Wednesday, January 16, 2013
While Shoreline and the region are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, things are beginning to look up. Local economists speaking at the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County’s 41st Economic Forecast Conference on January 10 forecasted a better economic outlook for 2013 and 2014. According to them, the region will be moving into a period of modest growth and inflation.
Here in Shoreline we have already seen improvements in a number of different ways. One key sign that the economy is improving for Shoreline residents is that the unemployment rate dropped to 6.2% in November. This is down from a high of 9.7% in 2010 and matches the City’s average over the past ten years. It is also lower than the regional unemployment rate for November of 6.8% and the state unemployment rate of 7.3%.
Another indication of the improving economic health in Shoreline is that permit revenue exceeded projections in 2012 by 85.5%. Increased permit revenue is an indication of people investing in their properties and expanding their businesses.
Assessed values, which is another indication of the economic health of a community, showed a smaller decrease than anticipated. The City projected a 7% decrease in assessed values for Shoreline. However, the final results from King County show that property values will decrease by only 4.91%. While any decrease is bad news, the fact that the decrease was lower than projected points to a slowly improving economic picture for Shoreline.
A priority for the City Council is strengthening Shoreline’s economic base.
“Many families and individuals are still struggling, but it is great to see improvement in economic trends and consumer surveys,” stated Councilmember Will Hall, who also serves on the board of the Economic Development Council. “We are working hard at the local and regional level to implement our economic development strategies, and they are beginning to pay off for our businesses and residents.”
Mayor Keith McGlashan adds,
“The Council is committed to promoting investment in Shoreline and supporting our small businesses. The City is excited that we are going into our fourth year in partnership with the Shoreline Community College to provide the Quick-Start Program for small business owners and managers.”
Quick-Start, which is part of the College’s Small Business Accelerator Program, provides weekly workshops and classes, and one-on-one counseling for Shoreline’s business owners.
“Shoreline is in a great position to see positive growth in the area,” stated Economic Development Manager Dan Eernissee. “The Council has worked hard to create an environment that is attractive for new businesses and that support our existing businesses. The Aurora Square Community Renewal Area is a perfect example of how the Council is working to make Shoreline an attractive place to invest.”
Since incorporation in 1995, the City has maintained strong financial policies that have allowed it to weather the Great Recession without it adversely affecting service delivery. The City continues to provide the quality services our community has come to expect and demand. It also continues to maintain a Standard & Poor’s AA+ bond rating and financial management assessment rating of “strong,” maintain reserve levels to address unanticipated needs and comply with the City’s adopted financial policies. In addition, the City continues to produce clean audits and to be recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association for the Distinguished Budget Award. As the economy improves and revenues pick up, the City will continue to maintain its strong financial policies allowing the City to respond to residents needs and provide quality services.