The governor has signed a bill to create an economic gardening program in the state following the launch a year ago of a pilot Tri-City program.
Economic gardening is an approach to economic growth that emphasizes nurturing and cultivating local, second-stage companies, or companies that have outgrown the start-up stage but have not grown to their full potential.
“Once again, we’re doing it first in the Tri-Cities, which I’m so very proud of,” said Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick.
The legislation comes a year after the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce launched the first economic gardening pilot program in the Northwest, thanks to the support from sponsors Battelle and Gesa Credit Union.
Once again we’re doing it first in the Tri-Cities, which I’m so very proud of.
Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick
Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce also launched a statewide program. Regional chamber staff joined Gov. Jay Inslee for the bill signing ceremony in Olympia.
“We are very excited to see such enthusiasm and strong support for economic gardening in Washington following the launch of our Tri-Cities pilot program,” said Lori Mattson, president and CEO of the regional chamber. “Economic gardening is a great tool to complement other economic development strategies in our community and across the state. We have received very positive feedback from the companies participating in our pilot program and have no doubt it will lead to new jobs and economic growth in the Tri-Cities.”
The Tri-City program launched a partnership between the chamber and the Michigan-based Edward Lowe Foundation for free to five area businesses. Two companies have already completed their engagements and the remaining companies will finish later this year, the regional chamber said.