New tools make it easier to open a restaurant in Spokane and Spokane Valley

Online guides compile state and local regulations in one location

SPOKANE, WA – State Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender, Spokane Mayor David Condon and Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins joined local restauranteurs, economic development officials and other partners to launch a new regional initiative to provide better service and support for prospective restauranteurs.

Washington restaurants employ more than 215,000 people statewide with 15,000 jobs in Spokane County. State and local leaders agree that supporting a thriving restaurant industry will provide needed job and career opportunities and make our cities better places to live and visit.

“The Spokane and Spokane Valley online guides are an important step in Governor Inslee’s ongoing efforts to improve the regulatory environment for startups and existing businesses across the state,” said Commerce Director Bonlender. “Our partnership with the cities and the restaurant industry makes it easier for local restauranteurs to navigate local and state permitting and licensing requirements so they can focus more on what they do best: serve good food and create jobs. And that’s good for business.”

Regulatory Roadmap/Restaurant is a partnership between the state, cities, counties and the restaurant industry. The statewide initiative was developed in collaboration with more than 16 agencies and organizations. The Spokane and Spokane Valley efforts feature two comprehensive, one-stop online guides with city, county, and state permitting and licensing information – including a roadmap to help restauranteurs more easily navigate the process.

“Small businesses are vital to our local economy, and we are making strategic capital investments to jump-start private investment and creating greater certainty for job creators,” said Spokane Mayor David Condon. “This is the next in a series of customer-service enhancements that have made more resources available when it’s most convenient to those who want to invest in our city.”

“With the introduction of the Regulatory Roadmap, we present a whole new approach to meeting the needs of businesses, with a strong commitment to make it work,” said Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins. “By making it easier for new restaurants to do business in Spokane Valley, we can expand our dining opportunities, bring new jobs, attract new visitors and make Spokane Valley an even more appealing place to live, work, raise a family and, of course, run a business.”

“One great way to move people upward is to have a great small business climate. This initiative provides a single online resource to help local restauranteurs navigate the regulatory steps,” said Carla Barajas of Washington Restaurant Association-Spokane. “Restaurants are difficult to open and run, they have tight margins and are often among the first to feel the impact of shifts in the economy. We are thrilled that the major cities in our region are working with the state to help restaurants survive.”

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Media Contacts:

Brian Coddington, Spokane Communications, 509-625-6740
Carolbelle Branch, Spokane Valley Communications, 509-720-5411
Penny Thomas, Department of Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106
City of Spokane – Get Started! at
City of Spokane Valley –
Washington State Department of Commerce –
Regulatory Roadmap at
Washington Restaurant Association (WRA) –


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