Snohomish County Council appropriates $73 million in CARES Act relief funds, including grants for small businesses 

The Snohomish County Council Thursday approved a Small Business Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency (R3) Grant Program, with up to $25,000 available for businesses that have experienced at least a 25% drop in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council also approved a First in Flight Fund for Paine Field Airport tenants impacted by COVID-19 and other aerospace businesses in Snohomish County.

Both grant programs are funded by the federal CARES ACT, and are key parts of the relief and recovery actions Snohomish County is taking to help businesses impacted by the pandemic,  County Executive Dave Somers said.

The application process for the R3 Grant Program is now open. Applicants can visit www.workforcesnohomish.org for details and application materials. It is anticipated that it will take most businesses less than 30 minutes to apply. The plan is for awards to be made within five weeks of application.

Funding is intended to support business sustainability through the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds received must be used to cover expenses that have not been previously accounted for and are incurred between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 30, 2020. Priority will be given to dining, retail, hospitality, arts and entertainment, and service sector establishments. Minority and women owned businesses are encouraged to apply.

Businesses applying for grants under this program must:

  • Be licensed to do business in the State of Washington.
  • Be a business physically located in Snohomish County.
  • Have 20 or fewer employees (including the business owner/worker).
  • Be in operation for one or more years.
  • Certify at least a 25% reduction in revenue attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Able to demonstrate that the business was a going concern before March 23, 2020.

Priority will be given to dining, retail, hospitality, arts and entertainment, and service sector establishments. Minority and women owned businesses are encouraged to apply.

“I appreciate the council’s approval of these grant programs,” said Executive Dave Somers. “There are businesses and employees across the county who need this relief now.”

These grant programs were part of the package of COVID-19 responses proposed by Executive Somers and funded by CARES Act resources. That package includes: $55 million for public health and emergency response activities, including PPE; $37 million for economic stabilization; $25 million for human/social services and housing; $6 million for essential government services; and $20 million for emergency contingencies.

The county anticipates announcing a relief program for Snohomish County private non-profit organizations later this month.

“These funds will help our small businesses and vulnerable communities with the impacts of COVID-19,” said Council Vice-Chair Stephanie Wright, who represents District 4, which includes Edmonds, Woodway and Lynnwood. “Providing additional resources to the Health District allows for the expanded testing that will be key to our economic recovery.”

“This is a great example of the good government can do when we work together,” added Councilmember Jared Mead, who represents District 4, which includes Mountlake Terrace and Brier. “I want to thank Executive Somers and his team for bringing this proposal to the Council and working with us to ensure we can get relief out to Snohomish County residents who need it as quickly and efficiently as possible.” 

The county council said in a news release it is working diligently to appropriate remaining funds as soon as possible. Workshops for further conversations will continue to be scheduled. These meetings are open to the public and are being hosted on Zoom. If you would like to attend, visit the council’s webpage regularly to find meeting dates and times and links to join, or follow the county council on Facebook. 

 

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