The Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) are excited to launch #ShoptheSqueeze: a campaign to encourage locals to visit small businesses Downtown during the Seattle Squeeze—the period of transition Seattle faces over the next five years as public and private construction projects continue to change how we get around Downtown.
Driven primarily by weekly social media photo contests, the campaign encourages participants to visit their favorite Downtown small businesses via alternative transportation and share their stories. Alternative transportation includes walking, or traveling by bike, bus, ferry, Link light rail, Streetcar, or carpool – anything that helps ease traffic Downtown. Each month will feature a different small business sector, such as restaurants or art galleries, as a theme. Participants are entered to win prizes including $100 pre-loaded ORCA cards and Visa gift cards. Full contest details here.
Shop the Squeeze will focus primarily on Belltown, Pioneer Square, the Chinatown-International District , and the downtown retail core as the neighborhoods most impacted by upcoming transportation changes. The campaign mascots, Simon the Sasquatch and Pearl the Squirrel, will deliver family-friendly campaign messaging about important transit milestones, ideas for creative commuting, and photo contest details via social media, transit advertising, and our website: seattle.gov/shopthesqueeze.
While the new State Route 99 tunnel is now open, the Squeeze is long from over. Major changes to our transportation system are still on the horizon—our next big impact will hit on March 23, when the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel becomes Link light rail-only and hundreds of buses will move up to our surface streets. The Shop the Squeeze campaign is intended to keep people shopping and exploring Downtown neighborhoods in order to minimize the impacts of the remaining years of the #SeattleSqueeze on small businesses.
#ShoptheSqueeze rolled out Friday, March 15th, 2019 and will continue at least for the remainder of 2019. To participate, follow @SeattleEconomy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and visit our website: seattle.gov/shopthesqueeze.