Businesses hurt by COVID-19 may qualify for relief funds
Last updated 7/15/2020 at 7:31am
Small businesses in Electric City can apply for up to $5,000 in coronavirus relief funds from the city, and all Grant County small businesses can apply for up to $10,000.
Electric City small business owners have until July 31 to fill out and submit a one page application to receive the funds.
City Clerk Peggy Nevsimal said the city set up the grant program in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Commerce, something the city council approved in June.
The funds businesses can receive would come from 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.
With the city’s own COVID-19 related expenses being minimal, the council decided to try to use the money to help businesses.
“The City of Electric City is allocating funding to support small businesses and nonprofit
organizations within, or operating within, Electric City, WA through a small business grant
program,” a July 10 press release from the city reads. “This funding is expressly intended to aid in providing relief from the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and closures.”
The grant program is open to any small business or nonprofit organization with 20 or fewer full-time employees, “located, or operating in, Electric City,” the city said. “The business must be able to provide a UBI (Unified Business Identifier) number and have been in business for a period of at least one year.”
Guidelines and the application can be found at https://www.electriccity.us/relief-fund-grant-
application, or a copy can be picked up at Electric City City Hall.
Small businesses “must apply for reimbursement of business interruption expenses caused by the governor’s Stay-Home, Stay-Healthy Executive Order,” the guidelines reads. “Funding must be used for costs incurred between the dates of March 1, 2020 through October 30, 2020.”
Expenditures allowable for reimbursement include:
• Operation expenses, including rent, supplies, inventory, utility bills.
• Costs for reopening expenses, including purchasing masks, gloves, thermometers, washing
stations, sanitation supplies/equipment, installation of protective covers such as plexiglass
• Promotion expenses, including marketing and advertising expenses.
Expenditures that don’t qualify for reimbursement are: capitalized equipment, travel, office equipment, and payroll.
“We discussed the wages option with our legal counsel, amongst ourselves, and with a couple of cities and counties who have grant programs going with this money,” Nevsimal told The Star in an email. “Since there are unemployment options out there right now that many workers have tapped into, we felt like this money might be needed for operational expenses even more than payroll. I’ve spoken to several businesses here in Electric City that are badly in need of money for supplies, rent and monthly fixed expenses. In addition, this money can be spent on business marketing and advertising needs, which we feel will be beneficial to businesses in their communication plans with their customers.”
In Grant County, commissioners allocated $2.5 million of the county’s $5 million in CARES money to go toward small businesses and nonprofits.
Grants for small businesses and nonprofits will be administered through the Grant County Economic Development Council (EDC),” a June 30 press release from the board of county commissioners said. “The EDC would develop an application process and work with community members to provide a recommendation to the county commissioners for grant awards.”
Brittany Rang, administrative services coordinator for the Board of County Commissioners said that commissioners would sign a contract with the EDC Tuesday afternoon setting a $10,000 award limit for Grant County businesses that fill out an application, have been open at least six months, have fewer than 20 employees, and a valid Unified Business Identifier number.
Brant Mayo, executive director for Grant EDC, said Tuesday that he would be able to release further details as well as the application later this week.
For more info, those interested can visit the EDC website at http://www.grantedc.com or their Facebook page, or call the EDC at 509-764-6579.
The Star will write a follow up piece in an upcoming issue.