Business Improvement Areas

What is a BIA?

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT AREAS (BIAs) are funding mechanisms for business district revitalization and management. Local stakeholders oversee and fund the maintenance, improvement, and promotion of their commercial district. 

What Are BIAs? | Seattle Office of Economic Development from City of Seattle OED on Vimeo.


Read the full 2019 Seattle BIA Report

Business Improvement Area 101:

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. The funds collected are used to provide services for the mutual benefit of the businesses and/or properties being assessed. 
  • Each BIA is governed by a ratepayer's advisory board that are responsible for creating bylaws and making key decisions on programs and services, budgets, goals, policies, and staffing. 
  • The City collects the assessments on behalf of the BIA and reimburses monthly expenses.
  • The Citywide BIA Policies provide guidance for existing and potential BIAs.

BIAs may use their funds for the following kinds of services:

  • Clean and Safe Programs

  • Marketing and Promotion

  • Business and Economic Development

  • Public Realm Improvements and Planning

  • Advocacy

  • Professional Management and Organizational Development

It is important to note that BIA services are supplemental to City services and are not intended to displace any service that is currently being provided. 

Help for forming a Business Improvement Area (BIA)

Contact the Business Improvement Area Advocate

Phillip Sit


For questions about your BIA assessments. Please contact the BIA Administrator at, or 206-233-7172.


Read the full 2019 Report.

BIA Ordinances:

Pioneer Square
Amendment (12-16-13)
Establishing BIA (10-1-13)

Establishing BIA (10-5-18)

Tourism Improvement Area
Establishing BIA (09-30-11)

Metropolitan Improvement District
Amendment (07-31-13)
Establishing BIA (05-14-13)

Amendment to Increase Rates *Previous amendments to increase rates also occurred in Ordinances 120614, 120404, 120036
Establishing BIA (6-9-1994)

West Seattle Junction
Amendment to Increase Rates
Amendment to increase rates and change boundaries
Previous amendments to increase rates: Ordinances 119539, 120570, and 121758
Establishing BIA (3-5-1987)