City of Seattle makes money available for small businesses impacted by crime
Oct 3, 2023, 2:49 PM | Updated: 2:55 pm
Driving or walking around the city of Seattle, residents and tourists will see them everywhere — broken windows and boarded-up storefronts. It’s a problem that’s only gotten worse since the end of the pandemic.
Replacing those windows is a costly endeavor some small businesses can not afford, especially those that are hit multiple times, leaving the City of Seattle to create a fund to help small businesses hit by vandals.
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Hillcrest Market on Capitol Hill is one of these small businesses struggling to keep up with the city’s climbing crime rate. The store has been hit by smash-and-grab thieves several times.
“We keep replacing the broken windows only to have them broken again,” Suzanne Green, manager of Hillcrest Market, told KIRO Newsradio. “We’ve noticed some businesses are just leaving up the plywood. We may consider that as well.”
“We updated the eligibility requirements for the $2,000 grants to include more small businesses and now nonprofit organizations,” OED stated on its website. “In addition, we expanded covered property damage to include fences, gates, or signs.”
The $2 million fund started last October and is funded by leftover monies allocated to the pandemic small business assistance fund. Businesses can qualify if they do less than $7 million in annual revenue, have less than 50 employees and can provide all repair receipts.
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“It is a reflection of the fact that City Hall is listening to small business owners and trying to help a little bit where we can,” Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson said.
Qualifying businesses can get a grant of up to $2,000 per claim, with a limit that the business can only file twice. The grant will not cover the loss of stolen goods or damage such as graffiti. The damage must have occurred after March 1, 2020.