Three days before Pierce County officially “rolls back” to Phase 2 under the state’s reopening plan, the Pierce County Council unanimously adopted an emergency ordinance approving the use of $4 million from the county’s general fund to support local businesses.
“We share the frustration of this setback, but we have the power to change it by getting vaccinated and following public health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Council Chair Derek Young said. “In the meantime, we hope this money helps businesses stay open over the next three weeks until the next review of case numbers in Pierce County.”
The ordinance creates a program to offer a one-time, needs-based grant up to $10,000 to eligible businesses and authorized Pierce County’s Economic Development Director to administer the program and directed the department to conduct outreach into unincorporated Pierce County to increase awareness of the program.
Funding is available to the following business types:
- Restaurants, tap rooms, caterers and similar eating and drinking establishments without a drive-through.
- In-store retail.
- Arts and culture establishments like theaters, museums, and entertainment venues.
- Fitness facilities, gyms, and bowling centers.
- Farmers markets.
Pierce County businesses and nonprofits are eligible for the grant if they have 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (eating/drinking establishments have no employee limit), are directly impacted by the Phase 2 rollback and are not a corporate chain or corporate franchise.
The adopted ordinance now goes to the Pierce County Executive for signature. The Economic Development Department will provide additional information about how to apply for the grants once the program is operational. Find more information online, including the application once it is available, at www.piercecountywa.gov/EconomicDevelopment.