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Recovery plan and latest updates

Seattle was the first city in the country to feel the effects of COVID-19, and at the time, we had no national leadership or playbook to combat this virus and keep our communities safe. Still, we worked quickly to protect the health and safety of our communities, and our success was thanks to our Seattle residents who prioritized community-wide health and acted in their neighbors' interests, alongside their own. Now, Seattleites we must bring that same sense of civic and city pride to our recovery efforts. 

Road to Downtown Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic took an immense toll on neighborhoods throughout Seattle, with an acute impact on our downtown core. According to data from the Downtown Seattle Association, more than 450 street-level business locations have permanently closed downtown since the pandemic began. Those represent livelihoods lost, families disrupted, and elements of our Seattle fabric completely changed.     

Downtown is Seattle's economic engine and heartbeat, and it's up to us to help it come back better than ever for all those who live, work, or visit. That's why - as one element of the citywide recovery effort - Mayor Jenny A. Durkan put forward the City's Road to Downtown Recovery plan, which details the City's immediate and long-term strategies to bring workers, small businesses, and visitors back downtown. 

You can review the Road to Downtown Recovery plan here.


Key Downtown Recovery Priorities

In February 2021, Mayor Durkan convened the Downtown Revitalization Working Group (DRWG) - a coalition of business, labor, arts, and community-based organizations to advise the City on efforts to help downtown Seattle recover. After meeting biweekly since February, the City and DRWG have established four central strategies to bring workers, small businesses, and visitors back downtown with key actions beginning in June and July:

  • Increase events and programming
  • Reopen small businesses and cultural organizations
  • Support a summer and fall return for workers who are currently remote by focusing on return to transit, addressing homelessness, and advancing public safety
  • Increase graffiti and trash cleanup and beautification efforts  

The Mayor has invested $9 million to advance these downtown recovery projects, and private partners - including the Downtown Seattle Association and Visit Seattle - are committing $7.4 million this year for other efforts including marketing, events, and cleaning.  

Events Coming This July: Welcome Back Weeks

Because of our success with vaccinations, we're able to fully reopen and finally be together again as a community. That's why the City of Seattle and Downtown Seattle Association want to welcome you back downtown to enjoy our beautiful Seattle summers!   

Welcome Back Weeks are occurring from July 12 - 26 in downtown Seattle, and will feature promotions across downtown neighborhoods, and large-scale events will take place in the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, and Westlake.

As part of Welcome Back Seattle events the City is partnering with the Intentionalist to help you #SpendLikeItMatters and support local small businesses in Belltown, Downtown, Pioneer Square, and Chinatown-International District with FREE giveaways, discounts, and coupons. Learn more participating businesses here.

welcome back to pioneer square

Welcome back to Pioneer Square 

July 24, we're hosting a concert at Occidental Square. The event will feature:  

  • Live music from Shaina Shepherd, Shenandoah Davis, and The Black Tones 
  • A special gift when you pick up a Passport to Pioneer Square 
  • 'Found Fashion' Exhibition from Path with Art 
  • Free screen printing from Party Hat Gallery
  • Vaccine pop-up offering Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer
  • Schedule: 
    - 10:30 AM: Busking
    - 11:30 AM: Totem Star (Sharmaine and Haley Graves)
    - 12 PM Shenandoah Davis
    - 1 PM: Shaina Shepherd
    - 2 PM: The Black Tones
    - All Day: Pasquale Santos, Guma' Gela', Path with Art, Passport to Pioneer Square, Party Hat Gallery, Vaccine Pop-Up        

When: Saturday July 24, 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (RSVP)

Where: Occidental Square, 117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104 

welcome back to westlake

Welcome back to Westlake! 

July 25, we're hosting a family-friendly celebration at Westlake Park and Pacific Place. The event will feature:

  • A 'Halloween in July' event where kids and families can dress up and trick-or-treat across local stores in Westlake Park and Pacific Place
  • Free face painting, a costume contest, THRILLER dance classes, workshops and activities for the whole family
  • Live performances throughout the day headline sunset concert from Digable Planets
  • Vaccine pop-up offering Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer - get vaccinated and get a FREE single-day ticket to the Day In • Day Out music festival


  • 12 - 4 p.m.: Trick-or-Treating
  • 12 p.m.: UP UP UP Inc.
  • 1 p.m.: Fraggle Rock Crew
  • 1:45 p.m.: SANCA Cirrus Circus
  • 2 p.m.: TAQUEET$ Thriller Dance Class
  • 2:15 p.m.: El Vez
  • 3:30 p.m.: Teatro ZinZanni
  • 4 p.m.: Costume Awards
  • 4:30 p.m.: Totem Star (Zoser and Mirabai Kukathas)
  • 8 p.m.: Sunset Headliner - Digable Planets

When: Sunday July 25, 12 - 9 p.m. (RSVP)

Where: Westlake Park, 401 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101 

We hope to see you downtown July 12 - 26 for our Welcome Back Weeks! 

The Seattle Rescue Plan: Citywide Recovery Investments 

Seattle Rescue Plan

On June 21, Seattle City Council passed the Seattle Rescue Plan, which was collaboratively drafted by Mayor Durkan, Council President Gonzalez, and Councilmember Mosqueda. The Seattle Rescue Plan invests $128.4 million of federal dollars into expanding shelter and housing, direct cash assistance, small business support, neighborhood activations, and reopening City services on an accelerated timeline.

Seattle Equitable Recovery Results 

For Seattle to recover stronger and more equitable, the City must be transparent in how we are measuring success and we all must work together to achieve intentional result and impacts. Each focus area of the Seattle Recovery plan has an intentional result we can achieve as a community.

Neighborhood Recovery Result: Neighborhoods and communities rebound from the impacts of COVID-19 and thrive.

Downtown Revitalization Result: Businesses, employees, residents, visitors and cultural institutions in downtown neighborhoods are revitalized after COVID-19 and thriving.

Small Business Support: Entrepreneurs and small businesses can recover from the impacts of COVID-19,  stabilize and grow their businesses.

Education and Workforce Development: Current and future worker are employed and trained in opportunity sectors that are resistant to automation and have middle and high-wage earning potential.

Targeted Investments in BIPOC Communities: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and generate positive long-term outcomes.

Access to Resources: Individuals and families recover from immediate economic and social impacts of COVID-19