Bellevue is widely recognized as a high-quality place to live and work and continues to attract highly educated individuals and high-wage jobs.
The Economic Development Plan guides the city's continued efforts to strengthen and diversify the Bellevue economy for the good of existing and future residents and businesses. The previous plan was adopted in 2014.
Plan Update Process
In July 2019, Council approved eight objectives for the Economic Development Plan Update:
- Identify ways to support the creative economy
- Explore new opportunities to support small business
- Support more robust retail activity
- Identify best practices for integrating new businesses into the community
- Support capacity building for community groups
- Integrate key recommendations from the Tourism Plan
- Support local workforce development options and programs
- Make the Plan easier to update
The plan update process included a review of previous studies and documents, an analysis of Bellevue's current economic position, and extensive stakeholder outreach. These combined inputs help to inform the content of the updated plan.
The Economic Development Plan was adopted by City Council on November 2, 2020.
The full draft Economic Development Plan was presented to Council and staff heard council feedback for areas of refinement.
Staff re-engaged with the Economic Development planning process after the initial wake of COVID-19 impacts. Staff and the consultant examined global best practices, re-evaluated and affirmed the strategies of the plans and refined the tactics to be responsive in the wake of COVID-19. Council was presented the strategies and tactics to be include in the plan.
Council heard an update from staff on the plan process and were presented the direct strategy recommendations for the plan update in six new focus areas that include: Capacity Building & Partnerships, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Workforce, Retail, Creative Economy and Tourism
Stakeholder outreach continued with additional focus groups and one-on-one interviews. The Council heard a report on the data findings that will help inform the strategies of the plan update.
The council heard an update from staff on plan development. Additionally, the consulting team from Avalanche began one-on-one interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders in the economic development, business and creative communities.
The Community Development Department contracted with Avalanche Consulting, a nationally-recognized economic development consultant, to provide data and strategy analysis to Economic Development staff. The Avalanche team quickly began work on initial data analysis.
City staff presented its proposed work plan to the council, including a project timeline and a general stakeholder overview. The council directed staff to move forward.
- Economic Development Plan (2014)
- Economic Development - Bellevue Comprehensive Plan (2015)
- Creative Edge Report (2018)
- Creative Edge Strategy (2018)
- Startup 425 Report (2018)