While the news Gov. Inslee shared Sunday morning is hard to hear as we approach the holiday season, he has had to make these difficult decisions to prevent the unchecked, exponential spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the lives of Washingtonians. What happens next is up to us. Each one of us is responsible for making choices every day that impact whether case counts shrink or grow, and we all have a role to play in protecting the health – and the very lives – of our friends, family, neighbors, essential workers and loved ones as we enter the holidays.
In taking the actions necessary to get this virus under control, we know that the business community and the paychecks that provide individuals and families with basic needs will be deeply impacted. While we grapple with this third wave, it is clear that the health of our community and the strength of our economy are inextricably linked. I know this is a tremendously distressing time, and I will continue to work with Gov. Inslee and Washington state officials to support our community throughout this public health and economic crisis. I will also continue to call on federal law makers to move past their gridlock and provide the American people and the businesses they operate with the aid they need to successfully weather these historic times.
I am also taking action locally. We are continuing to be innovative in how we provide funding and support to businesses in Tacoma and Pierce County. We will soon launch Celebrate Tacoma, a searchable database of businesses that sell directly to consumers and are licensed and located within Tacoma’s city limits. Celebrate Tacoma highlights restaurants, local retailers and service businesses that have been especially hard hit by COVID-19.
The pandemic continues to be extremely hard on the restaurants that add vitality and character to Tacoma. This morning, I signed an emergency rule brought forward by Council Member Robert Thoms that would cap the delivery fees that third-party apps can charge to Tacoma restaurants. These fees – which sometimes exceed 30 percent while not allowing restaurants to adjust their menu prices – have been crippling as a larger percentage of food orders have shifted to online delivery services.
There is no escaping that these are tough times. But I implore you to not let it crush your hope. What each of us do as individuals, and as a community, can slow the spread of COVID-19 and, together, we can find innovative ways to connect with and support those we love throughout this pandemic. We are Compassionate Tacoma. We are stronger in partnership, and I know that we can defeat this third wave together.