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Economic Development Partnership Program

Applying for the partnership program

If you are a city considering making an application, please read program guidelines and eligible activities carefully. We also advise you to make an appointment with Port Economic Development Manager Bill Ellis to discuss your project application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Select this link to download a pdf version of the FAQs about the partnership program. 

Q: Are there restrictions on the non-profits?

A: Non–profits would need to partner with a city.A: Non–profits would need to partner with a city.

Q: What is the definition of cities?

A: Cities eligible for the program are the 38 incorporated cities within King County, excluding the City of Seattle.

Q: Is the Port holding the applications to process?

A: No, applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Q: Does this have to be “new” monies or can the monies be “repurposed?"

A: City matching funds can be either “new “or “re-purposed” but Port funds cannot supplant city allocations.

​Q: What is the source of the funding for the program i.e. where did the $1M come from?

A: The funds come from the Port of Seattle’s operating budget which is comprised of revenue from airport, seaport, maritime, real estate and King County tax levy.

Q: What is the nature of the agreement between the Port and City?

A: The agreement can be either a funding contract or an interlocal agreement, subject to approval by Port legal counsel. Also, the city must demonstrate support from city governing authority, either through resolution of support, letter of support, or project priority in authorized city strategy. A sample agreement can be viewed on the Port of Seattle website:

​Q: What if cities collaborate and pool funds for a regional project?

A: If two or more cities collaborate, the Port will contract with one entity designated as the fiscally responsible party. Letters of participation and support from all cities in the project should be included in the application submission. Participating cities may enter into agreements as necessary.

Q: Are there criteria for projects that include green/sustainability or targeting target population, i.e. disadvantaged?

A: No, the projects will be evaluated on their overall merit, alignment with the Port’s business interests and the Port’s Century Agenda: : No, the projects will be evaluated on their overall merit, alignment with the Port’s business interests and the Port’s Century Agenda:

Q: What is the requirement for project completion?

A: All projects funded by the Port must be completed, with deliverables submitted, no later than June 1, 2018. Projects may be included as an element of a phased project.

Q: How will the Port funds be distributed?

A: The Port will reimburse eligible expenses as outlined in the Work Plan upon submittal of invoice and expense documentation. Reimbursement request may be submitted monthly, or upon project completion and deliverables per the contract.

​Q: Are overhead/administration costs permitted as a part of managing the program?

A: Overhead and administrative costs should be minimal and may be included as match requirement.

Q: What is the definition of capital expenditures?

A: Port funds cannot be used for capital expenses; this includes any construction costs, building maintenance or repairs, furniture and equipment. Signage as part of a marketing program is not considered a capital expense.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of grants for which an entity can apply?

A: Port funds have been allocated on a per capita formula. Cities may decide to divide the funds in multiple projects. In this case, each project requires a separate application submission.

​Q: What happens if not all the cities apply for the program?

A: Any funds not awarded will remain with the Port.

Q: Is this an on-going program?

A: This is the roll out of the Partnership program. Subsequent funding is dependent on project quality, outcomes, deliverables and Port of Seattle Commission budget authorization. The Port is on a calendar year budget cycle.

Q: What are the results of the 2016 program?

A: The 2016 city projects generally fell into the following categories:

• Business Assistance
• Planning & Feasibility Studies
• Website Upgrades
• Marketing & Business Recruitment
• Tourism Promotion /Wayfinding

Collaboration among cities provided a greater return on individual city investments. Cities were able to initiate projects previously outside of their budget, and the 2016 grant funds provided a foundation for moving forward on major multi-year initiatives.

For more detailed information about the results, please see this 2016 Program Report or go to: