Business Improvement Area

The oldest Business Improvement Area in the city, the businesses of the Pioneer Square BIA fund beautification, marketing and promotion, and the Alliance’s neighborhood advocacy and activation.

Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area

Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are special assessment districts that are established to revitalize and enhance neighborhood business districts. The BIA is a self-help mechanism whereby Pioneer Square business owners choose to assess themselves. The oldest BIA within the City of Seattle, the Pioneer Square BIA was formed as a local business community effort to remain competitive in the marketplace. BIA’s include programs and services such as parking, marketing, beautification, security, and public area maintenance. The legal authority for the establishment and management of BIAs is set forth in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 35.87A and Seattle City Ordinance 111244. Each BIA is required to have a ratepayer advisory board made up of ratepayers within the BIA district who are in good standing. :

The Stakeholder Board officers and members shall be current ratepayers representing the various business classes and geographic diversity of the district. Each Stakeholder Board shall:

  • Represent the body of ratepayers in giving guidance to the BIA manager and/or management agency about programs.
  • Adopt its own bylaws governing its operation. Bylaws shall outline the role and purpose of the board, operations of the Board: selection and term of Board members, selection of officers, meetings, grievance resolution and any bylaw amendments.
  • Appoint officers
  • Sponsor an annual meeting, to approve the following year’s work program and budget, elect officers and members to the Advisory Board, and review and approve the recommendation of the Advisory Board in relation to professional management of the BIA program.
  • Hold regular meetings, which shall be open to the public; and
  • Investigate and respond to all ratepayer issues, concerns and complaints regarding the BIA

The City of Seattle Department of Facilities and Administrative Services (FAS) is responsible for developing BIA policies and setting the overall BIA program direction. Once a BIA is adopted by City Council, FAS is responsible for negotiating a management contract with the manager or management entity selected by the advisory board to run the BIA. FAS is responsible for ensuring that the manager or management entity completes all the provisions of the contract signed with the City of Seattle. FAS is responsible for the revenue collection and disbursement of funds, including preparing and distributing all assessment forms to business and/or property owners, collecting all assessment funds, depositing those funds in the BIA Fund Account in the City Treasurer’s office and reimbursing BIAs for eligible expenses.

Who manages the Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area?

The Alliance for Pioneer Square.

When does the stakeholder board meet?

The 2020 meeting schedule is as follows. Please RSVP by emailing BIA[at]pioneersquare.org.

Wednesday, February 26, 4 – 5:30 PM

Wednesday, April 24, 4 – 5:30 PM

Wednesday, June 24, 4 – 5:30 PM

Wednesday, Aug 28, 4 – 5:30 PM

Wednesday, Oct 21, 4 – 5:30 PM

Emergency Meeting Schedule

Due to the COVID-19 impact on small businesses in Pioneer Square, the Pioneer Square BIA Stakeholder Board will convene digitally every other Friday from 1:30-2:30p effective immediately until noted otherwise. All digital meetings are accessible by phone and through Zoom. Please RSVP and receive information on how to join the weekly meetings by emailing BIA[at]pioneersquare.org.

What is happening?

The programs primarily include neighborhood advocacy, beautification, business development, and promotion. BIA resources are used to fund activities that directly support ratepayers and in support of activities that will benefit the entire neighborhood. Where activities support the entire neighborhood the Alliance garners additional revenue from corporate underwriting, grants, mitigation and fund raising.

Pioneer Square BIA 2020 Work Plan

The Alliance garners additional revenue from grants, mitigation and fundraising. BIA assessment dollars are used in support of all revitalization activities. The BIA works to maximize its impact on the neighborhood by leveraging investments into Pioneer Square.

  • Business Development
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Advocacy
  • Public Realm
  • Leadership

2020 Revitalization Activities

Alliance staff implements programs for neighborhood business development, improvements to the pedestrian realm, marketing, civility, advocacy, and data management.

Capacity Building

    • On-going board, staff, and volunteer development
    • Maintain strong organizational systems
    • Continued collaboration between Alliance and Ratepayer Boards
    • Continued collaboration with the Pioneer Square Residents Council
    • Focus on continued improvements to communication systems

Business Development

  • BIA Inspiration Fund
  • Recruiting and on-boarding businesses into the neighborhood
  • Working with businesses to navigate city departments including Preservation Board
  • Technical assistance/resources for businesses: access to capital, marketing, services, growth plans, and more
  • Conduct neighborhood program to build neighborhood connections
  • Work with property owners/architects on issues related to development, Update business packet
  • Create resource area for businesses on AllianceforPioneerSquare.org

Communications/PR/Marketing

  • Trail to Treasure maps and tours
  • Maintain PioneerSquare.org and AllianceforPioneerSquare.org; create seamless interface between the outward and stakeholder facing websites
  • Pioneer Square neighborhood advertising campaign
  • Holiday and retail promotions
  • Maintain strong social media presence; communicating the unique aspects of the neighborhood
  • Neighborhood photography and videography

Public Realm

  • Occidental Square Park activation
  • Pioneer Square Park staffing and activation
  • Placement of flower baskets in parks and public spaces
  • Maintain Pioneer Square lamppost banners
  • Holiday décor and lighting
  • Maintain safe, active alleys
  • Median maintenance and tree trimming
  • Pioneer Square Spring Clean

Advocacy

  • Advocate for a safe and clean neighborhood.
  • ADA accessibility within the district

2020 will be a busy year for the Pioneer Square BIA!