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. 

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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 Policy Advisor

Casey Rogers
(206) 665-1002


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


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 - Chinatown/ID
*Previous amendments to increase rates also occurred in Ordinances 120614, 120404, and 120036
Establishing BIA (6-9-1994)

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

University District
Establishing BIA and Levy Renewal (06-08-2020)
Establishing BIA (05-01-2015)
Rate changes (10-02-2012)

Modifying boundary (07-02-2014)
*Previous amendments to increase rates also occured in Ordinances 120303, 113029 and 115998 
Establishing BIA (09-11-1986)

Columbia City
Establishing BIA (01-26-2009)

Establishing BIA (10-07-2016)

15th Avenue East Business Improvement Area
Establishing BIA (9-27-2021)

Economic Development

Markham McIntyre, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 5752, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94708, Seattle, WA, 98124-4708
Phone: (206) 684-8090
Phone Alt: (206) 684-0379
Fax: (206) 684-0379

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The mission of the Office of Economic Development (OED) is to help create healthy businesses, thriving neighborhoods, and community organizations to contribute to a robust economy that will benefit all Seattle residents and future generations.