Mayor Durkan and Downtown Leaders to Discuss New Actions and Investments Made as Part of Welcome Back Weeks

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and downtown leaders today discussed new actions and investments made as part of Welcome Back Weeks. The Mayor was joined by Seattle Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce President David Leong, Alliance for Pioneer Square Executive Director Lisa Howard, and Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) President and CEO Jon Scholes.

Welcome Back Weeks are part of the City’s downtown recovery effort, with the goal of bringing workers, small businesses, and visitors back downtown. They began Monday, July 12, and feature promotions across downtown neighborhoods with large-scale events taking place in the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, and Westlake. The first event will take place Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, at Hing Hay Park, and you can find more information here.

As part of Welcome Back Weeks, the City invested more than $300,000 dollars directly into small businesses, artists, and cultural organizations who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Those investments support nearly 500 small businesses, and 80 percent of those are owned by women or people of color. The City is also employing 200 artists and cultural workers, many of whom haven’t been able to perform in person for 16 months, and 90 percent of the City-hired creative workers are women or people of color. The City is investing more than $9 million in downtown recovery projects overall.

The City has also increased its cleaning and beautification efforts downtown through the Clean City initiative, including:

  • Increasing collection from once to twice daily for garbage cans downtown;
  • Doubling daily trash pick-up at transit hubs in the downtown core;
  • Adding a second weekly visit from the “Graffiti Rangers” in the downtown core;
  • Coordinating with the Washington State Department of Transportation to clean the I-5 corridor;
  • Providing additional weekly intensive power washing of alleyways in the downtown core and Chinatown-International District; and
  • Removing debris and abating graffiti on 2nd Ave bike lanes from Belltown to Pioneer Square and along the Pike/Pine corridor.

Through a series of campaigns and investments, DSA and the business improvement district it manages, the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), are directing a package of more than $3.2 million toward downtown Seattle’s recovery. This recovery package supports enhanced cleaning and beautification efforts, homelessness outreach, public art installations, Welcome Back Weeks and other community events, concerts and a communications & marketing campaign. All this week, DSA has placed Welcome Back Booths at 12 different locations throughout downtown to greet people with music, refreshments, giveaways and information as people return to the heart of the city.

Residents can find more information on downtown recovery efforts at www.seattle.gov/covidrecovery and https://downtownseattle.org/events/welcome-back-weeks/.