Last year, business in the Pacific Northwest was one of opportunity and, at times, uncertainty. We witnessed the implementation and repeal of Seattle’s controversial head tax, marveled at the continued growth of Greater Portland’s start-up and tech communities, and were thrilled by Amazon’s announcement of a new fulfillment center in Spokane. Indeed, 2018 provided many newsworthy moments. But no matter what stories dominated the news, one thing remained clear: Business leaders and their employees continue to have a positive outlook on the future of business and industry in the region.
In our second annual Business in the Northwest report, the Washington State University Carson College of Business sheds light on the growing confidence among the business community in the region, specifically focusing on three key areas:
- Opportunity: The prospect of growth and general optimism felt by the business community
- Community: The mutually beneficial relationships companies have with the cities, towns and people they serve
- Capability: The workforce and skills essential to turning the Northwest’s opportunities into reality
These key areas not only help drive economic growth, but also help shape the lifestyle and ethos of the Northwest community. As a community, we are innovators, philanthropists, and hard workers. We care about our neighbors, and we know that the success of one depends on the success of all.
This year, we extended the survey to include employees—the heartbeat of the Northwest economy. While employees and business leaders disagree on some business and workforce issues, there were areas of clear alignment—both groups want the Northwest to be a great place for families, and they want to drive growth and help local communities. In addition, concerns over issues such as traffic congestion, automation, and the talent pipeline are on the minds of both business leaders and their employees.
I’ve never been more excited for the Northwest’s growth potential and the opportunity we have to bring prosperity to people across our region. My hope is that the data from this year’s report can help drive impactful conversations among business leaders, employees, local governments, higher education, and community leaders to address some of these issues and propel us forward as a business community.
Chip Hunter, Dean
The prospect of growth and general optimism felt by the business community
The mutually beneficial relationships companies have with the cities, towns and people they serve
The workforce and skills essential to turning the Northwest’s opportunities into reality
Q2: (Business Leaders) Please indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements.
Q13a: Does your company follow or have a CSR (corporate social responsibility) program? A CSR program takes initiatives to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on environmental and social well-being. The term generally applies to efforts that go beyond what may be required by regulators or environmental protection groups.