aerial shot of Lakewood with Mount Rainier in the background

Economic Development

Lakewood has great infrastructure, highway access, simple permitting, available industrial properties, and development incentives. Lakewood is also a wholesome place to live with great schools and vibrant culture. Lakewood is a great place for big businesses, small businesses, and workers.

Becky Newton
Economic Development Manager
6000 Main St. SW, 3rd Floor
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 983-7738

Email: BNewton
To email Becky Newton add her email handle before

Phones & Email:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Permit and Service Counter
Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Lakewood Business Survey

The Lakewood Department of Economic Development is looking for feedback from local businesses. Your feedback will help us determine what kinds of business resources are needed in Lakewood.

Click here to take the survey – Let us know how you feel about doing business in Lakewood!


The Q3 2022 Lakewood Permit Report has been posted

The Lakewood Permit Report was recently updated for Q3 2022. New commercial and industrial projects continue as well as tenant improvements and new housing development projects.

October 13th 2022 – The Community and Economic Development Report presentation to the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce has been posted.

On October 13th 2022, Lakewood Economic Development Manager, Becky Newton, shared Lakewood’s 2021-2022 Community and Economic Development Report with the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. The presentation materials have been added to the Economic Reports section of this page.

The 2022 Lakewood Fact Sheet has been posted

The Community & Economic Development (CED) Department creates a yearly fact sheet for people to use as a quick reference guide to Lakewood. The fact sheet includes general demographic, economic, and community resource data.

The Q2 2022 Economic Indicators Report has been posted

The Economic Indicators report is a general view of the economic conditions in Lakewood. The report includes general business, employment, tax, housing, and community data.

The 2021-2022 Community and Economic Development (CED) Department Report has been posted

The Community & Economic Development (CED) Department report examines our work in relation to the City Council’s adopted goals, objectives, and strategies over a 2 ½ year period from 2020 through July 2022.

The 2022 Economic Development Strategy Plan Draft has been posted

The Economic Development Strategy Plan Draft is designed to promote and support a robust local economy. City Council goals for 2021-2024 include an adaptive and growing economy, a diversified and resilient economy, and an economy that supports local businesses and residents.

Current Projects

Business Retention & Expansion

Our Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) program is designed to:

  1. Retain or keep existing businesses in the community; and
  2. Provide assistance for existing businesses to expand.

BRE is applicable to all businesses in the community, from small mom-and-pop shops to large national employers and all industries, particularly trade-based or primary companies that bring in new dollars to the city, county, and state.

BRE and business attraction go hand in hand when developing a community. The City of Lakewood has three retail trade areas:

  • Lakewood Towne Center
  • International District
  • Pacific Highway Transit-Oriented Commercial area on Pacific Highway adjacent to I-5.

Lakewood has a large industrial park and additional industrial lands available for development. Opportunities are abundant and many properties are ripe for redevelopment.

Lakewood has a wide range of affordable to high-end residential offerings. The City is focused on increasing the variety of living spaces such as live-work units, mixed residential, garden style living communities, and middle market homes.

View the Economic Vitality Strategy for information on our target areas for development.

Business Retention & Expansion reports

Q1 2022 BRE Report

2021 Business Retention & Expansion Report

Common Questions

What is Economic Development?

  • Economic Development means different things to different people. Generally, it is the creation of wealth – from which community benefits are realized. Strategic planning, real estate development and reuse, and technology led economic development initiatives are critical pieces of the puzzle when fostering and creating a healthy economy.
  • The work is focused in three main areas:
    • 1) Business Retention and Expansion (BRE);
    • 2) Business Recruitment; and
    • 3) Making the city Attractive for new Businesses.

How do I start a business in Lakewood, and what resources are available?

  • Please visit our Business Resources page for information on starting a business, business licensing, and for resources available to businesses in Lakewood.

  • If you have questions or unique needs for your business, please contact our Economic Development team at (253) 983-7738.

How do I get a business license in Lakewood?

  • Visit the Business Resources page for more information on starting a business in Lakewood.

Does Lakewood offer business incentives?

How do I go about getting a grant or government contract in Lakewood?

How do I get a permit in Lakewood?

  • Please visit our Permit Center for more information about permits in Lakewood.

How long does it take to get a building permit?

What can I do with my property in Lakewood?

Why do some properties remain vacant for years?

  • Long-term vacant properties can happen for several reasons:
    • 1) Contamination on the site
    • 2) Legal issues complicating a sale or redevelopment effort
    • 3) Owner is holding out for a price well above market value
    • 4) Ground characteristics making site development problematic
    • 5) Building code issues that are cost prohibitive to come into compliance

Economic Reports

Department Reports & Plans

Permit Reports

Demographics Reports

Community DevelopmentDevelopment Services
Long-Range PlanningDeveloping in Lakewood