The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce supports the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. Last week they sent a letter of support for SB 5539 to the Seattle Delegation of the Washington State House of Representatives. The Seattle Delegation includes the following Representatives:
- Rep. Reuven Carlyle (36th)
- Rep. Eileen Cody (34th)
- Rep. Frank Chopp (43rd)
- Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (36th)
- Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (34th)
- Rep. Bob Hasegawa (11th)
- Rep. Zack Hudgins (11th)
- Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (46th)
- Rep. Jamie Pederson (43rd)
- Rep. Eric Pettigrew (37th)
- Rep. Gerry Pollet (46th)
- Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (37th)
March 1, 2012
Dear Seattle Delegation Representatives,
On behalf of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, I strongly urge you to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program by approving SB 5539.
The Seattle Metro Chamber has been a longtime supporter of this program, and worked to get the incentive in place. We also highlighted its importance on our 2008 study mission to Austin, and supported the increase in the incentive in the following session.
Motion picture production gives back, providing thousands of jobs and generating millions of dollars in economic activity to the state. To maintain our state’s competitive position in this industry, the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program was created and has been the best tool that our state has to win motion picture business, create jobs, and help fuel the state’s economy.
Since launching the program in February 2007, a total of 71 projects have completed principal photography with the help of funding assistance through Washington Filmworks. This has resulted in $69.2M of direct spending in our statewide economy, with $31.2 million spent on wages and benefits for Washington workers and $38 million being spent with Washington-based businesses that rely on film work to keep their doors open and to employ their full-time staff, including many of our members.
The film industry also provides a boost to the economy as a whole: the Washington State Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission estimates that each dollar spent here by the film industry yields $1.99 of economic activity in the state and local economies. This means that the $20 million of funding assistance committed to productions has generated $137.7 million of economic activity, a 689 percent return on our state’s investment.
The Motion Picture Competitiveness Program has proven to be a viable and important economic development driver for the state. Without it the production industry’s investment in the state will vanish, as will the employment opportunities it provides. I strongly urge you to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program during the 2012 legislative session.