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July 30, 2020
Categories: About the Spokane region

Spokane has for many years enjoyed a reputation as the regional hub for IT, communications, telecommunications and data services. Spokane County has even earned the distinction of “Top U.S. Intelligent Community.” The region is home to multiple tier 1, 2 and 3 telecommunication companies, utility and infrastructure service companies, and engineering laboratories that build products and systems that are deployed around the globe. 

Technology and energy companies establish roots in Spokane for a number of economical and logistical reasons. The region enjoys a business-friendly economy that leads the way in energy efficiency and environmental solutions, without the high taxes and red tape often associated with other west coast tech cities.
 

The Spokane technology industry at a glance

Spokane county and the immediate surrounding communities are home to 431 IT businesses, 20 environmental services firms, and a host of globally and nationally significant companies. Leading industry segments include:

  • Solar solutions
  • Energy & hydrogen fuel cell storage
  • Smart building construction
  • Smart city technology & infrastructure
  • Metering and communications
  • Cloud-based software development 


Spokane also enjoys quick access to major highways, railways and international air service making the region an ideal location that provides “there-and-back-in-a-day” service to Seattle. Ideal Intermountain Northwest logistics and infrastructure are often cited as one of the top reasons why many tech companies launch or expand in the area. 
 

Spokane tech companies enjoy reliable uptimes on utilities 

“Location, location, location” has long been a selling point for cities looking to court new businesses or business expansion opportunities, but few west coast cities can offer the infrastructure and climate to truly call their area a prime spot for technology businesses. 

Spokane has consistently made the list of the safest areas in the U.S. for natural disasters, and residents can happily explain why! There have been no catastrophic earthquakes in the Spokane region, nor has there been any significant flooding. Tornadoes are exceedingly rare, and the area enjoys milder winters than are found elsewhere in the country, such as the Midwest or Northeast. 

These environmental conditions are a significant factor in choosing a location to launch or expand a technology, energy or telecommunications business. Tech companies rely on consistent utility uptime and a strong infrastructure that ensures customers and business partners enjoy reliable service. The Spokane region boasts a strong network of nationally and internationally recognized utility providers who offer competitive rates and reliable service.
 

A strong pool of qualified tech, IT and telecommunications workforce candidates

Even in periods of national economic downturn that often greatly impact education and workforce development, Spokane leads the way in providing local tech companies with a large pool of qualified and educated talent

The Intermountain Northwest region is home to 13 colleges and universities that offer degree programs and certifications tailored to the needs of IT, engineering, telecom and energy companies.

Spokane has made a significant investment in the future of STEM programs in the region through the Spokane STEM program. This innovative and highly acclaimed program works with area schools, governments and STEM businesses to develop opportunities for students to achieve success in STEM careers. 

Through collaborative community efforts, Spokane area schools and colleges consistently produce highly qualified STEM candidates who contribute meaningful work and innovation in the STEM community.
 

Washington State technology tax incentive programs

Some of Spokane’s key incentives lie in our Opportunity Zones. There are 11 Opportunity Zone tracts in Spokane County, many of which are strategically located in the heart of the city and near Spokane International Airport in Airway Heights. 

Established to encourage long-term investments in low-income communities, Spokane County Opportunity Zones present 11 unique locations for private investment. In return, investors may earn tax relief on both the capital gains invested in the opportunity fund, and gains generated through the investment by the fund.

Washington State also offers numerous renewable energy/green incentives, including:

  • Clean alternative fuel commercial vehicle tax credits
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure sales/use tax exemption
  • Renewable energy cost recovery incentive payment program
  • Solar energy system sales tax exemption refunds
  • Solar energy system & components reduced B&O tax rate


And many more.

For more information about the technology, IT and energy industries in Spokane, contact our Business Growth Coordinator Joey Gunning at 509-321-3617. We can create a custom site selection resource guide and provide you with key industry and county data.