The Department of Commerce partners with local jurisdictions, state regulatory agencies and the business community to create Regulatory Roadmaps, online navigational guides that help improve the business regulatory experience. Businesses benefit from a single source of comprehensive information about requirements at the state and local levels, leading to a more predictable and efficient regulatory process. Businesses have been asking for this type of multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency, “from-the-perspective-of-the-business-owner” approach for a number of years.
The Regulatory Roadmap online business planning tools distill all local, regional and state requirements into easy-to-understand sequential worksheets and checklists for opening a restaurant, gauging feasibility of sites for manufacturing facilities, and soon for contractors.
The Regulatory Roadmap approach is based on four key principles:
- Information and streamlining efforts should be based on looking through the lens of the businesses that are regulated.
- Information should be presented based on what a business is trying to accomplish, and not based on individual permits, licenses or other requirements.
- Regulatory requirements should be communicated as completely and as transparently as possible.
- Because businesses deal with more than one agency, information from all the relevant state and local agencies should be integrated.
Commerce focused initially on the restaurant industry to pilot this approach of helping businesses through the regulatory process. Guided by businesses’ vision of what would provide the most value, we worked with the Seattle restaurant community, the city of Seattle, King County and several state agencies to develop the pilot online roadmap, which launched in Seattle in 2013.
The one-stop sites include easy-to-understand sequential worksheets and checklists for opening a restaurant. Restaurant roadmaps have also been launched in Spokane and Spokane Valley.
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized Commerce’s Regulatory Roadmap initiative as a Top 25 Program in the 2017 Innovations in American Government Awards competition.
Commerce is helping cities across the state present local and state regulatory information in ways businesses can understand and use.
Roadmap for Restaurants
Roadmap for Contractors
Roadmap for Manufacturers
- City of Arlington Regulatory Roadmap – Manufacturing
- City of Marysville Regulatory Roadmap – Manufacturing
- City of Lynnwood Regulatory Roadmap – Manufacturing
- City of Sumner & Pierce County Online Portal
Robb Zerr, Managing Director
Rural, Small Business & Marketing Services
Lynn Fetch, Program Manager