City extends parameters for COVID-relief grants to serve more Edmonds businesses, households

The Edmonds City Council earlier this week approved amendments to the Edmonds Rescue Plan Fund Ordinance intended to extend COVID-relief grants to even more local Edmonds businesses and households in need.

In July the Edmonds City Council approved the Edmonds Rescue Plan Fund, a comprehensive set of programs funded by an allocation of approximately $11.9 million to the City of Edmonds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The act is intended to help local communities recover from the COVID-19-related economic crisis.

Business grants

The Edmonds Rescue Plan Fund contains a business support program of $1,125,000, to fund general business support activities, tourism support, and small business grants — the latter with an allocation of $625,000. So that these grants are available to even more small businesses, the council agreed to amend a key eligibility criterion: Businesses may have received up to $10,000 in prior grants or other financial assistance instead of the lower $5,000 figure required in the original ordinance.

Grants of up to $10,000 will be available to up to 50 businesses in 2021, with an additional $5,000 available in 2022 for up to 25 businesses.

“The city’s intent with this grant program is to reach those small businesses that were heavily impacted by the COVID-related economic crisis but may also have been somewhat left behind in the flurry of financial aid programs that have come out over the past year and a half,” said Economic Development and Community Services Director Patrick Doherty.

Eligible businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Have zero to 30 employees
  • Can demonstrate at least a 50% loss in year-over-year revenue by the end of 2020 compared to 2019
  • Have not received more than $10,000 in other grants, tax credits or other financial assistance
  • Must intend to stay in business at least four months after receipt of any grant

All businesses that apply and meet these criteria will be considered. Businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans and other minorities, as well as creative-sector businesses and businesses located beyond downtown Edmonds, will be given particular consideration.

Applications may be made online at www.edmondswa.gov/bizgrants.

Applications must be submitted electronically by 8 a.m., Monday, Nov.22, 2021 to be considered.

Household grants

The Edmonds Rescue Plan Fund also contains a household support program, to which $4,150,000 has been allocated to fund general household support programs. This includes an allocation of $3 million for direct grants of up to $2,500 to help defray costs associated with housing, food, medical bills, child care and other household expenses.

The council’s latest amendments allow for additional households to qualify for these grants, with the maximum income eligibility raised to 60% of Edmonds median income, compared to the 40% threshold contained in the original ordinance. The maximum yearly and monthly income figures are as follows:

  • 5-person household: $67,825/year or $5,652/month
  • 4-person household: $63,147/year or $5,262/month
  • 3-person household: $58,470/year or $4,872/month
  • 2-person household: $52,969/year or $4,414/month
  • 1-person household: $47,672/year or $3,973/month

The city has contracted with two Edmonds-area nonprofit, social-service agencies — Communities of Color Coalition and Washington Kids in Transition — to administer this household grants program. Applications are received on an ongoing basis. Applicants can expect to be contacted within seven to 10 days of applying.

Applications for household support grants may be made online at edmondswa.gov/HHgrants.

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