• FUNDS STILL AVAILABLE – GRANT WILL CLOSE 11:59, JUNE 26, 2020.
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Please read carefully through the following material.

March 26, 2020

Historic South Downtown (HSD) has received funding from King County Transit Oriented Development bonds. This funding requires HSD to conduct activities and support projects that create “sustainable workplace opportunities” in Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District (C-ID) neighborhoods of South Downtown, Seattle. The current COVID-19 (Corona Virus) pandemic and the resulting economic disruption threatens existing and future sustainable workplace opportunities.

It is the intent of the Board of Directors of HSD to provide emergency funding to address critical needs to stabilize, to the greatest extent possible, local nonprofits and small businesses, so that they are able to remain in operation, maintain employment levels, and support sustainable workplace opportunities, until the current emergency subsides or additional emergency funding becomes available.

This emergency grant program will enhance sustainable workplace opportunities by investing in two areas: (1) operating support for neighborhood nonprofits to cover unanticipated costs related to the pandemic emergency, and (2) operating and program support for nonprofit programs that directly support neighborhood small businesses struggling to maintain operations during the economic crisis prompted by the pandemic.

Emergency Funding Timeline

  • Release of RFP: March 26, 2020.
  • Interested organizations may submit an application (see link below) as soon as completed.
  • Closing date: no sooner than June 26, 2020.

Process

  • Interested tax-exempt organizations should complete the application as soon as they are ready.
  • Historic South Downtown Community Review Panel will review each application on a rolling basis and make funding decisions within three weeks.
  • The Board of Directors will review the Emergency Grant Program after closing date listed above to determine if it is to be renewed.

Questions

Background

The first diagnosed case of COVID-19 was identified in Washington State on January 21, 2020. Fear of the “corona virus” spread, and Chinatown-International District restaurants immediately saw a sharp drop-off of revenue. The City of Seattle has documented significant losses of small business revenue, employee layoffs or loss of hours, and business closures as direct results of the COVID-19 outbreak, with an early and extreme impact in the C-ID.

Nonprofits in the Historic South Downtown area of focus have faced additional expenses and uncertainty responding to neighborhood concerns about the viral threat, and external prejudices based on racism and irrational fear.

The loss of business and increased burden on area nonprofits has grown as more cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Washington State.

On February 29, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to an increasing number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19. The declaration directs state agencies “to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.”

Historic South Downtown is responding to the direction of Governor Inslee, its obligation to promote sustainable workplace opportunities, and the growing needs of the community with this COVID-19 Emergency Response Funding RFP.

Funding Available

Through this Emergency Round, HSD will release up to $475,000 over the next three months. Funding will be divided:

(1) Nonprofits providing programming and services in Pioneer Square and/or the Chinatown-International District.  We will be granting up to $175,000 in this category. Nonprofits may apply for a grant in this category for amounts between $5,000.00 and $35,000.00;

(2) Nonprofits providing support for small businesses. We will be granting a total of $300,000 in this category.  Nonprofits supporting small businesses may apply for a grant in this category for amounts between $30,000.00 and $150,000.00.

Applicants may submit an application to only one funding priority. Partial funding may be awarded. Funding under this Emergency Round does not impact an applicant’s ability to apply for any other HSD funding program.

 Funding Priorities

  1. Support for Nonprofits
  • HSD will invest in nonprofits that provide programs and services in Pioneer Square or the C-ID. This priority area will donate funds for additional, unanticipated costs associated with responses to the current pandemic emergency.
  • The impact of the activities funded must be within the geographic boundaries of Pioneer Square or the Chinatown-International District. Current district maps may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y9tn77xx (C-ID) and https://tinyurl.com/yb8unvv5 (Pioneer Square).
  • Applicants seeking funding under this Priority may request a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $35,000.
  • Types of activities that might be supported with this funding will vary based on the type of nonprofit, their clients or beneficiaries, and the evolution of the current health emergency. Examples of types of activities supported by this funding could include, but are not limited to:
ActivityRestriction or
limitations
Additional/increased staffing to respond to increased client need, client isolation, or other urgent needs.Beneficiaries must be located in either Pioneer Square or Chinatown-International District. Increased costs or losses must be connected to the COVID-19 disease or response.
Loss of revenue from public events/ticket sales. Beneficiaries must be located in either Pioneer Square or Chinatown-International District. Increased costs or losses must be connected to the COVID-19 disease or response.
Unanticipated costs of remote access, cleaning supplies, signage, translation, etc. Beneficiaries must be located in either Pioneer Square or Chinatown-International District. Increased costs or losses must be connected to the COVID-19 disease or response.

