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Start, Grow, or Green Your Business Stephen H. Johnson, Director
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How to Use This Guide
Abbreviations Used in This Guide
Hints for Successful Business District Improvements
Beautification Projects
Flower Planters
Holiday Lighting
Metro Bus Shelters
Public Art
Street Trees
Clean and Green Seattle Initiative
Enhancement Projects
Street Furniture
Pedestrian Lighting
Bicycle Racks
Newspaper Boxes
Office of Economic Development
Neighborhood Matching Fund
Forming a Business Improvement Area
Grant Programs
Services to Businesses
Litter Cans
Sidewalk Cleaning
Spring Clean
Street Cleaning
Street Paving
Building/Fire Code Violations
Managing Parking
Public Safety
Street Light & Power Line Repair
Alley & Security Lighting
Crime Prevention
Emergency Preparedness
District Identification Signs
Traffic Controls
Use of Public Areas
City Parks
Sidewalk Cafes
Street Vendors
Additional Information
Neighborhood Business District Support
Business Dists., Merchants Assns., Chambers of Commerce
Community Development Corporations

Create a Thriving Business District


The Neighborhood Matching Fund is a great source of funding for your district’s projects. If your project is approved, you will receive a grant that matches the value of your group’s contributions in volunteer time, cash, material donations or professional services. Depending on the type of project, your contributions are valued and “matched” 1:2 or 1:1. Projects funded by the Neighborhood Matching Fund are selected through a competitive process and must benefit the community. There are two matching fund programs:

  • The Small and Simple Projects Fund is for relatively small projects, not to exceed $15,000 in “match” from the Department of Neighborhoods. Small and Simple project applications are accepted four times during the year and the project must be completed in 6 months.
  • The Large Projects Fund funds projects from $15,000 to $100,000 that can be completed in 12 months. Prior to submitting an application, the group submits a Letter of Intent to Apply, followed by the actual application two months later. Once the applications are submitted, they are reviewed by the appropriate District Council, as well as the Citywide Review Team (CRT). The CRT forwards its funding recommendations to the Mayor and City Council for approval. Awarded funds become available once the organization signs a contract with the City to undertake the project.
Frequently asked questions:

Where can I get more information about this program?

Call Department of Neighborhoods at 206-684-0464 and ask for the Neighborhood Matching Fund staff person assigned to your area. He or she can answer questions and provide application materials. Also read the program website: .

Who approves the applications?

Department of Neighborhoods staff approves the Small and Simple Projects Fund awards. The Large Projects Fund applications are reviewed by the appropriate District Council and a volunteer group—Citywide Review Team—who rate all Neighborhood Matching Fund applications and recommend projects for funding to the Mayor and City Council.

Benefits and challenges of the Neighborhood Matching Fund:
  • Provides cash to get projects accomplished. The money can be used to hire professionals or to buy supplies and equipment.
  • Increases a project’s validity, since it is reviewed by City staff and approved, in the case of the Large Projects Fund, by the Mayor and City Council.
  • Can be difficult to buy equipment or pay staff because the City only pays after being invoiced. Hiring a fiscal agent may alleviate problems with money flow.
  • Timing can vary between the initial application and a signed contract. The length of the review process and signing of a contract varies depending on the fund. For the Small and Simple Projects Fund, a group could be under contract about 2½ months after applying; 6 months for the Large Projects Fund.