SEATTLE – Today Mayor Mike McGinn joined neighborhood business district leaders and local business owners at Maya’s Mexican Restaurant in Seattle’s Rainier Beach business district to announce a $1.6 million investment in 17 neighborhood business districts as part of the Seattle Jobs Plan.
“Seattle’s neighborhoods are one of the reasons we attract talented people and growing companies,” said Mayor McGinn. “That’s why investing in our dynamic neighborhood business districts is critical to our overall economic vitality.”
Small businesses employ 72 percent of Seattle’s workforce and contribute 35 percent of the city’s business tax revenues, totaling $55.4 million. Our local neighborhood business districts serve as the location and incubators for many of the city’s small businesses. The Seattle Jobs Plan specifically targets investment in Seattle’s neighborhood business districts.
“The Only in Seattle program is a great complement to the city’s neighborhood planning efforts that have happened throughout the years,” said Council President Sally Clark. “These investments help the major players in neighborhood business districts execute concrete steps towards a common vision.”
“I’m excited that the city is investing in the three major business nodes of the Rainier Valley: Columbia City, Rainier Beach and Othello,” said Susan Davis, Executive Director of the Rainier Chamber of Commerce. “This funding will help ensure that we can bring business leaders together to maximize the potential of each of these major business areas.”
The Office of Economic Development (OED)’s Only in Seattle Initiative (OIS) is a partnership with Impact Capital, which supports investments in neighborhood business districts, and focuses on the following strategies to create healthy business districts:
• Business and retail development (supporting businesses, enhancing business mix);
• Marketing and promotion (events, social media, district advertising);
• Clean and safe (graffiti removal, dumpster free alleys, lighting);
• Streetscape and appearance (catalytic development projects, façade, public art); and
• Business organization development to sustain the effort, including participation of an existing Business Improvement Area (BIA) or commitment to form one.
The local business communities in these eight neighborhoods have developed comprehensive, multi-year strategies, in which the city is investing a total of $727,000 in 2013.
• Beacon Hill $ 57,500
• Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue $100,000
• Chinatown / International District $168,500
• Columbia City $65,000
• MLK (Rainier Valley) $76,000
• Pioneer Square $100,000
• Rainier Beach $65,000
• University District $95,000
Other Program Highlights – The Only in Seattle funding will also include approximately $300,000 that will invest in the following programs.
• The city will invest to build strong business-focused organizational capacity to sustain the efforts of neighborhood business districts in Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue, Central Area, MLK (Rainier Valley), Georgetown, Roosevelt, Wallingford and White Center. Support for Business Improvement Areas (BIA) will occur in the following neighborhoods: Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue, Chinatown/International District, Madison Valley, Pioneer Square, and University District.
• Support a façade improvement program in the Chinatown/International District to develop and improve three façades through the business community.
OED will fund and manage this program in partnership with Impact Capital, a Seattle-based community development financial institution serving underserved communities throughout Washington.
Seattle Jobs Plan
Mayor Mike McGinn’s vision for next-generation economic development that creates a sustainable economy with shared prosperity in Seattle and the Puget Sound region was launched in August 2010. It consists of new and existing policies, programs and investments designed to help create quality jobs, protect the environment, and ensure that taxpayers get true value from the city of Seattle’s public investments. For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/jobsplan
City’s Office of Economic Development (OED)
OED supports a healthy business environment and empowers companies to succeed and grow. We provide services directly to businesses through advocacy, retention and expansion assistance, and workforce development. OED has several financing options for businesses, including options for small to medium to large businesses. Visit www.growseattle.com to access city services for businesses, and for more information about our office, visit www.seattle.gov/economicdevelopment