SEATTLE – Mayor Bruce Harrell, Councilmember Sara Nelson, and the Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) announced on Oct. 5 the launch of the Storefront Repair Fund, which leverages nearly $2 million dollars of federal funding to repair or reimburse damage to small business storefronts.
Through the Storefront Repair Fund, small business owners can apply for grants up to $2,000 to repair current property damage or receive reimbursement for costs paid out of pocket for past damages that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2021. Applications will open on Oct. 18.
“Seattle’s small businesses have faced many challenges over the last two years, and we owe it to them to provide meaningful tools that help solve real problems and drive forward progress,” said Harrell. “Economic development, beautification efforts, and creating welcoming, activated spaces are all critical components of our holistic public safety strategy. This new Storefront Repair Fund will provide tangible relief to small business owners to help them move from recovery to revitalization.”
Businesses can apply up to two times if they experience more than one incident of vandalism to their storefront. To apply, businesses must provide two out of three of the following documentation with their application:
- Police Report number
- Photos of damages
- Receipts for repairs completed or estimates for current damage
Bilingual staff are available to answer questions and help applicants complete their applications in Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese. Support in additional languages is available through the language line.
To request translation or interpretation services, businesses can call (206) 684-8090 and note the following information in their voicemail: name, phone number, preferred language, and the type of support needed.
Reduced foot traffic and increased vandalism combined have taken a significant toll on business and property owners throughout the pandemic. In addition to the financial burden of property damages, increasing instances of vandalism to storefront facades have deterred many small business owners from filing insurance claims due to concern of a steep increase in insurance premiums and renewals. Feedback from business owners, business district leaders, and community stakeholders elevated the need for immediate help from the city to help implement strategies that support businesses impacted by property vandalism.
In addition to the Storefront Repair Fund, OED has partially funded pilot programs created by business district partners in Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District, and the U District.
Using city funding, including Neighborhood Economic Recovery Funds, OED partners have allocated resources to help businesses repair shattered windows and other façade vandalism.
For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply for a Storefront Repair Fund grant, go to seattle.gov/office-of-economic-development/small-business/small-business-programs/storefront-repair-fund.