Skip to main content

Grow economic opportunity

2023 accomplishments

We are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring Vancouver is a place where a wide variety of businesses of all sizes, from young startups to established enterprises, grow and thrive. And that everyone who calls Vancouver home can access rewarding job opportunities and the education/training needed to serve as a skilled workforce for companies.

Supporting startups/entrepreneurs and ensuring small businesses thrive

Arts Hub

Launched community engagement and draft design concepts for a future Vancouver Arts Hub in the former Vancouver Community Library headquarters, 1007 E. Mill Plain Boulevard. Emphasizing a broad range of visual arts, the Hub will serve as a gathering place for community members to create and learn together. Following additional community input and feedback, the City plans to create an interim use plan for the building in 2024 and work with the community to finalize the building design in 2025. 


  • Awarded $485,000 in business assistance grants for microenterprise education and technical assistance, including business license/certification programs, microloans and credit repair.
  • Bolstered tourism through the distribution of $157,000 in Lodging Tax revenue to nine local projects and programs that attract visitors to Vancouver, including new downtown Vancouver information centers at the Clark County Historical Museum in Uptown and the Historic Slocum House in Esther Short Park that will soon serve as a launch pad for visitors and residents to get acquainted with all that downtown Vancouver has to offer.

Small Business Month

Proclaimed May “Small Business Month” in Vancouver,  launching a promotional campaign featuring diverse small business profiles, amplifying resources available through the City’s more than 20 small business community partners and hosting a free “Connect & Navigate” small business resource fair to connect business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups with tools, resources and advice to start or grow their small business in Vancouver.

Investing in infrastructure, equitable development to grow prosperity for all

Fourth Plain Community Commons

Fourth Plain Community Commons, 2200 Norris Road, opened in September. This multipurpose space, made possible in part by a $1.5 million donation from the City’s Affordable Housing Fund, serves as a community resource hub and small business incubator for the Fourth Plain area. The Commons features a commercial kitchen, indoor public event and shared office space and an outdoor event space managed by Fourth Plain Forward. The upper floors consist of 106 units of affordable housing managed by the Vancouver Housing Authority.

Main Street Promise

Following a year of community outreach and development, finalized a design for Main Street Promise, a new streetscape to improve safety, connectivity and accessibility along downtown Vancouver’s historic Main Street from 5th to 15th streets. Visit the American Rescue Plan Act section of this report for more information.

The Heights District

Completed preliminary design work on all of the infrastructure needed to develop central Vancouver’s Heights District, including the new street network and parks within the Tower Mall site and proposed safety improvements to existing streets. An equitable development plan was adopted by City Council in Oct. 2023 to help support the project’s goals around mixed-income housing, retaining and attracting local, small businesses and ensuring the current residents continue to live in the area.

Short-term rental pilot

Adopted a short-term rental ordinance pilot program outlining new rules and requirements for short-term rentals, e.g. AirBnBs and VRBOs, in City limits. The new regulations intend to strike a balance between community housing/housing affordability needs with individual property rights and create a permit process for the City to track short-term rentals and better respond to concerns reported by the community.

Library Square

Purchased Library Square, a 3.2-acre area undeveloped lot located off C Street south of the Vancouver Community Library, for future redevelopment as a transit center near the base of the proposed Interstate 5 bridge replacement.  

Watch more