Yakima holds economic strategic planning luncheon - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima holds economic strategic planning luncheon

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YAKIMA, WA - What will Yakima look like economically over the next three years? That's what city leaders tried answering Monday afternoon at a luncheon.

"This isn't about us, it's about this entire room," said Verlynn Best, president of the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce. "We need a community that buys into our future."

It was a full house at the Yakima Convention Center as people listened to city leaders talk about the economic strategic plan over lunch.

"We have never done this before," said Sean Hawkins, economic development manager for the City of Yakima. "We have never had all of our economic development agencies working hand-in-hand on something that is going to grow jobs in Yakima."

In total, leaders addressed twelve areas of improvement for the economy, including tourism, Yakima's image, incentives for businesses, and their expansion.

"There are some definite signs of progress," said Hawkins. "Sales tax has shown good progress, some of our commercial permits have shown progress, our vintage center is doing well...but I think all of us want to do better."

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also chimed in on how they'd like to improve Yakima.

"We have been talking about having a multi-cultural center," said Luz Bazan with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, "to be able to expose not only the local community, but the visitors that come into our area about the greatness that we have here in our region."

In order to make any improvements in the economy, leaders say it is up to the community to get involved and show their support.