Business

So you’re not Amazon. Tacoma wants you here anyway

There’s a new website touting the charms of Tacoma, the City of Destiny.
There’s a new website touting the charms of Tacoma, the City of Destiny. News Tribune file photo

A month after Tacoma and Pierce County, and hundreds of other cities, applied to lure Amazon’s second headquarters here, the city and its boosters have set their sights on smaller companies that might be looking for a South Sound home.

They’ve launched a new website they hope will help. MakeItTacoma.com touts the city’s assets, from incentives to amenities to available properties.

The website will allow businesses to do deep research into Tacoma’s workforce, educational opportunities and what it’s like to live here.

“Before (companies) make that phone call, they check on the city or county, first via a web search,” said Elly Walkowiak, assistant director for the city’s Economic Development Department. “If your web presence is not robust, then there’s a possibility you’ll never even know they were looking at you.”

The website is mobile friendly and includes a detailed page on economic incentives businesses can qualify for by relocating or expanding here. The city of Tacoma paid $48,000 for the website.

“Tacoma is extremely well-positioned for growth,” Mayor Marilyn Strickland said in a news release. “Economic development activity and private investment are at an all-time high with several new projects on the horizon.”

Once a company shortlists a city, Walkowiak said they typically contact the city or county for more information.

“The website can help with that detail,” she said. “It’s a way to welcome them and help them get to the next level.”

The website touts Point Defiance Park’s 700 acres of nature trails and beaches, Tacoma’s “eclectic mix of museums, boutiques and fine dining,” and has a robust search engine for available real estate.

Seems like a good idea for the city to think smaller, especially since a top Amazon executive said the company is seeking geographic diversity for its second headquarters.

“Not everybody wants to live in the Northwest,” Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke said in October.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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