Leslie Barstow
Community Relations Manager


Email updates

Receive updates on the Local Economic Development Fund.

Economic development for Pierce County

2024 Application Deadline

Midnight on Feb. 23, 2024

Download the Application

Economic development at the Port of Tacoma occurs in direct ways, such as the development of publicly-owned marine terminals and industrial parks, as well as indirectly through community economic development investments.

Our Local Economic Development Investment Fund has an annual budget of $250,000. It is available to non-profits and municipal agencies in Pierce County, and may be used to help local jurisdictions fulfill matching requirements to receive a larger grant. Municipal entities must agree to enter into the Port of Tacoma’s Interlocal Agreement in accordance with § RCW 39.34 .

Application FAQ

Can I submit more than one application?

Yes, you can submit individual applications for each project or event you have that meets the a,b,c, or d (or more than one) qualifications.

If the Port of Tacoma selects my project or event to invest in, when do I get the money?

The Local Economic Development Investment Fund is a reimbursement fund. After learning that your project or event has been selected, you will have two years from the date a Port representative signs an ILA (if you are a government agency) or the date of your Award Letter (if you are a non-profit) to spend the funds on the project or event they were awarded for, and then turn in your receipts to the Port for reimbursement.

Can I partner with another non-profit, government agency other entity to help make my idea successful?

Absolutely. This program is designed so that the Port of Tacoma can help make a difference in communities throughout Pierce County. Partnerships are one way we all succeed.

How long from the application deadline until you announce which projects or events the Port will invest in?

The length of the review process depends on the number of applications received but can take several months. We expect to take the review committee’s list of projects and events recommended for investments in 2023 to the full Port of Tacoma Port Commission for a vote in late spring of 2023, so you should hear back from us in the April/May timeframe.

Everyone applying to the Local Economic Development Investment Fund will receive a response around that time period, whether they are receiving a 2023 investment or not.

2023 Funded projects

City of Puyallup
City of Puyallup

Downtown Economic Development Plan 

Gig Harbor
City of Gig Harbor

Anich Homeport Commercial Fishing Vessel
Dock Project

Daffodil Festival

Daffodil Festival 

2023 Grand Floral Parade 

Foothills Rails  to Trails

Foothills Rails To Trails 

Rainier To Ruston Relay Race 2023 


Foss Waterway Seaport

Foss Waterway Seaport Museum 

Willits Brothers Canoe Exhibit 

Harbor Wild Watch

Harbor Wildwatch 

Marketing and Advertising the new Marine Life Center 

Key Peninsula Farm Council

Key Peninsula Farm Council 

Expanded Social Media Advertising for the
17TH Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Festival 

Museum of Glass

Museum of Glass 

Glass Fest 2023 

Pierce County

Pierce County Parks 

Carbon Corridor Visitor Signage and Marketing Plan Development and Implementation Strategies 

Metro Parks Tacoma

Tacoma Metro Parks 

Point Defiance Flower & Garden Festival 

Maritime Blue

WA Maritime Blue 

Tacoma Maritime Innovation Incubator 

Western Forest Museum

Western Forest Industries Museum 

ADA accessibility attraction improvements to the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad 


Past funded projects


The Youth Marine Center
Start-up expenses to bring the vessel MV Baysmart Express into compliance

Museum of Glass
20th Anniversary Marvelous Marbles Event

Tacoma Refugee Choir
The Heart of Tacoma Event

City of Edgewood 
Interurban Trail Phase III (Jovita Canyon)

City of Orting
Highway 162 Pedestrian Bridge

City of Sumner
Historical Ryan House Renovation

Foss Waterway Seaport
Interactive video creation and updates to the Rails To Sails 


Foss Waterway Seaport Museum
12 Virtual tours with pretty gritty tours.

Foss Waterway Seaport Museum
Design, printing and fabrication of interpretive displays.

Harbor History Museum
New maritime gallery.

Key Peninsula Farm Tour
Key Peninsula Farm Tour.

Museum of Glass
Weekends on the waterway July/Aug events.

Tacoma Historical Society
Virtual tour of the labor history of Tacoma.

Travel Tacoma
Seventy/48 human powered boat race between Tacoma & Pt. Townsend.

Travel Tacoma
International glass art society annual global conference.

Washington State Historical Society
Interactive exhibit on international trade.

William Factory Small Business Incubator
Local to global workshops for emerging and underrepresented entrepreneurs.

City of Gig Harbor
Community paddlers dock at Ancich Waterfront Park.

City of Pacific
Stewart Road corridor-UPRR at grade crossing upgrade.

City of Tacoma
Ghost Timbre artwork at Dickman Mill



Asia Pacific Cultural Center
Architectural Design of a new Asia Pacific Cultural Center building.

