Storefront Repair Fund addresses vandalism for Seattle businesses with new grants

Oct 4, 2022, 6:45 PM
(Photo courtesy of Downtown Seattle Association)...
(Photo courtesy of Downtown Seattle Association)
(Photo courtesy of Downtown Seattle Association)

Seattle small businesses can now apply for grants of up to $2,000 each to offset the costs of property crimes.

Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the creation of the $2 million Storefront Repair Fund today from the University District, which he said has seen its share of vandalism against mom-and-pop shops in the past few years. The grants will go toward repairing windows, doors, and other damage to buildings.

“A broken exterior door, glass door, costs at least about $2,000 to replace,” said Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson, a small business owner herself. “This is a cost, when repeated over and over again, that is enough to close a business.”

While a grant may only cover the cost of one door or window replacement — and not the repeated break-ins that some businesses have faced — Nelson said it is a start.

Downtown Seattle looks to rework foot-traffic flow to scale with transit growth

“The need to help small businesses far surpasses the resources available,” she told KIRO Newsradio. “We’ve got to start somewhere, and this is a fine place to start.”

Harrell said that this was just one piece of the plans in the pipeline to help small businesses as they recover from a very challenging couple of years.

“This is a practical program to make things better. We are not saying that this is the whole solution, but it is a step forward,” he said. “And that’s what we strive for every day, a step forward in the right direction.”

Economic Development Director Markham McIntyre added that limiting the grants to $2,000 will allow the city to “help as many businesses as possible right out of the gate.”

Costs incurred from shoplifting and graffiti are not covered by these grants. Maysaa Abouhamze, who owns Cinnaholic on Capitol Hill, told KIRO Newsradio that her bakery is constantly being tagged and re-tagged with graffiti.

“If I wanted to repair that, it would probably cost me $300 to $500 a month,” she said.

McIntyre said that the city has other programs to help business owners deal with graffiti, and noted that it was “something [the city] would continue looking at … how it’s costing a business, and what can the city do in partnership to help relieve that.”

The grants are retroactive, meaning businesses can be reimbursed for any repairs they have had to make since the beginning of 2021.

Online applications will open on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Grants will be given on a rolling basis until the funds run out.

“Ultimately, this is not about replacing broken windows, but about opening things back up and helping put eyes back on the street to activate our communities — making this a city that’s inviting not just to visitors and tourists, but to neighbors and residents and community members,” Harrell said.

Follow Nicole Jennings on Twitter or email her here

Local News

Trader Joe's...
L.B. Gilbert

Trader Joe’s settles with City of Seattle after labor laws violated

In a settlement with the City of Seattle, the Trader Joe’s Company must pay $55,009.51 for violations of Seattle labor laws.
16 hours ago
Tacoma parade...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Man arrested after driving through barricades of Santa parade in Tacoma

A man was arrested Sunday afternoon after driving through barricades during a Santa parade in Tacoma, the Tacoma Police Department announced.
16 hours ago
REAL ID airport...
Bill Kaczaraba

REAL ID delayed in WA state, across the nation

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it is delaying the REAL ID enforcement to May 7, 2025.
16 hours ago
light rail...
L.B. Gilbert

Councilmember calls for light rail ‘starter line’ from Bellevue to Redmond

Sound Transit is exploring starting light rail service on the Eastside despite delays in construction connecting to the main line.
16 hours ago
social workers...
Bill Kaczaraba

Everett developing alternative 911 responses by using more social workers

The city of Everett is developing ways to deal with 911 calls by sending social workers as first responders involving mental health issues.
16 hours ago
L.B. Gilbert

5 rescued by Seattle firefighters from monorail after power outage

The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) responded to the monorail losing power Monday morning, trapping several riders inside.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Storefront Repair Fund addresses vandalism for Seattle businesses with new grants