The Alliance for Pioneer Square is pleased to announce a PSQ Small Business Support program. With an initial $100,000 in funding from Historic South Downtown, and an additional $20,000 from the Sounders SC Rave Foundation, we aim to support the resilience of Pioneer Square businesses and nonprofits. We are all acutely aware of the fact that the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic disruption threatens the health of our community. The PSQ Small Business Support program supports the Alliance’s initiative to address critical needs to stabilize, to the greatest extent possible, our neighborhood’s nonprofits and small businesses, so that they are able to remain in operation, maintain employment levels, and sustain workplace opportunities, until the current emergency subsides or additional emergency funding becomes available.
As the COVID-19 crisis has ceased or greatly limited retail, restaurant, and service business operations, we have heard the urgent need for many to shift portions of their business model online. While the Alliance is assisting businesses in applying for existing funding opportunities to triage their current situations, we also wanted to support them in a direct way by granting funds to allow business owners to invest in new ways to do business.
This PSQ Small Business Support program will specifically be focused on assisting businesses in creating, sustaining, or enhancing an active online presence. The funding may be used for, but not limited to:
- Creating and hosting a website
- Building out an online store
- Marketing online food or product sales and/or pick-up or delivery services
- Setting up and hosting virtual classes
- Streaming virtual art or music shows
- Increasing business capacity related to effort
The Alliance believes this opportunity will not only allow businesses to continue operations throughout the current “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order of the Governor, but also set up businesses for success during the subsequent recovery period. Businesses on the other side of this current challenge will be more prepared to adapt to future situations that require a more robust online presence.
The Alliance is pleased with Historic South Downtown’s initial funding support of $100,000. Kathleen Johnson, Executive Director of Historic South Downtown said “Small businesses are the heart of the Pioneer Square community. During this unprecedented crisis, we are thankful to be able to partner with the Alliance to help them stay as strong as possible, as we move to safely reopen and restructure how we work.”
100% of the initial funding will go directly to businesses in the district, with administrative costs covered by previous funding from Historic South Downtown and the Alliance general fund. Applicants seeking funding may request a maximum of $7,500. Applications will be open on May 25, 2020 and the Alliance will accept applications through June 12, 2020. A Community Review Panel composed of Pioneer Square stakeholders will make funding recommendations to the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s Board of Directors. Funding decisions can be expected by June 29, 2020.
The Alliance for Pioneer Square works to help preserve what makes Pioneer Square the most authentic, engaging and dynamic neighborhood in Seattle. We do this by effectively implementing programs in the following areas: business development, communications and marketing, advocacy, public realm, and leadership.
Our Philosophy and Approach
The Alliance values the rich and diverse community in Pioneer Square, and we understand how hard businesses and nonprofits have been hit by the government-mandated shutdown. The Alliance recognizes that some small businesses will be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis because of historic inequity. Businesses that are owned and operated by well-capitalized individuals, partners, or investors will not share the same struggle of those we are trying to serve with this funding program. With this program, we have a commitment to supporting shared prosperity within the district and creating equal access to opportunity, and employing a robust communication strategy.
We will further prioritize equity by creating a Community Review Panel that is representative of the small business community within our district to determine the award recommendations. The Alliance will empower this group to use the approach outlined above as a guidepost when recommending awardees.
We are committed to mobilizing support for the businesses and nonprofits in our community quickly and to do this in an equitable and fair manner. We want to make it as easy and frictionless as possible to access funding awards. We value mutual trust between the Alliance and the those we serve and will continue to be Pioneer Square’s biggest advocate.
What makes you eligible for funding:
- Viable e-commerce or online project that needs funding
- The impact of the activities funded must be within the geographic boundaries of the Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area
- A small business as defined by Washington State. For the purposes of this funding, “small business” is defined by RCW 39.26.010(22) as: an in-state business, including a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity, that: (a) Certifies, under penalty of perjury, that it is owned and operated independently from all other businesses and has either: (i) Fifty or fewer employees; or (ii) A gross revenue of less than seven million dollars annually as reported on its federal income tax return or its return filed with the department of revenue over the previous three consecutive years; or (b) Is certified with the office of women and minority business enterprises under chapter 39.19 RCW.
- 501 c3 public charities providing services in Pioneer Square
- Open for business, or intend to re-open, upon lifting of the closure order
- Priority for those businesses and organizations that are street level and have previously relied on walk-in foot traffic
You are ineligible if you are:
- Lending, investment institutions and insurance companies
- Gambling facilities
- Businesses operating outside Pioneer Square Historic District limits
- Businesses without a valid City of Seattle business license
- Subcontractors under a primary business license, such as in a salon
- National chain stores and local franchises; and publicly traded businesses
- Businesses engaged in any illegal activity per local, state or federal regulations
- *Some business owners who are or have been involved in legal or financial issues may not qualify. These include but are not limited to: Bankruptcy, insolvency proceedings; outstanding judgements, tax liens, pending lawsuits, conviction of a criminal offense committed during and in connection with a declared disaster, suspension or debarment from contracting with the federal government or receiving federal funds.
- Access the application form here
- Use concise answers as we want this to be as easy as possible for you
- Be forthcoming with all relevant information as it’s the best way we can assist you
- Contact the Alliance for Pioneer Square regarding questions and assistance at SmallBizSupport@pioneersquare.org or call us on 206-667-0687 x106
- Deadline for receiving applications is: June 12, 2020
Funding decision process:
- The Alliance has appointed a Community Review Panel to assist staff and the Alliance board with reviewing the applications and funding decisions.
- The Community Review Panel will review each application and make funding recommendations to the Alliance Board of Directors. Identifying names and attributes will be removed from applications to ensure fair and equitable review by the Community Review Panel.
- A slate of recommendations will be voted on by the Alliance Board of Directors on June 25, 2020 and awardees will be notified on June 29, 2020.
- Those not receiving funding will also be notified on June 29, 2020.
- Alliance staff are continually looking for other funding opportunities and there may be subsequent rounds if secured.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I apply?
- Online at: http://allianceforpioneersquare.org/pioneer-square-small-business-support/
- When is the deadline?
- Friday, June 12 at 11:59pm
- Who is on the Community Review Panel?
- A small group of representative business owners in Pioneer Square
- How and when will funding be allocated?
- Awardees and non-awardees will be notified on June 29th
- How much money will be available?
- Currently, there is $120,000 in funding, however Alliance staff are continuing to solicit more interested donors
- What if my small business doesn’t qualify for this Small Business Support funding?
- Please check our COVID-19 small business resource page for more funding opportunities and contact alliance staff if you have any specific questions
- Who do I contact if I have questions about this application?
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 667-0687 Ext. 106