Mayor announces $1.6 million investment in neighborhood business districts
"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:
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.
"Ballard is a great place to live, work, shop and play.As a result, we are bursting at the seams.The Only in Seattle grant allows us to assemble community stakeholders - from retailers and restaurants to industrial businesses, major employers and Ballard residents - and create a unified vision for commercial revitalization that makes sense for Ballard today and in the future," said Scott Ingham, Co-President of the Ballard Chamber Board of Directors.
OIS is also investing $115,000 to support focused investments in additional neighborhoods, Focused investments will be made in these neighborhoods: Ballard, Georgetown, Madison Valley, and South Park.
This year, $450,000 was also granted to neighborhoods for capital improvement projects that enhance the commercial district experience. In 2013, those neighborhoods are:
"In the Chinatown/International District, we're pleased to continue our façade program and clean and safe activities, and we're especially excited that the Only in Seattle funding this year was expanded to include infrastructure projects," said Joyce Pisnanont, IdeaSpace Manager at Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). "For us, we'll be able to continue our work on Maynard and Canton Alley, which are two alleys of major cultural significance to our neighborhood that have been priority projects for a long time."
OED will fund and manage this program in partnership with Impact Capital, a Seattle-based community development financial institution serving underserved communities throughout Washington.
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