Tacoma ground level & 30,000 level

There’s a lot to like about Tacoma. It’s a good place to live, a good place to do business…

By Morf Morford

Tacoma Daily Index

There’s a lot to like about Tacoma.

It’s a good place to live, a good place to play, a good place to raise a family, and yes, a good place to do business. Or start one.

As many of us, even those born and raised here, know, there are many corners and opportunities not always recognized.

Tacoma, as most of us know, has been in the shadow of a larger city, one much more recognizable (especially the past several months) on the national, if not international, landscape.

Some of us resent that fact, others either like it or have learned to roll it.

No, we are not that other city. Do we aspire to be? We have at times.

But I don’t think this is one of those times.

Some say Tacoma is coming out of its shell, others say that Tacoma (and Pierce County) are just being “discovered.”

Yes, I mean “discovered” in the Columbus sense; we’ve been here all along,

But, like an artist or a writer, being skilled or even a master of your craft means little without recognition.

For better or worse, the Greater Tacoma area is being recognized.

And our home prices prove it.

But other things prove it too.

As is all too obvious, we have been living in something like an economic and cultural vacuum for the past several months.

We, like everyone else, have seen a dramatic drop in the number of jobs being “created.”

I put “created” in quotes because it is not financial well-being or even stability that brings jobs, it is need.

Like that around the world, our economy is shifting. The goods and services that were in high demand may not be – for now and for the foreseeable future.

Some things barely considered a year or so ago are suddenly urgent, and some items or services taken for granted for our whole lives, are suddenly (or temporarily) of inconceivable value – remember the toilet paper scramble just a few months ago? Who could have foreseen, or planned for that?

In fact who could have foreseen or planned almost anything in 2020?

There’s an old saying that the best plan is the plan you have for when your plan doesn’t go as planned.

I have a news tip for you – few things ever go as planned.

Factor in multiple years, changes in personnel, shifts in the market or interest rates and the pesky pandemic few other than epidemiologists saw coming and you have a recipe for financial difficulty if not disaster.

But these are choppy waters, not impassible.

And rough water only proves the worthiness of your craft.

A few seasoned guides can also be a huge help.

And they just might save your vision, if not your hide.

I’m sure you know the proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. That’s certainly true, but what is also true is that it takes a village to make a village.

Every economy, every community, needs thousands of sets of hands, thousands of skills sets and passions, some intersecting, some complementary and some directly contradictory.

What they all have in common is that they are essential.

Until they aren’t.

But even if no longer needed, they have left their mark.

Streets, businesses and buildings are being built. Some are built and finished, some are built and continue, or even increase.

Whole lotta (movin’ and) shakin’ goin’ on

If you are new to Tacoma, or even if you aren’t, a phenomenal resource is the South Sound Summit.

Under normal circumstances, or even the ultimate not-so-normal circumstances (as in 2020) the South Sound Summit features hard-earned experience from the granular, ear-to-the-ground level to the 30,000-foot overview.

You can hear, or even meet, everyone from entrepreneurs to vendors to local political representatives.

The South Sound Summit usually meets in the Tacoma Convention Center, but thanks to COVID-19, has been online this year.

Among other things, you can hear what people have done, attempted to do and dream of doing.

You just might find the missing piece of your puzzle, or make that connection or even catch a spark of inspiration that will make the ultimate difference.

In most cities, the term for those who make things happen is “movers and shakers.”

If you want to encounter the “movers and shakers” of the greater Tacoma area, this summit is for you.

If you aren’t already, this meeting will get you “movin’ and shakin’” with those who have either been at it for a while or have a vision of where we need to get going.

For those who have been here for a while, the days of Tacoma being a sleepy town are long gone.

Yes, the national, if not global economy is taking a hit right now, but under the surface, and sometimes erupting out, things are happening here.

We have had a long fallow period, and we know how to slog through difficult times.

Each year about 400 people come to the South Sound Summit, some to speak, some to network and some to just take it in. https://www.southsoundsummit.com/

In Tacoma we know there are no “good old days” to go back to. We are not stuck in the past, we are not even stuck in the present. We are making the future.