The city of Seattle will invest $1.1 million in 19 neighborhood business districts, including Ballard. The funding is part of Mayor Mike McGinn’s Seattle Jobs Plan, which he hopes will improve business climate and create jobs.
“Our neighborhood business districts are a critical economic asset. Their diversity and strength is a part of what makes our city special,” said Mayor McGinn. “The dollars that the city invests support projects that make an immediate impact in our neighborhoods, and they also serve as catalysts that bring neighborhood business district leaders together to organize and create a shared vision for long-term revitalization strategies, which will help our city’s overall economic recovery.”
Although no actual money is being given to Ballard, Beth Williamson Miller, the Executive Director of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, tells us the city is funding a consultant so the Chamber can explore the implementation of a Business Improvement Area (BIA.) A BIA is a geographic area where businesses and residents can be assessed. The funds collected will go into a pot to be used to improve that area. “What we will be doing, is going around and talking to various stakeholders,” Williamson Miller says, talking to them about the BIA. “What would the money go for? What’s a valuable use of the funds?”
The Chamber will use the same consultant who worked with them on their visioning project during the last quarter of 2011.
(Disclosure: MyBallard is a member of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce.)