The City of Spokane, Economic Development Division's Neighborhood Business Centers Program (NBC) is working with Center Business Associations to revitalize Spokane’s historic pedestrian oriented commercial districts by helping to implement the Comprehensive Plan in the “Centers and Corridors” which are identified for focused infill growth. These neighborhood centers add strength and diversity to Spokane's economy. NBC fosters community well being, local character, a sense of place, and prosperity by supporting small businesses, community interests, safety, tourism, and local events within vibrant family oriented neighborhood business centers.
These walkable, traditional business centers are a unique destination for the tourist or resident at large and yet they are also the neighborhood center and community gathering spot. They offer numerous antiques and antiquity expertise; the usual and the unusual; music and expertise on instruments, lessons, and production assistance; the funky and fun gift, jewelry, and book stores along with some of the best coffee houses, bakeries, and local restaurants in the city all nestled among historic buildings, playgrounds, and neighborhood parks.
Locally Owned Business Recognition
If a City of Spokane Licensed business would like a recognition decal they can mail a self addressed stamped envelop to:
City of Spokane, Taxes & Licenses, Locally Owned Program 808 W Spokane Falls Blvd Spokane, WA 99201.
Please include: the business name, address and owner’s name
Looking to support locally owned businesses? The City of Spokane is trying to make it easier for you.
The City has developed the Locally Owned Recognition Program to draw attention to small businesses that are owned and operated within the City. Qualified business can receive a decal (shown below) to display in their windows that lets customers know they’re helping to support their local economy.
NBC Indicators and Services
Currently, NBC works with four types of centers designated in Spokane’s Comprehensive Plan. The Center designations reflect differences in size, intensity of uses, and other characteristics. The "NBC program indicators & services" were developed to help determine what assistance to provide to Spokane’s Center Business Associations. These indicators describe what physical design, economic, promotional, and organizational attributes each type of center should have. NBC develops individually tailored services to help each district reach its full potential as described by the indicators.
Click below to view the NBC Indicators and Services:
"Discover Spokane's Neighborhood Business Centers"
Please click on the above link to find out why.
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|Merchants||Greater opportunity for growth and expansion
Expanded customer base
Less financial risk
|Property Owners||Stable or higher rents
Increased occupancy rates
Improved marketability of property
Higher property values
|Financial Institutions||Expanded business customer base
Expanded residential customer base
Improved public image and goodwill
Fulfillment of community reinvestment mandate
|Professionals and Service Businesses||Ready-made customer base of district employees
Location near government, banks, post office, and other institutions
Nearby amenities for clients and staff
|Chamber of Commerce||Potential new member businesses|
Healthier overall business climate
Potential partnerships on joint projects
|Residents||Local accessibility to goods and services
Opportunities for volunteerism and leadership development
Preservation of community for future generations
More employment opportunities
Stronger tax base to support other community aspects (schools, parks, etc.)
|Local Government||Increased sales and property tax base
Protection of property values and infrastructure investment
Reduced cost of services, such as police and fire protection
Reduced pressure for sprawl development
(CDCs, BIDs, civic clubs,
historical societies, historic
religious institutions, senior
citizens, arts groups, etc.)
|Improved quality of life in the community
New membership potential among new residents
Achievement of common goals
Preservation of community history
|Schools||Youth involvement in civic projects
Use of commercial district as "classroom" for school projects
Potential employment and business opportunities
More places to go and activities for youths
|Businesses Outside the
|Increased visitor traffic to the community
Improved municipal services throughout community
Increased business from overall healthier
Additional amenities for employees and clients
|Industry||Improved quality of life makes recruiting and retaining employees easier|
Frequently Asked Questions
Neighborhood Business Centers Program
Teri Stripes, Business & Development Coordinator
(509) 625-6597 or 625-6983
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201
The City of Spokane Neighborhood Business Centers (NBC) Program is working with neighborhood business associations and neighborhood councils to revitalize Spokane’s historic pedestrian oriented commercial districts. These neighborhood centers add strength and diversity to Spokane's economy. NBC fosters community well being, local character, a sense of place, and prosperity by supporting small businesses, community interests, safety, tourism, and local events within vibrant family oriented neighborhood commercial districts.
To protect, preserve and revitalize these walkable, traditional business centers, which are a unique destination for the tourist or resident at large and yet they are the neighborhood center and community gathering spot. They offer numerous antiques and antiquity expertise; the usual and the unusual music and expertise on instruments, lessons, and production assistance; the funky and fun gift, jewelry, and book stores along with some of the best coffee houses, bakeries, and local restaurants in the city all nestled among historic buildings, playgrounds, and neighborhood parks.
Because an inviting atmosphere created through vibrant pedestrian scale streetscapes, economic vitality, traffic calming, attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping all conveys a positive visual message about the commercial district and what it has to offer.
The NBC program provides the technical assistance and guidance to 5-7 neighborhood business associations to assist them in implementing their programs and projects. The NBC program is also a network member of the National Trust Main Street Center http://www.mainstreet.org/ and participates in the Washington State Main Street Downtown Tier System at the Affiliate level. Though NBC is a few years away from reaching Main Street’s coordinating/citywide status, we still follow its Four-Point Approach ™ to revitalization. Currently, we provide organizational and technical assistance for funding and implement capital improvements, and work on promotion with the neighborhood business associations.
Design/Improvements --means getting the neighborhood business center into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets — such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets — is just part of the story.
An inviting atmosphere created through attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, streetlights, and landscaping, conveys a positive visual message about the commercial district and what it has to offer.
Design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning.
NBC assists in implementing capital improvements and programs that affect the public realm such as streetscape improvements, façade improvements, etc.
Organization Development involves getting everyone working toward the same goal and assembling the appropriate human and financial resources to implement a neighborhood business center revitalization.
A governing board and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of the volunteer-driven program.
This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.
Promotion/Marketing sells a positive image of the commercial district and encourages consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the neighborhood business district.
By marketing a district's unique characteristics to residents, investors, business owners, and visitors; an effective promotional strategy forges a positive image through advertising, retail promotional activity, special events, and marketing campaigns carried out by local volunteers.
These activities improve consumer and investor confidence in the district and encourage commercial activity and investment in the area.
NBC promotes the business associations through its web site and Facebook providing technical assistance and guidance to 5-7 business associations in putting on an annual neighborhood shopping event; Girls Day Out; promoting them as great places to live, work and play.
Economic Restructuring strengthens a community's existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base.
Neighborhood business center revitalization helps sharpen the competitiveness of existing business owners and recruits compatible new businesses and new economic uses to build a commercial district that responds to today's consumers' needs. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district.
Coincidentally, design, promotion, organization and economic restructuring correspond with the four forces of real estate value, which are social, political, physical, and economic.
NBC tracks data for the business associations and centers on their economic health and vitality and to assist the business associations in creating their business development, retention and recruitment plans.
Currently, NBC Works with six formal non-profit business associations and a couple start up groups on neighborhood priority projects and providing technical assistance and guidance on revitalization activities.
- Garland - Garland Business District
- Hillyard - Greater Hillyard Business Association
- Monroe - North Monroe Business District
- Perry - South Perry Business & Neighborhood
- Sprague - Sprague East Spokane/Sprague Business Association and Spokane International District
- West Central - West Central Association of Businesses
Yes and no, NBC provides assistance and great information to everyone. NBC can also assist you with guidance in building your organizational capacity and/or in forming a business association. Once your organization grows NBC can start working with you on specific projects and the implementation of your priorities.