City of Seattle using relief fund to help businesses affected by coronavirus

Mar 13 2020, 10:10 am

If you are an eligible small business impacted by COVID-19, the City of Seattle is ready to help you during this time of need.

Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan announced during a press conference on Thursday that the Small Business Stabilization Fund has been expanded and will focus its outreach on underserved small businesses that may have been overlooked by the federal government’s Small Business Administration disaster relief program.

The City of Seattle will be putting together a $1.5 million relief fund to invest directly in small businesses impacted by coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve been urging the president to declare a national emergency to provide even more relief to individuals and businesses. We cannot do it without more resources from our state and federal government,” said Mayor Durkan during the press conference.

As of Thursday, small business owners are able to apply online for a grant of up to $10,000. Once an eligible business owner applies, the Office of Economic Development will send financial assistance within one week.

To qualify for a grant, small businesses must have five employees or less, the owner must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, the business must have a physical establishment, and it must be financially impacted by coronavirus.

“So many of these businesses are woven into the fabric of our neighborhoods, and they serve as trusted community meeting places. While the city and state have taken some initial actions to help support workers, we are evaluating robust actions that we can take at the city level, understanding we will need to scale our response exponentially with resources from the state and federal government,” Durkan said.

Analysis from the Office of Economic Development has shown that small businesses are being severely impacted by coronavirus, and the city is urging healthy residents to continue to support local businesses during this crisis.

With coronavirus on the rise, King County Health Officials are reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancelations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.