Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More Home Page This Department
Link to OED Home Page Link to OED Home Page Link to OED About Us Page Link to OED Contact Us Page
Start, Grow, or Green Your Business Stephen H. Johnson, Director
Business Owners Business Districts Key Industries News and Resources
Only in Seattle Initiative
Business Improvement Areas
Action Agendas
Tools for Business Districts
Business District Organizations

Only In Seattle Business Improvement Areas (BIAs)


BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT AREAS (BIAs) are funding mechanisms for business district revitalization and management. They are assessments on businesses and/or properties within defined boundaries. The funds collected are used to provide services for the mutual benefit of the businesses and properties being assessed.

The Seattle BIAs are Broadway/Capitol Hill, Chinatown/International District, Columbia City, Downtown, Metropolitan Improvement District, Seattle Tourism Improvement Area, Pioneer Square, University District, West Seattle, and SODO.


BIA Handbook Icon

The BIA Handbook

A reference for current and potential BIAs

BIA map

Top Reasons to Create a BIA

  • BIAs are conceived, designed, and managed locally by those who are paying the assessments.
  • Everyone in the district is required to pay their fair share. In other words, business and/or property owners pool their money to do things they want to do and that are best done collectively.

neighborhood photo BIAs use their funds for the following kinds of services:

  • Parking
  • Joint marketing
  • Cleanup and maintenance
  • Security
  • Special events
  • Beautification
  • Professional management

Each BIA is governed by a ratepayer's advisory board. The City collects the assessments and reimburses BIA expenses.

Help for forming a Business Improvement Area (BIA). Business districts interested in learning about creating a BIA or revising an existing BIA, can apply through OED's annual Only in Seattle Initiative Request for Applications (RFA) process to work with experienced city staff and consultants.

Links to the Ordinances for Each BIA:

Pioneer Square
Amendment (12-16-13)
Establishing BIA (10-1-13)

Establishing BIA (10-8-13)

Tourism Improvement Area
Establishing BIA (09-30-11)

Metropolitan Improvement Area
Amendment (07-31-13)
Establishing BIA (05-14-13)

Establishing BIA (6-9-1994)

West Seattle Junction
Establishing BIA (3-5-1987)

Rate changes (10-2-12)

Capitol Hill
Establishing BIA (9-11-86)

Columbia City
Establishing BIA (1-26-09)

(In progress)