Local Tips and Conversation Starters For Business Travelers in Seattle

The Puget Sound Business Journal is a good source of information for prospective business transactions in Seattle.

There is no state or local income tax in Seattle. The state sales tax rate is 6.5%, and the local sales tax rate is 1.0%.

According to, the five largest employers in the area are Boeing (by far), the Port of Seattle, Alaska Air Group, Inc., Microsoft, and the University of Washington.

Seattle has such a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions that it is advisable to plan for any type of weather, especially rain.

Successful companies located in the Seattle area include Washington Mutual, Starbucks,, Microsoft, and Nordstrom.


The Seafair Festival is a summer staple in Seattle. Parades, planes, and boats are the main attractions, with a special appearance by the Blue Angels.

Gourmet coffee and chocolate are very popular here. If you like your coffee black, be prepared to try something new.

The most common image associated with the city is the Space Needle, a tower that was built to impress the guests at the 1962 World’s Fair. The bottom of its foundation is 30 feet deep and the Needle itself reaches 605 feet into the air, swaying about an inch for every 10 mph of wind. The Bite of Seattle is an annual celebration of the best food in the city.


NFL Football: Seattle Seahawks (at Qwest Field in Seattle)

WNBA Basketball: Seattle Storm (at the KeyArena in Seattle)

MLB Baseball: Seattle Mariners (at Safeco Field in Seattle)

WHL Hockey: Seattle Thunderbirds (at the Kent Events Center in Kent)

MLS Soccer: Seattle Sounders FC (at Qwest Field in Seattle)

The Sounders FC won’t actually begin playing until 2009. It will be the first season for a MLS soccer team in Seattle. Their predecessor, the Seattle Sounders, is a USL league team which will finish the 2008 season at the Starfire Sports Complex in Seattle.


The term “skid row” came from the “skid road” which was used to slide lumber down to the sawmill.

Like the United States, Seattle grew by simply annexing one neighboring community after another, usually due to the economic problems of the community being annexed. The “FREE BALLARD” bumper sticker protests one such acquisition several years after the fact.

Some of Seattle’s homeless sell a newspaper called Real Change instead of asking for handouts.

One building in town has the words “NONE OF US” on the top of the arch over the door. Legend has it that the gentlemen who constructed the building were all too modest to name it after themselves, so they put those words on the door instead.

Even with all the rumors of rain, Seattle still sells more pairs of sunglasses per capita than any other city in America.


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