based companies explored expansion plans across the United States. 63% of the known inquiries were generated from domestic businesses, while the remaining 37% were from Canada, Japan, and China.
  • Manufacturing Mayhem: 70% of all the new projects in 2020 were manufacturers looking for a new site to produce goods. Sustainability and green energy became increasingly important selection factor in nearly all industries as companies strive to reduce their carbon footprint. Access to green energy and the abundance of water make Pierce County an attractive place for manufacturers to do business. Combine our resources with proximity to the Port of Tacoma, talented workforce, and Pierce County’s quality-of-life and our region is a solid choice to do business.
  • Pivot, Pivot, Pivot: COVID-19 brought unprecedented challenges for companies looking to expand and explore potential sites. As air travel, and international travel came to a halt the EDB pivoted and conducted virtual site tours. Our partners at Pierce County, Tacoma Public Utilities, Puget Sound Energy, and Tacoma Rail pulled together and pivoted to put our best foot forward.


Searching for more information on how to engage with the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County? Our team can provide you with the information you need.

Deborah Kelly Director of Operations [email protected] (253) 284-5884 Get In Touch

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