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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City's Office of Economic Development announces investments in business districts to beautify, attract shoppers

7/15/2010  2:30:00 PM
Joe Mirabella  (206)733-9810

City's Office of Economic Development announces
investments in business districts to beautify, attract shoppers

SEATTLE - Today the Office of Economic Development (OED) is announcing more than $160,000 in investments in neighborhood business districts at a celebration with Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith and business district organization leaders at the Wing Luke Asian Museum.

The 2010 Neighborhood Business District awards will be used for a variety of projects designed to help small businesses thrive in Seattle, including organizational development projects, beautification and branding with light pole banners and signal box art, and a new, multi-neighborhood buy local marketing effort that will increase shoppers' awareness of local businesses across the city.

"Small businesses employ 72% of Seattle's workforce and contribute 35% of the City's business tax revenues, totaling $55.4 million. Many of the small businesses in our city reside in our neighborhood business districts," said Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith. "We want to continue to help small businesses and these special neighborhood gathering places thrive, and we will continue to invest and partner with them."

OED's 2010 funding awards equal $161,000 of investment in our unique local business districts. OED is leveraging monies collaboratively for the buy local campaigns ($75,000), light pole banners for six districts ($28,000), and individual awards ($59,000).

"Our diverse neighborhood business districts are one of our strongest economic assets," said Steve Johnson, Acting Director of the City's Office of Economic Development. "Our investments are geared to enhance the allure and authenticity of these commercial districts – they are the reason people want to come live and do business in Seattle."

Five neighborhood business organizations in Ballard, Columbia City, MLK and Othello, the Rainier Valley, and West Seattle will participate in a collaborative buy local marketing campaign, which will enable each district to work with a professional marketing firm to develop and implement a buy local marketing campaign to increase shoppers' awareness of great independent locally owned businesses within each district.

"The West Seattle Junction Association is thrilled to partner with the Office of Economic Development to bring greater awareness to the benefits of shopping and living local," said Susan Melrose, Executive Director of the West Seattle Junction Association.

"Independent business districts like The Junction give Seattle's neighborhoods their own flavor and identity, and the Buy Local Campaign will help shine a light on the gems of our city."

"Thanks to the City's support, we are able to bring public artwork to the Chinatown-International District," said Don Blakeney, Executive Director, Chinatown / International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA). "These awards have provided us with the necessary funding for initiatives that will enliven our streetscapes and promote our local businesses."

The neighborhood business associations receiving individual awards in 2010 are:

  • African Business Association of Seattle - Business guide and training
  • Beacon Merchants Association - Membership outreach and board training
  • Chinatown/International District Business Improvement Area - Art murals
  • Crown Hill Business Association - Signal box art
  • East African Community Development Association - Business development training series
  • Lake City Chamber of Commerce - Lake City Market Days
  • MLK Business Association - Business district map and Great Plates events
  • Pioneer Square Community Association - Empty storefront activation
  • Rainier Beach Merchants Association - Summer concert series
  • SODO Business Association - Signal box art
  • Urban Artworks (Georgetown) - Signal box art


The neighborhood business associations receiving funds for a coordinated light pole banner project are:

  • In Ballard Merchants Association
  • Business Owners of Madrona
  • Chinatown/International District Business Improvement Area
  • Magnolia Chamber of Commerce
  • Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Association
  • White Center Community Development Association


City's Office of Economic Development (OED)
OED supports a healthy business environment and empowers companies to succeed and grow. We provide services directly to businesses through advocacy, retention and expansion assistance, and workforce development. OED has several financing options for businesses, including options for small to medium to large businesses. To learn more, visit

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Office of Economic Development

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