Who We Are
Rainier Beach Merchants Association (RBMA) is over 70 members who are mostly local family entrepreneurs, who run ethnically, culturally, and socially diverse businesses, as well as community stakeholders, and neighbors. We provide inclusive resources and connections for businesses and drive and support a variety of community activities including events and community well-being initiatives.
RBMA powers three community-building events: STP Hydration Station, Rainier Beach Arts and Music Fest (BAAMFest), and the Light Up the Beach Community Challenge. We also host opportunities to beautify the community with volunteer clean-ups, steward the Detective Cookie Pop-Up Chess Park, host the Rainier Beach High School Homecoming Tailgate Party, and organize frequent community and business tours.
We also support the Detective Cookie Chess Park initiative, Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth, Back 2 School Bash, Neighborhood Night Out, Bridge to Beach Clean Up and a variety of other community-based initiatives and activities.
Mission & Goals
Promote equitable economic development in our neighborhood, to advocate for and advance all business, professional, civic, and cultural interests, and quality of life of the Rainier Beach Community.
Advance business interests in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of the City of Seattle;
Provide a forum in which members of the Rainier Beach business community may share interests and needs with each other;
Interact in a structured way with representatives of city, county, state, and federal governmental bodies and the Seattle community at large;
Implement activities which will encourage growth of businesses and overall economic development in the Rainier Beach area and to provide assistance with promotional and other activities;
Support activities believed to be generally beneficial to the Rainier Beach community.
We recently updated our bylaws and expanded our board for broader support and greater representation. Download a copy of our bylaws here.
Rainier Beach Square
The Rainier Beach Business Association recently embraced its business nodes to promote the area as “Rainier Beach Square.” Beach Square, according to a previous neighborhood plan update, traditionally connects the four corners of our business community created by Rainier Ave S, S Henderson, and Seward Park Ave S. As the area has continued to thrive, this has come to include business nodes slightly farther afield as well.
Rainier Beach Square’s four business nodes include:
- Beach Square, the area around the intersection of South Henderson Street and Rainier Avenue South, then following Rainier Avenue South as it bends eastward to Lake.
- “Old Town” Rainier Beach, along 57th Avenue South at Rainier Avenue.
- Rose Street, the area extending north of South Henderson Street along Rainier Ave S to South Rose Street.
- Rainier Beach Light Rail Station in the areas surrounding South Henderson Street at MLK Jr. Way, and Renton Avenue South.
- South Beach/ Tamil on Rainier Ave S at 68th – the southeastern most corner of the City of Seattle on Lake Washington.
Rainier Beach is an affordable, diverse, accessible, and inclusive “small town” located in Southeast Seattle. It forms the southern gateway to the Rainier Valley and City of Seattle. Parks, open spaces, schools, public transportation, a well-used commuter corridor, and a broad selection of businesses define the larger community and business square. Over one hundred businesses call the Rainier Beach Square area home, including retail, restaurants, professional services, home-based businesses, and light manufacturing. Culturally, every continent is imprinted on the district. This is reflected through its businesses and gathering establishments, such as restaurants, churches, and community centers.
As the area grows amidst changing conditions in the City of Seattle, the district continues to define, come together, and prioritize maintaining its diversity, while creating opportunities for all to sustainably thrive in place.