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2020 Only in Seattle Initiative Applications are Due Oct. 21

The Office of Economic Development’s Only in Seattle Initiative strives to build a racially equitable and vibrant city by fostering neighborhood business districts that are centers of local commerce, community, and culture. With seed funding and expertise, Seattle’s business districts have used Only in Seattle to tackle tough issues, attract new investment and care for their communities.   

By supporting community members to build partnerships, unite around a common vision, and take action, we enable districts to achieve neighborhood economic development priorities. 

From business coaching, community festivals, and litter cleanup, to murals, outreach and real estate development, neighborhood business districts apply multiple strategies simultaneously to affect desired changes.  The five core strategy areas that OIS uses are based on best practices and decades of experience: 

•Organization – Neighborhood organizations, residents, property owners and business owners collaborate and work together toward a common vision for the business district.  

•Marketing & Events – Local businesses are supported by marketing strategies and events that bring customers and emphasize a positive, consistent image of the district.   

•Business Development – Businesses prosper because they are organized, supported by the community and they receive the assistance they need to strengthen and grow their business. New businesses move into the district that complement and improve the business mix.  

•Placemaking – The physical environment of a commercial node is inviting and easily accessible by multiple modes of transportation. Real estate development involves community input and vision. Public spaces are maximized to enhance vibrancy and promote social interaction.  

•Clean & Safe – The district is clean, and customers, employees, and visitors feel safe and welcome. Learn more about the Only in Seattle Initiative

The Initiative is a partnership between OED, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON).  Approximately $1,300,000 is available (contingent upon federal and City funding allocations) for district grants and services. 

This initiative provides seed funding and support that can help a business district move ahead of its current state to a new level of organization and operations. Participating districts develop a strategic vision of where they want to be, an action plan to achieve that vision and clear outcomes that are intended from the work.

Friday, 9/27 at 1:30 – 3:00 pm RSVP here
Thursday 10/2 at 4:00 – 5:00 pm RSVP here
Located at: 57th floor of Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104.

Attend one or both of the upcoming public information sessions hosted by the Only in Seattle team to learn more about changes to the program and the 2020 Request for Applications. OIS staff will be on hand to present a general overview of the program and details about this year’s application, as well as answer any questions.  There will be 2 events held at Seattle Municipal Tower, 57th floor.  The first is 1:30 -3:00 pm on September 27thand the second on October 2nd 4:00 – 5:00 pm.

If you are not able to attend these sessions, do not worry!  You can contact us anytime to learn about the program.  Our contact information is below.  Please note that we might not be able to help you with your application if it is close to the deadline. RAPPLICATION TIMELINE September 24, 2019, 9:00 am: Request for Applications released  


  • September 24, 2019, 9:00 am: Request for Applications released 
  • September 27, 2019, 1:30 – 3:00 pm: Information Session, Register today!
  • October 3, 2019 4:00 – 5:00 pm Information Session Register today
  • September 24 – October 21:  OIS staff are available for questions and support. Contact our team to schedule an appointment in your community today!
  • October 21, 2019, 5:00 pm: Application deadline  
  • December 2019: Notification of funding decisions 


Only in Seattle Initiative application support is available. Contact OIS staff for questions, and one-on-one appointments in your community. Please contact us as far in advance of the application deadline as possible. 

OIS staff can provide support in any of the following areas of the application: 

  • Review completed or partially completed applications 
  • Assist with questions about accessing the online application 
  • Share Only in Seattle Initiative program overview and examples 
  • Provide example applications 
  • Review frequently asked questions 

OIS staff cannot write or submit your application. 

Theresa, Heidi, Peter, Phillip, and Ken will have office hours dedicated to working with you on any questions or concerns you might have. Please reach out to schedule an appointment. 

Start your application today! 

Applications are due on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. PST via the online application. Late applications and paper copies will not be accepted.