Growing the Economy

Creating a prosperous, sustainable economy goes hand in hand with building world-class communities. One cannot exist without the other. As the state’s economic development agency, the Washington State Department of Commerce focuses on strengthening our key industries, expanding international trade, helping small businesses grow, providing training to a new generation of workers, providing access to funding, and supporting the work of our local economic development partners in all 39 Washington counties.

information and communication technology computer with graphics on it

Our key sector strategy focuses on targeted industries that can spur rapid growth, including aerospace, agriculture and food manufacturing, clean technology, information and communication technology, life science/global health, maritime, forest products, and military and defense.

Employees meet in a large board room as the sun sets through the glassed wall

A key component of our economic development strategy is helping companies worldwide realize the potential of doing business in Washington State. Our business development team works closely with decision makers to help businesses choose Washington for planned expansions and relocations.

Business meeting being held in skyscraper

Small businesses drive our state’s economy. To help them succeed, the Department of Commerce offers a range of programs designed to meet the specific needs of small businesses in the state, from education and technical assistance to disaster preparedness and recovery tools.

Business loans for Washington State businesses

Designed to provide critical funding to businesses that may not be able to access traditional streams of capital, the Washington State Department of Commerce has designed innovative programs to fuel expansion and growth.

Solar Installation

Commerce offers weatherization programs for businesses, grants to make public buildings more energy efficient and funding strategies for groundbreaking clean technology research and development to balance the state’s energy profile and reduce its carbon footprint

Handshake to demonstrate economic partnership

The Department of Commerce works closely with its economic development partners throughout Washington, including 34 associate development organizations. These partners provide a critical connection between local, county, region and state economic development strategies and are critical to building communities and growing the economy.

Craftsman working on custom guitar and Startup Washington logo and link

Startup Washington’s website offers technical assistance and resources for entrepreneurs and startups. The program also coordinates the state’s Global Entrepreneurship Week events, as well as oversees the state’s economic gardening program and rural economic development strategy.