Economic Development

Home > Economic Development

About the Economic Development Department

The Economic Development Department believes our community is better when businesses here thrive, and companies will stay when they are successful and know they are supported. More businesses will choose Pierce County as they learn what a great place it is.  A strong business community leads to job retention and job creation – our ultimate goal.  We deliver programs and services to support our local businesses and enhance the operating environment for them. 
  • Mission: The Pierce County Economic Development Department supports a business environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive - a foundation that improves the quality of life for all who live and work here. Our daily work advances entrepreneurship, job creation, workforce readiness, tourism and the arts.
  • Vision: A resilient and thriving community where businesses and residents prosper in an inclusive economy.
Learn more about:

COVID-19 Response: 2021 - 2025 Economic Stabilization and Recovery Programs

Pierce County Business Accelerator Program
In response to the pandemic and the adverse impacts on underserved communities in Pierce County, $12.5 million in ARPA funding was allocated to launch the Pierce County Business Accelerator (PCBA) program. The goal of the program is to foster innovation and create wealth-building opportunities in Pierce County.
The PCBA has provided business training to 339 business owners (91% are minority owned; 70% are women owned; 11% are veteran owned). Upon graduation, participants are equipped to raise external funding, connected to the PCBA network, financially resourced, professionally coached, and empowered to accelerate their business. As of the end of 2023, graduates have raised over $6M in capital, received over $1.3M in professional business services grants, over $700,000 in commercial lease reimbursements, and over 1,000 hours of business coaching.

Pierce County Community Navigator Program
The Pierce County Community Navigator program was launched in the Fall 2021 using $2.5 million of ARPA funding. This diverse, inclusive “hub” and “spoke” model connects the cultural knowledge of community organizations to small businesses in Pierce County. Funding allows these organizations to hire business outreach specialists. This model utilizes non-traditional methods of reaching marginalized business communities in Pierce County to provide access to resources.
Pierce County Community Navigator Program outreach specialists report into the Pierce County Economic Development Department. With work continuing into 2024 and 2025, the goal is to reach 3,500 underserved small businesses through the program, particularly those owned by BIPOC, women, veterans, and people in rural communities.

COVID-19 Response: 2020 Economic Stabilization & Recovery Programs

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented economic challenges for our business community. In response, Pierce County created numerous business stabilization and recovery programs. The programs would ultimately distribute $46.5 million in business aid funded by the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These programs provided vital supplies and funding to businesses allowing them to continue to operate or re-open.

Core Programming

Jobs and Entrepreneurship
Skilled Workforce
Accountability for Results

Contact: Rob Allen
Senior Economic Development Specialist, Economic Development Department
(253) 798-6915