The Only in Seattle Initiative is based on a set of core building blocks that are the critical components of any successful district. Business districts benefit most from comprehensive approaches that work simultaneously in the following strategy areas:

Business Organization
Neighborhood organizations, residents, property owners and business owners collaborate and work together toward a common vision for the neighborhood.

Business and Retail Development
Businesses prosper because they are organized, supported by the community, and they receive the assistance they need to strengthen and grow their business. New businesses move into the district that complement and improve the business mix.

Clean and Safe
The district is clean and customers feel safe and welcome.

Marketing and Promotion
The district has a positive, consistent image that helps draw more customers.

Appearance and Pedestrian Environment
The retail and pedestrian environment are attractive, inviting and easily accessible by multiple modes of transportation. Catalyst real estate projects rehabilitate or replace vacant or underutilized spaces, generating a sense of forward momentum and improvement in the district.

Check out The Only in Seattle Initiative: A Retrospective and Vision.

2016 Only in Seattle Initiative Request for Application (RFA)

Our 2016 Only in Seattle Initiative RFA is now closed. Please contact us with any questions you have and sign up to our Only in Seattle Newsletter to learn more about the RFA cycle opening in the Fall of 2016. Please see the 2016 RFA and application documents below for reference. 

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is partnering with Seattle Investment Fund, LLC, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture (OAC) to make approximately $1,600,000 available for the Only in Seattle Initiative in 2016. The Initiative provides grant funding and staff support to foster neighborhood business districts that allow small businesses to grow and flourish, make a positive contribution to the city’s economic health, reflect the unique character of the neighborhoods where they are located, contribute to their vitality, and empower business owners to organize around a common vision and attract investment. Below you will find application links and documents needed for the 2016 Only in Seattle Initiative RFA. 

Applications are due on 11:59 pm PST on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 via the grant system. Late applications and paper copies will not be accepted.

  1. Only in Seattle Initiative Program Description

START HERE. If you are new to the Only in Seattle Initiative or want to learn about the new elements in this year’s RFA, read the program description. It will make completing the RFA much easier. 

  1. Printable copy of the 2016 Only in Seattle Initiative RFA

Download the PDF version or Word versions of the application to review it as a whole and begin drafting your responses. Writing down your application in Word first is a best practice to save you from losing your data if the system crashes. 

  1. Supplemental Templates

Download and review these documents that can be attached to your application. These documents will help you complete your application, but not all are required.

  1. Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Tips for Using the Grant System

The Frequently Asked Questions should help you through the grant application. We’re always a phone call or email away to help you with your question, but, just in case, check out the list of FAQs and Helpful Tips along the way.

*Please create a new user account to begin the application and choose the profile type, "organization" in the account creation page. 

Apply Now

neighborhood photo

Are you considering applying and have questions? Having trouble creating an account? Contact the Only in Seattle team for individual technical assistance.

Theresa Barreras

Heidi Hall

Mikel Davila

Other Funding Opportunities

City of Seattle Funding

Private Funders (a few examples)

  • Impact Capital provides real estate financing products and community building support to non-profit community-based organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest.
  • Seattle Foundation supports organizations by making capital, equipment and operating support grants to increase organizations' capacities to serve their constituents.
  • Starbucks Foundation
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.

King County Funders

Grant Writing and Grant Research Guides and Resources

Past Only in Seattle Initiative Awardees

View a list of the 2014 award winners 
View a list of the 2013 award winners