2. Support for Small Businesses

  • HSD will fund nonprofits that support small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 Emergency.
  • The impact of the activities funded must be within the geographic boundaries of Pioneer Square or the Chinatown-International District. Current district maps may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y9tn77xx (C-ID) and https://tinyurl.com/yb8unvv5 (Pioneer Square).
  • Successful programs will provide services or direct support that maximizes the viability of small businesses in the C-ID or Pioneer Square or both, so that small businesses can continue to provide sustainable workplace opportunities in the South Downtown area.
  • Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate how HSD funding will complement other currently available or pending funding, to reach the most number of small businesses in their targeted neighborhood(s).
  • Successful applicants will demonstrate how their program prioritizes equity.
  • Prior experience supporting small businesses is preferred.
  • Applicants may represent a partnership, so long as all services and support funded by this grant benefit businesses within Pioneer Square, the C-ID or both.
  • For the purposes of this grant, “small business” is defined by RCW 39.26.010(22) as: an in-state business, including a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity, that: (a) Certifies, under penalty of perjury, that it is owned and operated independently from all other businesses and has either: (i) Fifty or fewer employees; or (ii) A gross revenue of less than seven million dollars annually as reported on its federal income tax return or its return filed with the department of revenue over the previous three consecutive years; or (b) Is certified with the office of women and minority business enterprises under chapter 39.19 RCW.
  • Applicants seeking funding under this Priority may request a minimum of $30,000 and maximum of $150,000 during the course of this Emergency Round.
  • Examples of types of activities supported by this funding could include, but are not limited to:
ActivityRestriction or
Limitation
Outreach, including staff time, printing, remote communication, translation and interpretation.Beneficiaries must be located in either Pioneer Square or Chinatown-International District.
Technical Assistance.Beneficiaries must be located in either Pioneer Square or Chinatown-International District.
Direct support for businesses.Beneficiaries must be located in either Pioneer Square or Chinatown-International District;
businesses owners must be able to establish revenue impacts related to COVID-19

What This Grant Won’t Fund

  • Projects or programs that do not benefit the Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District.
  • Projects or programs that solely benefit one individual or have extremely limited community impact.
  • Capital projects.
  • Projects led by individuals, groups or organizations that are not recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS.

Contracting and Funding Disbursement

Successful applicants will engage in an accelerated contracting process with HSD, which will include details about the disbursement schedule, performance benchmarks, and reporting requirements. Depending upon the project and size of budget, grant payments may be made in one lump sum, based on a reimbursement schedule, or defined performance benchmarks. All project funding must be distributed and deliverables completed by December 31, 2020.

Organizational Background

Historic South Downtown (HSD) is a state-created agency responsible for preserving, restoring, and promoting the health, safety, and cultural identity of Seattle’s Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District neighborhoods. 

HSD was created by the Washington State Legislature as the first community preservation and development authority in the state. HSD exists to respond to impacts from ongoing construction and operation of major public facilities, public works, and capital projects in both neighborhoods.  HSD, as a state-created authority, is specifically required to reduce the displacement of community members and businesses; and to stimulate the community’s economic vitality. RCW 43.167.007 (d)-(e). Our current source of funding is via King Count Transit Oriented Development funds, authorized by RCW 67.28.160(1)(c), which requires use of the investment to promote “sustainable workplace opportunities.”

HSD is governed by a board of thirteen volunteer, elected directors that represent community stakeholders from Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, and local legislature. Grants are reviewed by an independent, all-volunteer Community Review Panel, drawn from individuals associated with either or both of the two neighborhoods with expertise in community development, business and economic development, architecture and planning, social justice, organizational development, local government and other critical skills.

Those interested in receiving updates about this and future funding opportunities should sign up for our mailing list.

Values

Drawing from HSD’s Strategic Plan, the Board of Directors has determined that all grant solicitation, review, evaluation, awards, and monitoring will be conducted in furtherance of the authority’s defined values:

  1. Equity. Mitigate historic racial and social inequity and model equity in work and impact.
  2. Neighborhood Self-determination. Advocate for Chinatown-International District and Pioneer Square to exercise self-determination with regards to our character, future needs and wants.
  3. Continuous Learning. Rooted in history and remain responsive to our changing neighborhoods.
  4. Accountability. Act transparently and maximize the potential of our assets to benefit our community.
  5. Resiliency. Respond to opportunities and threats while maintaining mission focus.

Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles are the framework for scoring and evaluating the grant proposals received:

  1. Grants should lead to community benefits that remain after HSD funding is expended.
  2. HSD supports funding that is leveraged. In this Emergency Round, awards should be used in conjunction with any other available funding, or, to the greatest extent possible, extend the viability of neighborhood nonprofits and small businesses, so that they will be able to take advantage of future funding and maintain sustainable workplace opportunities.
  3. Funding will be given to projects located within or serving people in Pioneer Square or the Chinatown-International District (or both), as defined by the City of Seattle.
  4. Funding for this Emergency Round will be awarded only to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations.
  5. All participants in the solicitation, evaluation, awarding, and monitoring of HSD grants shall be trained to implement the HSD strategic plan.