Seattle Market Small Business

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The Seattle Market small business community is located in downtown Seattle, Washington. Also called Pike Place Market, the neighborhood contains a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront. Named after the central street, the Seattle Market runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street. The Market is located roughly in the northwest corner of Seattle's central business district. To its north is Belltown and to its southwest are the central waterfront and Elliott Bay. In 1907, the Seattle City Council designated Pike Place as a public market area where citizens could purchase fresh farm produce directly from local growers. Only three months later, 120 farmers were selling from wagons lined up along Pike Place. By the end of the year, a long narrow shed that contained 76 stalls for farmers and food vendors and other small businesses, was being constructed to provide some protection from the weather. By 1917 much of the Market we know today was constructed, and the Seattle Market continued to grow and thrive during the 1920s and the Depression of the 1930s. After a mid-century slowdown, in 1963 a plan was proposed to modernize the Market area into an area called Pike Plaza. The new development would include office towers, apartments, and parking structures, with an updated market. The plan was blocked by a local citizen group called "Friends of the Market" and as a result, a seven-acre National Register of Historic Places and local Market Historical District was created to preserve the Market's core. However, the market was restored and today, it is a healthy, bustling community of small business merchants and residents. The Seattle Market is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and small business merchants. With more than 10 million visitors annually, Pike Place Market is Seattle's most popular tourist destination. Unique shops like antique dealers, comic book and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, stalls of fishmongers, fresh produce stands and craft stalls operate in the Market. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round from tables. The vision of the original Seattle Market was allowing consumers to "Meet the Producer,” a predecessor to more modern “love local” movements in small business districts across the country.

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