Mayor Gives $1M to Seattle’s Business Districts

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Seattle, Wa - The Office of Economic Development has awarded the Chinatown/ International District $185,000 in grant funding for economic revitalization.

The grant — the largest award of all the competing business districts in the city – is part of the Seattle Jobs Plan, a $1 million program to spur investment in 18 neighborhood business districts. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn made the announcement at a Feb. 16 news conference.

“The Office of Economic Development is excited that the Chinatown/ International District business community came together to submit a strong, comprehensive plan for strengthening their neighborhood business climate,” said Steve Johnson, OED director.

“It was impressive that in a short time, the business leaders from the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and other business groups came together to support economic vitality in this important neighborhood. We look forward to working with all of them.”

The SCIDpda, CIDBIA, and Interim Community Development Association comprise the grant steering committee for the three-year initiative.

Community leaders see the grant as essential for increased economic development in light of the International District’s decline in recent years. Signs of that decline are evident in revenues from Chinatown’s retail businesses, which plummeted from $66 million to $41 million in the past decade alone. Restaurant sales dwindled by more than $10 million, and retail outlets dropped by more than $6 million.