Local businesses might get relief grants through cities
Last updated 6/22/2020 at 6:32pm
If you own a business in Electric City that was hurt financially by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you should soon be able to apply for a grant with the city to receive relief funds for which the city is eligible.
City Clerk Peggy Nevsimal addressed the city council on the topic at their June 9 meeting.
Nevsimal said she has spoken with the Washington State Department of Commerce about setting up a grant program to distribute some of the $30,900 the city is eligible for as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed by Congress earlier this year.
The city’s own expenses attributable to COVID-19, such as masks or disinfectants, are minimal, Nevsimal explained, saying that using the money to help businesses would be a good way to use the money rather than passing it up.
The council agreed.
Nevsimal explained that according to the rules set forth in the CARES Act, businesses could list payroll losses, amongst other items, as losses suffered to COVID in order to qualify for the grant funds.
A document from the DOC explaining the guidelines for the CARES Act funds lists “expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures” as an eligible cost.
The council approved of Nevsimal moving forward with setting up a grant program.
Coulee Dam City Clerk Stefani Bowden said the council in Coulee Dam discussed doing something similar at their June 10 council meeting, but that no decisions were made.
“We will be looking into ideas and options as we learn more information from Commerce,” Bowden said.
Grand Coulee and Elmer City councils haven’t yet discussed the CARES money.
Coulee Dam qualifies for up to $33,000 in CARES money, Grand Coulee qualifies for up to $31,650, and Elmer City qualifies for up to $25,000.
The state set up the nearly $297 million Coronavirus Relief Funds specifically to distribute to counties, towns and cities across the state.
“Cities and counties are the places we live –and they are the governments closest to the people. They are taking extraordinary measures to protect their residents during the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to provide the basic services we all rely on,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Commerce is committed to moving these critical dollars as quickly as possible so communities can plan and prepare for safe reopening and recovery.”