General Information: (360) 264-2368
149 Hodgden Street South
Tenino, Washington 98589
Open book pages and time-lapse snow storm photo

Economic Development

Welcome to economic development. This page will help residents, especially the business community, understand the resources locally available to help build a robust and sustainable economy in and around the City of Tenino.

The city considers sustainable economic development to be of paramount importance. It is the policy of the city to support the efforts of the Thurston Economic Development Council, the Thurston Regional Planning Council, and local developers in their efforts to both broaden and add depth to the economic development opportunities, not just within the Tenino City limits, but to the extent possible, within south Thurston County.

The city is currently revising and updating the Tenino municipal code in ways that prioritize, but harmonize, sustainable economic development with the conservation of our lands. The city approaches any deliberations regarding requested land use actions, regardless of the origin of such request, in as expeditious a manner possible consistent with the provisions of Washington's Growth Management Act (RCW 36-70A, et seq).

South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (S.T.E.D.I.)

The South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (STEDI) is committed to helping business owners in South Thurston County. A number of organizations are involved, including Thurston Regional Planning Council, the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau, local municipalities, Washington State University TeleWork program, Yelm Chamber of Commerce, Tenino Chamber of Commerce, and Thurston EDC.

The Thurston EDC works to connect local businesses with experts and resources to help them stay competitive through its Center for Business & Innovation (CB&I), providing counseling, mentoring, and technical assistance to new and existing business owners.

The CB&I hosts several workshops each month to help business in all stages of development. See the CB&I calendar to find the right one for your business. 

Shop South

Shop South is a buy local campaign designed specifically for the unique needs of the rural business owners and rural shoppers in the South Thurston County area. Supported by the South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (STEDI), the mission of this campaign is to instill local pride through intergenerational participation and to build community wealth. Representatives from Rochester, Grand Mound, Bucoda, Tenino, Rainier, Yelm, Roy, and McKenna have all been at the table in designing, implementing, and leading this effort. Continued inter-community collaboration is central to our success moving forward. We believe that the more local businesses can work together, the more successful we will be. Please see our 10 reasons to shop local flyer for more information.

We invite you to learn more about becoming a “Shop South” business.

    Bountiful Byways

    Information coming soon.

    Thurston Investment Network: Think Local

    Looking for new business opportunities? Looking for additional capital? "Think Local" is the Thurston Investment Network, a membership-based network designed to add a local component to a business portfolio. The network is aimed at investors, but is obviously tied to local businesses. Think Local is a project of the Thurston Economic Development Council. Learn more at Thurston Investment Network web page.

    SW Washington Agricultural Innovation and Business Park

    This is an initiative being spearheaded by the Thurston Economic Development Council. In concept, this would be a regional resource anchored by two educational institutions, Washington State University Extension and Centralia Community College.Thirty-two organizations throughout the region currently support the initiative. The goals for this initiative include: 

    • Establishing a long-term hub for agriculture and rural business
    • Creation of 150+ new jobs in the agricultural business sector
    • Increasing regional production of value-added food processing, manufacturing, and packaging
    • Increasing value and revenue from food and farm businesses
    • Driving the success of existing, and creation of new, local businesses

    The Ag Park is actually the brain child of the Port of Olympia, but the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) has been the catalyst that has kept the project moving forward since mid-2016. The initial master planning effort funded by the Port will be undertaken by the EDC in concert with the City of Tenino, the Thurston Regional Planning Council, and the other 29 stakeholders currently on-board with the project. The initial master planning efforts will focus on the due-diligence, feasibility study, and site planning process as part of the overall master development plan. Additional funds from other sources will be required to complete the full master development plan and this initial funding amount is intended to leverage other funds in the future.

    We encourage you to learn more about the SW Washington Agricultural Innovation and Business Park. For additional information, please read about it in South Sound Business.