Investing in Seattle's Entrepreneurs
The City provides enhanced support to Seattle businesses by improving customer service, and increasing business access to valuable resources offered by the City and its partners, including strategic advice, financing, and navigation of government regulatory processes.
DIRECT BUSINESS SERVICES
- The City and its lending partners have loaned over $36.5 million in financing to 84 businesses, resulting in 919 jobs created or retained.
- Partnered with the Downtown Seattle Association, ECOSS, enterpriseSeattle, Manufacturing Industrial Council and Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association in a coordinated effort to nurture existing businesses in Seattle's key industry sectors. Through June 2011, accomplishments include:
- 612 business visits
- 361 businesses connected with resources and additional help
- 510 film permits processed, including assisting 5 major feature films and over 120 corporate videos and television commercials, which created over 3,000 local cast and crew positions.
- 38 businesses in Seattle and King County are receiving assistance and financing through the Healthy Foods Here program. This partnership with King County Public Health improves the profitability of existing businesses by adding nutritious new product lines and increases access to healthy foods for low-income communities.
- Launched the growseattle.com business services portal, an easily navigable, comprehensive, online resource to help businesses START | GROW | and GREEN their businesses.
- Formed the Citywide Business Advocacy Team which includes key staff from multiple City departments to help Seattle businesses navigate government services. To date, over 59 businesses have been assisted with issues ranging from permitting to public safety to land use.
- Developed a package of regulatory reforms to identify ways to stimulate new development consistent with our environmental values and reflective of new economic realities.
- Encourage home-based businesses
- Expand options for accessory dwelling units
- Concentrate street-level commercial uses in pedestrian zones
- Allow small commercial uses in certain multifamily zones
- Expand temporary uses
- Reduce and eliminate some parking requirements
- Allow more flexibility in height measurement
- Change environmental (SEPA) review thresholds
- Adopted Mobile Food Vending legislation.
- The Admissions Tax exemption has been utilized by 22 music venues, supporting an estimated 330 direct jobs and 6,424 paid performances to musicians.
- The City implemented new expectations for ensuring equitable and successful distribution of contracts to woman and minority-owned (WMBE) firms. All Departments developed a 2011 WMBE Plan, which have been integrated into the Mayor's Accountability Agreements.
- Legislation adopted to allow interim parking near light rail stations.
- Legislation adopted to activate vacant and under used lots in downtown and industrial and commercial districts around the city.
- Implemented E-Plan (electronic plan review) pilot to increase efficiency and get construction projects underway more quickly.
- Adopt regulatory reform legislation.
- Distribute $45 million in new business financing in 2012.
- Complete financing for the CenturyLink Field North Lot development in Pioneer Square, including a $10 million allocation of the City's New Markets Tax Credits.
- Secure an additional $50 million of HUD Section 108 financing and New Markets Tax Credits.
- Expand the growseattle.com website to include resources for restaurants and mobile food vending.
We have to build on our strengths to help Seattle compete in the global economy.