How economic development fared during the legislative session

How economic development fared during the legislative session Main Photo

9 Jun 2023

Economic Development

Washington’s 2023 legislative session wrapped up in May following a day-long special session to resolve some last-minute legislation not concluded during the regular session, which ended in April. After a flurry of bill signings from the governor’s office to round out May, we now have a complete picture of funding from the state for the next biennium.  

The chief headline for economic development is continued funding for the state’s Associate Development Organizations (ADOs), of which EDASC is one. Funding was maintained at $8.6 million statewide for the biennium. An additional $10 million had been proposed but did not make it out of committee.  

Also extended, through 2054, is the .09 rural county sales tax economic development project fund. This sales tax is returned to Skagit County and has benefited EDASC through funds awarded by the Skagit County Commissioners via the Economic Development Public Facility Project. Funds awarded to EDASC support wages and benefits for staff members. 

Other funding of note passed this session includes: 

  • $9 million for the Statewide Tourism Marketing Authority. State tourism dollars help to support the work being done locally by the Skagit Tourism Bureau. 
  • $7 million to the Small Business Innovation Fund (SBIF). These funds are carryover from pandemic-related federal funds not yet allocated. Dozens of small businesses in Skagit County have already benefited from SBIF grants. 
  • $2 million for Arts Business & Nonprofit grants. These funds are also carryovers from past recovery funding. 
  • $450k in ScaleUp Training. ScaleUp is a curriculum for small businesses offered throughout the state. EDASC regularly promotes ScaleUp trainings to local businesses as they are offered throughout the year. 


Photo by Peter Robbins on Unsplash