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Seattle launches Small Business Stabilization Pilot Program with $25K grants for eight ‘vulnerable micro-businesses’

The efforts are limited in scale but Seattle is ramping up programs to help small businesses survive an increasingly expensive city. A new Small Business Stabilization Pilot Program will help eight Seattle “micro businesses” get on the right track, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office announced Tuesday.

The first-time pilot program will provide the eight owners with $25,000 grants that can be used to cover “day-to-day operating expenses of the business, such as payroll or losses due to destabilizing events.”

“In addition to funding, grantees will be provided with stabilization coaching from an OED Small Business Advocate and financial coaching from an expert,” the mayor’s announcement reads. “Advocates will support business owners in determining the best use of grant funds and will act as liaisons to connect businesses with additional resources, such as lease education, marketing and branding support, City permit navigation, and credit counseling.”

The eight awardees of the 2020 Small Business Stabilization Pilot Program funding are:

  • Dayspring & Fitch Funeral Home, 4200 S Othello St., Unit 123, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Dora’s Daycare, 906 23rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
  • El Buen Sabor, 8456 Dallas Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108
  • iConcept Signs, 700 S Orchard St., Seattle, WA 98108
  • Muy Macho Taco Truck, 8515 14th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108
  • Seattle’s Best BBQ, 450 Third Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Villa Escondida, 2203 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
  • Yearby’s Hair and Nail Design, 4501 S Lucile St., Seattle, WA 98118

All eight of the first-time grantees are women and minority-owned businesses, the city says.

Nominations for the pilot were accepted through November. The city says its outreach targeted “small businesses with low income owners located in neighborhoods at high risk for displacement.”

The new pilot program joins the city’s attempts at building a Legacy Business Program in efforts to address displacement of neighborhood favorite small businesses. Under the legacy program, one business will be selected from each of the seven council districts. “These businesses will receive public recognition at an awards ceremony in May, in recognition of National Small Business Month,” the city says. “Winners will also receive access to a variety of small business support services through the Office of Economic Development, including a commercial lease and succession planning toolkit, marketing and legal consultation.”

You can nominate your favorite D3 “legacy business” here through February.

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