At the City Council extended study session on Oct. 8, the council received a presentation on the third quarter performance of the Cultural and Economic Vitality Office.
Presented by Economic Development Manager Jessie Canedo the update covered business-related work completed by the Cultural and Economic Vitality Office (CEVO), a division of the community development department, created to work with businesses to develop relationships with the city and to improve cultural vitality.
Some of CEVO’s work in the third quarter included bringing business from outside of the region into Bellevue. Canedo said CEVO has 22 new leads and four new prospects for businesses potentially moving to the city.
“Our work helped to support the retention or creation of 7,000 jobs in the city, which is a significant number of jobs in an economy of our size,” he said.
Canedo also described the work the group has done with small businesses around the city, such as helping them work with the city’s IT department to get improved internet speeds. Making sure businesses in the city have access to infrastructure and services they need is part of the group’s goal.
An update on the the work completed by the Innovation Triangle was included in the presentation as well. The Innovation Triangle is a partnership between the cities of Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland to build a regional business community focused on innovative technology companies.
According to Canedo, the concentration of talent here is unmatched by any of the peer cities or regions except Silicon Valley.
“That puts us in a very good position as we continue to try and recruit new companies and support the development of new companies here on the Eastside,” he said. “Over the course of 2018, the Innovation Triangle was able to complete a wide body of work including updating our business attraction and retention collateral materials, improving the way we market the region, updating our website, and creating a relocation guide, to help individuals and companies that are looking to move to Bellevue from around the world.”
Canedo also covered Startup 425, a program to support entrepreneurs and first-time business owners in Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Kirkland and Issaquah. The program has grown significantly, and they plan to run 52 programs over the next year to help educate and provide resources for business owners.
Looking to the future, CEVO plans to continue to enhance Innovation Triangle and Startup 425 programs and work with Visit Bellevue to implement a Destination Development Plan.
The full video archive of the meeting and presentation is available on the city website at bellevuewa.gov.