The City of Edmonds announced Tuesday that it has issued a total of 91 federal CARES Act grants of up to $8,000 each to local businesses.
According to the city, all of the 91 recipients are small businesses, most are minority- or women-owned, and a large number have lost more than 70 percent of their business compared with last year. Many of those who applied any received little to no other grant funding, the city said.
Initially — following approval by the Edmonds City Council in June — the city planned to award grants of up to $10,000. However, due to the high volume of eligible applicants — 162 applied — the maximum amount was reduced to $8,000, which expanded the pool of recipients from approximately 70 to 91.
Of those who applied, 83 grantees will get $8,000; the remainder requested less money. In terms of demographics, 50% of businesses were outside the Edmonds Bowl, and 78 of the 91 were minority- or women-owned businesses. Approximately 40% of grantees had one to four employees and most suffered a 70% or greater economic loss
The grants of up to $8,000 are meant to help defray the extra costs and lost revenue associated with the COVID-19 economic crisis.
“With 50% of our grants going to businesses outside the Bowl, and 85% of the awarded businesses being owned by people of color, women, veterans and other minorities, I am encouraged to see that we will be providing support to a wide spectrum of our population,” said Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson. “Our extra efforts to reach out to businesses, including a flyer in five languages distributed throughout the city, were successful in engaging businesses not traditionally engaged.”
Selected businesses will now fill out notarized paperwork and will get their cash in about a week after submittal. The grant becomes a forgivable loan if the business remains open for at least four months.
Funding for the grants comes from an appropriation of $700,000 from the $1.256 million allocated to the city from the federal CARES Act. The rest of that money will be used to cover the City’s COVID-related expenses and to support grants to individuals and households through the Housing and Supplemental Support program.
For selection criteria, special consideration was given to:
- Businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans and other minorities
- Businesses that have received no or lower levels of other grant monies from local, county, state, and/or federal programs
- Businesses that have suffered relatively greater business/revenue losses
- Geographic distribution across Edmonds
- Businesses in the creative sector within the Edmonds Creative District.