The Ballard Chamber of Commerce has received it’s second grant in a year for the neighborhood. On Wednesday, the mayor announced that 18 neighborhood business districts will receive $1 million from the city as part of the Seattle Jobs Plan. Ballard will see a small chunk of that money.
In November of last year, the “Only in Ballard” campaign launched to highlight what Ballard has to offer. This grant serves a different purpose. “This grant is really more about Ballard and its unique issues. It addresses more than promotional needs, though that will ultimately be a component,” Beth Williamson Miller, Executive Director of the Chamber tells us. “The ultimate goal is to bring the merchant community together, determine overall needs, build some structure and create a vision and a plan just for Ballard. The hope is to build participation, create greater involvement and to get creative about funding going forward.”
Williamson Miller doesn’t know the final dollar amount that Ballard will receive from the Office of Economic Development, she says there is at least $8,000 to work with a consultant “to study and solve some of the problems facing Ballard’s business core. These include lose of retail businesses, empty storefronts, and the fragmented nature of our merchant community.”
“Once we get the contract in place, the Chamber will be reaching out to the merchant community to identify key partnerships and to begin meeting with individual business owners,” Williamson Miller says.
(Disclosure: MyBallard is a member of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce.)