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Economic Development Partnership Program

2023 Economic Development Partnership Program

Starting in 2022, the Port of Seattle Economic Development Partnership Program transitioned to a two-year, cooperative economic development program designed to help fund local economic development initiatives across King County. 

However, if you did not apply in 2022, applications for proposed projects may only be submitted for the 2023 grant cycle. 

Since the program's inception in 2016, the Port has awarded nearly $4 million in program funding cities in King County. With matching contributions by cities, the program has generated nearly $6.5 million in economic development investments across King County over the 5 program cycles. 

In 2021, the Port of Seattle awarded nearly $840,000 in grants to cities in King County and $1.5 million dollars in combined economic development investments (including city matching funds and in-kind contributions) across King County. 

Eligible Applicants

City governments in King County, except for the City of Seattle. 

Funding Calculation and Required Match

Based on a per-capita calculation, King County cities (except Seattle) may each receive between $5,000 and $60,000 based on the city’s population. See Appendix A for eligible award amounts by city. 

Population estimates are determined by theWashington State Office of Financial Management, which publishes population estimates each year. The Port uses the most recent population estimates at the start of the grant cycle. Cities with populations numbering less than 5,000 people are eligible to receive grant funds up to $5,000, and cities with populations numbering more than 60,000 people are eligible to receive grant funding up to $60,000. 

Grant funds require a 50 percent match of dollars or in-kind resources. In-kind resources can only be used for up to 25 percent of the grant award amount. For example, a grant request for $50,000 in Port funds would require the city to commit $25,000 in matching dollars and/ or in-kind resources. Of that, $25,000, up to $12,500 of in-kind resources could be applied toward the match requirement. 

Eligible Projects

Port of Seattle funds must be used on projects to benefit small and emerging businesses, create jobs, foster business growth, promote consumer confidence, or support the Port of Seattle business interests. Uses may include: 

  • Small business relief and assistance (including incubator/accelerator projects, technical assistance, and support for impacted businesses) 
  • Industry or key sector business retention and expansion assistance 
  • Projects that boost local tourism and consumer confidence, such as buying local campaigns 
  • Workforce development initiatives that address local unemployment or underemployment issues 
  • Other projects that can tangibly address pandemic-related economic issues 

Ineligible Projects

  • Business recruitment initiatives designed to attract new companies or investment to a region or city 
  • Economic development planning 
  • Placemaking projects, neighborhood activation projects, and events 
  • Direct cash grants or loans made to businesses or organizations 
  • Capital projects, including projects to construct either new facilities or make significant, long-term improvements to existing facilities 
  • Underwriting general or capital expenses associated with an event or program already in progress 
  • Any project that would violate federal, state, or local laws 
  • Any project that would fall outside of the authorized activities that Ports can fund or engage in 

The Port of Seattle recommends applicant cities meet with Port of Seattle staff before submitting the Economic Development Partnership Program applications. 

Program Guidelines and Timelines

Once a city’s application has been received by the Port of Seattle, the Port will draft and execute an agreement with the applicant city outlining the terms of the grant program and project scope of work. 

Please submit final invoices and project final reports electronically to the Port of Seattle on an as-needed basis. Invoices must be received by November 2024.

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