Local businesses are struggling, and the Pierce County Council wants to help. That’s why Thursday it passed its second round of emergency legislation in a week aimed at getting money into the hands of Pierce County business owners.
Through legislative actions Council:
- Waived the repayment requirement of the county’s emergency small business relief loan program for all pending and future applicants and set a Dec. 4, 2020 deadline to ensure applications are processed by Dec. 30, 2020;
- Streamlined the process to forgive loans previously issued under the emergency small business relief loan program; and
- Added a need-based grant program to assist Main Street and arts and culture-focused businesses to allow these businesses to receive a grant up to $10,000.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic Council has prioritized the nearly $158 million in federal CARES Act monies the county received to go where it is needed most,” said Council Chairman Doug Richardson. “We know the latest round of restrictions this week will have devastating effects on our small businesses and we only have until Dec. 30 to expend the money, which is why this latest action is so critical.”
Councilmember Marty Campbell proposed the legislation that targets in-store retail, arts and culture establishments like theaters, museums and entertainment venues, fitness facilities and gyms, restaurants, tap rooms and similar eating and drinking establishments that do not have a drive-thru and did not participate in the Pierce County Restaurant Rally program.
Eligible businesses can receive a need-based grant up to $10,000. Businesses that already received assistance from the county’s COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program can apply for this latest round of funding.
Additional eligibility requirements include:
- Businesses with 20 or less full-time equivalent employees;
- Demonstrate at least 25% reduction in revenues due to COVID-19 pandemic;
- Located in Pierce County;
- Independent business (no corporate chains or corporate franchises).
Earlier this week Council moved $2 million in CARES Act funds from a contingency reserve account to support expansion of this program. Businesses can request the need-based grant through the Economic Development Department.
The emergency legislation now goes to the Pierce County Executive for signature. Additional information will be available soon on the Pierce County CARES Business Relief website.