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.

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 the Thurston Regional Planning CouncilExperience Olympia & Beyond (the Visitors and Conventions Bureau), local municipalities, Washington State University Thurston County Extension OfficeYelm Chamber of CommerceTenino Chamber of Commerce, the Thurston Conservation District, and the 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. 

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

Bountiful Byways

Bountiful Byways is a regional effort sponsored by Experience Olympia and Beyond to connect all the communities of Thurston County in a multitude of ways.

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.