Business Improvement Areas

BIA mapBUSINESS 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 DistrictColumbia CityDowntownMetropolitan Improvement District, Seattle Tourism Improvement Area,Pioneer SquareUniversity DistrictWest Seattle, and SODO.


BIA Handbook Icon

The BIA Handbook

A reference for current and potential BIAs


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 photoBIAs 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 SeattleInitiative 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)