TACOMA, Wash. – Pierce County leaders hope their tax breaks for big companies will lead to more competition between them and Seattle for big businesses, but growing a tech hub to rival Seattle is a tall order.
“A little bit more exposure and a little bit more time,” said Infoblox Director of Software & Development Michael Brown.
We’re on the ground floor of a potential tech boom in Tacoma if you ask the folks over at IT security company Infoblox. It was all smiles Wednesday as the team wrapped up ways to keep you safe while on the internet.
“We have more millennials here than most businesses in Tacoma,” said Brown.
It’s the kind of business Pierce County leaders want more of to compete with Seattle for jobs. But could the recent employee tax really be enough to make a new business set up shop down south?
“You tax things you don’t want -- jobs are the basis of every bit of our economy,” said Puget Sound Business Journal senior reporter Mark Stiles.
Tacoma is offering tax breaks. Brown knows there’s strength in numbers and wants more companies to join them in Tacoma.
“The more tech companies we get here, the more of a hub or conglomerate so it creates a tech fabric, not just one organization,” said Brown.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm bought a company with this location in Tacoma and decided to stay in Tacoma instead of moving to Seattle.
“Now we have Tacoma. Should we grow, and can we grow? And that answer is yes,” said Brown.
The number of people at Infoblox has nearly tripled from 50 to 125 in just two years, partly because of the UW Tacoma campus just around the corner.
“They’re doing internships, they’re doing some work to finish their degrees and they’ve got work experience,” said Brown.
The school is pumping out graduates. A ready and able workforce could be key for attracting new businesses, along with a few other perks.
“It’s affordable down here, we don’t have traffic issues, and the weather is just as good,” said Brown.
Brown says Infoblox plans to add 20 more jobs in tech and finance by the end of the year.