Chambers Creek Foundation
Enhanced Interpretive Signage Program, including sharing the marine history of their properties.

City of Lakewood
146th Street SW industrial park road improvements to the freight corridor leading from the Woodbrook Business Park.

City of Puyallup
Meridian Avenue Restoration Project, including the analysis of safety and visibility improvements around the freight rail connection where Meridian and the Central Business District intersect.

City of Sumner
Stewart Road Bridge Replacement: A project to replace the existing two-lane Stewart Road Bridge with a four-lane bridge, including a shared-use path and sidewalk.

City of Sumner
166th Avenue E reconfiguration project: Working with WSDOT, the City of Sumner will make significant improvements to the interchange of the Sumner-Tapps Highway (166th Ave. E) and SR 162. The port’s support will assist in the final design for this project to be prepared for construction.

Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team
Marine infrastructure for a human-powered watercraft dock.

Pierce County
Global marketing of Pierce County Commercial/Industrial opportunities web portal.

Points Northeast Historical Society
Restoration of the Browns Point Lighthouse.

Tacoma Sister Cities
Port support will be used by Tacoma Sister Cities for professional research, interviews and recording of Tacoma’s Sister Port and Sister Cities histories.


City of DuPont
This project is to widen DuPont Steilacoom Road by adding a new lane in each direction between Warf Road and Barksdale Avenue to accommodate commercial traffic to and from the DuPont Industrial area.

City of Fife
For the creation of a Science and Family Volcanic Bash event, highlighting the unique geology of Pierce County.

City of Fife
To complete a study for the 54th avenue and Taylor Way corridor between the SR509 Spur and a new interchange the Puget Sound Gateway project will create.

Pierce County
For a feasibility study of adding a public boat ramp location along the Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma.

Gig Harbor BoatShop
For rebuilding the marine railways system at the historic Eddon Boatyard in Gig Harbor.

Pierce County Parks & Recreation
To do an analysis study of the Tacoma to Puyallup Regional Trail connection.

Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission
Support for the SEVENTY48 human powered craft water race from Tacoma to Port Townsend.

Visit Rainier
For the development of a Mobility Tourism Guide to assist seniors and people with disabilities access to Mt. Rainier National Park.

City of Lakewood
In support of the city’s SummerFEST Festival, Triathlon and Triple Threat event to be held July 13, 2020.

City of Orting
For the development of a tourism video promoting tourism to the City of Orting, the Puyallup and Carbon rivers, the Foothills Trail, city parks and city events.






The Asia Pacific Cultural Center
For the development of architectural renderings and sketches for design of a new Asia Pacific Cultural Center complex along Ruston Way.

The City of Lakewood 
For the design and survey development of the 123rd Street construction in Springbrook to provide ingress and egress.

The City of Sumner
For SR 410 Traffic Avenue Interchange Improvements.

The Harbor History Museum of Gig Harbor
To improve the museum’s Maritime Gallery, create a ‘Salmon, Seiners, and Life on the Sea’ exhibit, for the improved interpretation of the Shenandoah Project, and for a take away interpretive guide to ‘Finding Fish Boats’ exhibit.

Pierce County 
For upgrades to software for eight interconnected traffic signals in the Frederickson Manufacturing Industrial Center.

Pierce Transit
For a feasibility study regarding a ferry service between Tacoma and Seattle.

The Point Defiance Zoological Society 
For the development of the Port of Tacoma Tidal Surge Exhibit/construction to support the Pacific Seas Aquarium.

Points Northeast Historical Society
For interpretive signage for the Browns Point Light Station historic site.


  • The Washington State Historical Society’s Model Train Festival
  • The Town of Wilkeson’s SR 165 Adventure
  • Pierce Transit Ruston Trolley extension
  • Mt. Rainier Amphitheater Summer Concert Series
  • The Foss Waterway Seaport, to support the development of a Puyallup Tribe Museum Exhibit.
  • Pierce County Public Works, to support the economic assessment of the Canyon Road East Freight Corridor.
  • The Asia Pacific Cultural Center, to support the conclusion of a Business Development Plan for a new 390,000 square foot campus.


  • Foss Waterway Development Authority - 2017 Festival of Sail
  • Dome Business District marketing video
  • City of Sumner - Overpass upgrade on State Route 410
  • City of Lakewood - Signalization at Durango & Steilacoom


  • Foss Waterway Development Authority for the 2017 Festival of Sail, a family maritime event with regional, state and national significance.
  • Mt. Rainier Visitor Association to launch the Mt. Rainier Concert Series, supporting the association's focus on creating a stable year-round economic climate through tourism.
  • Tacoma Waterfront Association to help the organization build a new website to bring visitors to Tacoma's waterfront using interactive maps and an events calendar.