Tacoma’s New Year’s Assessment for Business

“At the close of 1999, the Index asked Tacoma-based photographer and Internet entrepreneur Scott Bourne for a brief assessment of the local business climate, its strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of his responses:Tacoma’s strong points for business:- Cheap office space- Great local hockey team- Less traffic congestion than Seattle- Proximity to the mountains, ocean and other natural attractions- Close to the major metropolitan area of Seattle without the accompanying headaches- Proximity to high-tech companies in Seattle- Good digital bandwidth- An active Chamber of Commerce- An interest in small businessTacoma is best suited for:- Small business- High-tech firms- Medical firms- Aerospace firms- Light manufacturingTacoma still needs to work on:- Parking- Getting over its complex about outdoing Seattle- Parking- Lack of downtown residential space and retail- General transportation issues- Parking- Getting creative new thinking in city leadership that will not be stuck in the past- Parking- Lack of its own identity- Lack of a local TV or radio station- ParkingAsked what Tacoma must continue to work on for business development to succeed, Bourne replied that Tacoma has responded to small businesses better than any city he has ever worked in. But, he added, it both suffers and benefits from its small town attitude. The city thinks bigger than most but not quite big enough to attract the really big players.Bourne is an internationally known and respected award-winning photographer, as well as Internet entrepreneur. In 1997, he was named one of the 100 most influential people on the World Wide Web by Websight Magazine. His studio is located in the Old City Hall building.”