Emerging trends for local business

February 15th, 2012 by Ken

There are several emerging trends that will impact local business both negatively and positively, according to Renee Sunde, marketing and development director of the Economic Development Council. Sunde made her remarks at the regular Wednesday meeting of the Gateway Rotary Club.

The first trend is Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM). Not only is it one of the largest military bases in the country, but it is the Third largest employer in Washington State. It was JBLM’s economic impact that helped Thurston County weather the current recession, according to Sunde.

“We’re still a government town,” she said. “What happens in state government impacts us.” Sunde said that while state government has experienced some reductions in employment, more is on the way.

Our location, on Interstate Five, midway between Seattle and Portland is a positive for future growth. We are also a regional hub for medical services and education. With The Evergreen State College, St. Martin’s University and South Puget Sound Community College, Thurston County draws students from all around the area.

With the state capitol as a draw, we are also on the map for tourism, Sunde said. A new tourism director is a major plus in that effort.

A negative is our lack of land for future development. The potential listing of the Pocket Gopher as a threatened species, could take even more land out of use.

And finally, she pointed to regional cooperation among the various jurisdictions as a positive reason for locating in Thurston County.

Sunde will be my guest on the February 28 edition of Decision Makers Tuesday at Two on KGY radio 1240 AM.

Posted in Business, Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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