EDB Excellent 10 and Golden Shovel Award Winners Announced
The Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board took a step toward a post-pandemic world this week with its annual meeting held online on November 17.
“Our mission is to create well-paying jobs in Pierce County. And it hasn’t stopped because of the pandemic, ”Chairman of the Board Herb Simon said during the Zoom presentation.
President and CEO Bruce Kendall told the virtual audience that among EDB’s work over the past year, “we have pivoted to manage the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants Program with the Washington State. We have partnered with the Tacoma County Pierce Chamber to host exactly 100 Business Information Series webinars, with those webinars attracting a large audience of over 100 people on average each time.
The group’s 10 Excellent Award winners this year reflected a theme of recovery in the event of a COVID pandemic. The awards are a summary of notable economic projects from the past year that have helped boost Pierce County.
2021 Excellent 10 laureates and comments from EDB on the selections:
▪ Marriott Tacoma Downtown Hotel: “The development of this project allows the Greater Tacoma Convention Center to host larger conventions that will translate into opportunities to generate greater economic benefits to support and sustain businesses across our region.
▪ Supporting Nonprofit Ecosystem Businesses During COVID – Chambers, Tacoma Urban League, Korean Women’s Association, Asia-Pacific Cultural Center, The Black Collective, Centro Latino: The entities “have provided financial and technical assistance to thousands of businesses. Many of these businesses are family businesses and form the backbone of their communities. “
▪ Pierce County, Town of Tacoma, Town of Lakewood, Port of Tacoma and all other towns that provided financial, technical and PPE assistance to businesses and workers during Covid: “Just a few examples: Pierce County has provided $ 46.5 million in funding for small businesses, including rent and mortgage assistance, operating loans and grants, COVID compliance grants, protective gear individual, direct purchase of local agricultural products to distribute in food deserts and student finances. aid. In addition, Restaurant Rally has supported hundreds of restaurants.
▪ Pierce Transit COVID Response: “Pierce Transit has pivoted by converting buses into Wi-Fi hotspots, moved to online awareness and open houses, formed a new volunteer partnership with the Food Repack project of Emergency Food Network and Mother Earth Farm, and never skipped a day of service.
▪ Resilience of retail businesses and restaurants during COVID: “2020 was a year that most would probably like to forget, however, it was a year that showcased the resilience of the industry.”
▪ Tacoma Public Utilities and PSE COVID Relief: “So far, between the two utilities, over $ 100 million has been provided to low-income households and mom and pop businesses.”
▪ Tacoma-Pierce Technology Success Stories: “A collaboration between EDB, Startup253 and s2s Public Relations, the Tech Success Stories highlight the growth of the tech industry in Tacoma and Pierce County … The series consists of 12 stories and will run until ‘in December 2021. “
▪ Traffic Ave / State Route 410 interchange: “Completed in November 2020, the upgrades increased the capacity of motorized access to and through State Route 410 and completed a missing link in the non-motorized system in eastern Pierce County. “
▪ The new Milgard Hall at UW Tacoma: “Scheduled to open in January 2023, Milgard Hall will be a hotbed of innovation, where business and technology meet. … The building will house elements of the Milgard School of Business, laboratory spaces to support the School of Engineering and Technology, an expanded space for the Global Innovation and Design Lab, a teaching space on high impact practices and general classrooms.
▪ Washington State’s Fair Success During COVID: “The fair paved the way for the state to reopen, as Washington’s biggest event and one of the first major events since the start of the pandemic.”
Its most prestigious award, the Golden Shovel Award, went to South Sound healthcare workers. Mary Ragsdale of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and Jim Beatty of MultiCare accepted the award.
Among the speakers at the annual meeting was Rachel Askew, head coach of NEXT, a South Sound corporate culture consultancy.
“Our organization is the next step when you know better and are ready to do better,” she said. “And so we think that breaking down the barriers and starting to change some of those systems that have historically and currently left our marginalized people who are removed from power. That’s what fairness means. That’s what equity does.
Askew is also Deputy Director of the new Pierce County Business Accelerator, created to stimulate local entrepreneurs and small business owners with a focus on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) businesses, veterans and women. active cohorts in training now with the expansion of the PCBA in Lakewood, connecting participants with mentors.
The keynote address was given by author and urban studies theorist Richard Florida, who spoke about the possible future of Tacoma in a world where urban office centers could become a thing of the past in light of change. fueled by the pandemic.
“Remote work strengthens the talents of the creative class and gives them a lot more choice in how to organize their lives,” he said. “And there is no going back to the old ways of living and working. The crisis is therefore an accelerator. He is not a disruptor. It is a period of acceleration of change, but it is an acceleration of trends already underway, before the pandemic. “
This story was originally published 19 November 2021 13:26.