Central Area Collaborative
Community Projects

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and impending National, State and Local level guidance, the Central Area Collaborative, looked to provide emergency grants to Central Area Neighborhood small businesses. The Central Area Collaborative sponsored 10 grants of $500, for the local neighborhood small businesses. While local and state leaders looked to figure out the best way to receive and disburse potential federal funding, the Central Area Collaborative’s Community Navigator, Gavin Amos, along with leadership council member Heyward Watson went out and provided much needed immediate relief in the form of $500.00 grants.

As part of the ARPA COVID-19 Small business restoration funding the CAC is looking to gather input into ongoing efforts needed to help small businesses recover. Be on the look out for a survey to help rate the City’s performance.

About This Cause
We serve as a community service organization focused on the legacy of redlined neighborhoods comprising the Central Area. These neighborhoods were historically inhabited by African Americans, due to racially prohibitive covenants declared throughout the City of Seattle restricting ownership and equitable opportunities.
We look to provide economic opportunity within the disenfranchised population that has been severely battered by the effects of gentrification and displacement. We seek to provide community-level input to all practices and policies presented by City leadership and as well as state and federal policies to ensure equity and racial social construct is at the forefront of any solution presented. We provide guidance for business technical assistance for our minority-owned businesses. We serve as an intermediary between local government agencies and the business community by ensuring the community voice is addressed during policy and decision making events. We serve as the neutral third party community service agency within the Central Area neighborhoods, in which we demonstrate our trustworthiness and transparency by being selected by Seattle’s Office of Economic Development to steward the Only In Seattle Neighborhood Business Grant. By using a collaborative approach to management and encompassing the imperatives of Equity, Resilience, Climate Protection, Economic Development, and Culture, we provide an overarching strategy of ensuring our neighborhoods are not being left out of the economic prosperity others are achieving at the expense of our legacy African American and lower socioeconomic constituents

Central Area Food Incubator Project

$250,000.00 Donation Goal

The Central Area Collaborative works to support and maintain economic development opportunities within Seattle’s Central Area neighborhoods. Rapid gentrification has proven to be an unintended consequence of up-zoning the community’s major corridors and is devastating culturally relevant legacy businesses. To support the Office of Economic Development’s Central Area Revitalization Plan, the Central Area Collaborative is updating the plan to include new programs and processes aimed at creating anti-displacement projects that allow black-owned and BIPOC businesses to maintain their presence in the communities in which they created as they were redlined into the specific geographical location.
The Food Incubator Project seeks to provide funding to help small and legacy businesses maintain their presence within the redlined Central Area neighborhoods. Specifically, the Food Incubator Project is designed to:
When the Red Apple Market at 23rd and Jackson closed so that development by Vulcan could proceed, it was clear that many of the market’s cultural groceries and foodstuffs would also disappear. The Red Apple will be replaced by an Amazon Fresh store. Though the gentrified community will welcome Amazon Fresh and can afford to shop there, many local residents will once again have to travel a great distance to shop elsewhere. This is not the first example of displacement of a legacy business. In the heart of the Central District neighborhood at 23rd and Union, there is now a PCC in a Lake Union Partners development. Unfortunately, the socio-economic status of most of our legacy community residents is not reflected in the pricing structure of the PCC at that location. Again, these grocery stores are geared toward newcomers with higher incomes, not the people who have lived in the area for generations.
Because of these practices, the Central Area Collaborative is trying to ensure that local grocery stores and food-based businesses can get the support they need not only to survive but to thrive within the Central Area.
In our first phase, we’re looking to place small food businesses in a 600-square-foot space that is already serving as a home for a business. The pandemic is forcing that business, Brown Sugar Baking Company (BSB), to pivot from being a vegan bakery to becoming a consultant. Because BSB’s current lease has below-market-rate terms, BSB and the Central Area Collaborative felt its current location could be best used to house other food businesses. Because Brown Sugar Baking has been in business since 2012 and overcame all of the pitfalls of a start-up, its owner feels she can help these other businesses thrive and take advantage of the space’s existing infrastructure. The Central Area Collaborative hopes to engage in these types of business-to-business collaborations to ensure the continuation of culturally relevant food-based businesses.

Central Area Fresh Produce and Food Distribution Project

$300,000.00 Donation Goal
The Central Area Collaborative works to support and maintain economic development opportunities within Seattle’s Central Area neighborhoods. Rapid gentrification has proven to be an unintended consequence of up-zoning the community’s major corridors and is devastating culturally relevant legacy businesses. To support the Office of Economic Development’s Central Area Revitalization Plan, the Central Area Collaborative is updating the plan to include new programs and processes aimed at creating or supporting anti-displacement projects that allow black-owned and BIPOC businesses to maintain their presence in the communities created by the institutionalized practice of red-lining. The Central Area neighborhoods are a City recognized red-lined community.
The Fresh Produce Food Distribution Project is aimed at providing fresh produce and other culturally relevant groceries that no longer exist in the neighborhood due to gentrification. This project has two primary objectives.
The first objective is to help restore the physical location that served historically as General Jackson’s store and is now known as Rimna’s Market. Rimna’s has existed in the Central Area neighborhood as a family-owned and operated business for well over 40 years. It is a pillar in the community and serves as a bulwark against the rapid displacement of culture, family, and history. This objective will concentrate on bringing the overall physical condition of the business up to current building code standards and try to incorporate as many green and enviro-friendly practices as possible. This project seeks to introduce the latest in security, point-of-sale technology, and other upgrades in order to qualify for federal Electronic Benefits Transfers (EBT) in support of SNAP, WIC, and other programs at the location. The project is also working to be a part of the City of Seattle’s Fresh Bucks Program, which will provide local access to EBT capacity within the neighborhood.
The second objective is to allow this location to serve as a distribution point for vegetables, produce, and other culturally relevant groceries. Currently, student volunteers are making connections with not only local farmers but other food providers in an attempt to create a food distribution center. These efforts are intended to improve nutrition and health in the BIPOC community, especially in seniors and children living in Central Area neighborhoods. Reflecting the area’s socio-economic conditions, stores in our neighborhoods are either too pricey for legacy residents or sell only low-quality produce. Our second objective is to eliminate these conditions at this location.

The project’s other goals are to:

Your support goes a long way in maintaining familial ties, mental and emotional well being and support to our elderly and youth and sense of support from all in the community that frequent this historic gathering place.
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