To help Seattle businesses that experienced storefront damage since the start of 2021, the City will make nearly $2 million in federal funds available in $2,000 increments. The announcement was made last week by Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, Director of the Office of Economic Development Markham McIntyre, and Councilmembers Sara Nelson and Alex Pedersen. The grant program will open later this month.
Nelson has supported the grants as a way of improving businesses and neighborhoods as a whole. “It goes beyond simply helping the individual business because when you when you see a bunch of storefronts that are boarded up in a neighborhood, it brings down the character, the morale,” Nelson said. “And so, what we’re really talking about today is revitalization. It’s about bringing our city back.”
Applications can be submitted starting Oct. 18 and will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are gone. Small businesses will be defined as businesses with less than $7 million in revenue and fewer than 50 employees. To support underserved small businesses, the Office of Economic Development says it will prioritize supporting businesses from the following communities:
- Small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and people of color
- Woman-owned small businesses
- Small businesses located in a highly distressed census tract with a minimum of 30% poverty or not exceeding 60% median income, meeting the definition of “low-income communities” set by the federal Small Business Administration.