Small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy and our communities.
What we are experiencing during this COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Adjusting business operations during this pandemic has been difficult on everyone – employees, customers and business owners. As we continue to address COVID-19 as a health issue and the impact of the Stay Home – Stay Healthy initiative, we need to focus on how our businesses can emerge from this.
My priority is to help stand up small businesses as part of the recovery from COVID-19. Presently, there is assistance for small businesses from Pierce County, the State of Washington, and the Federal Government through the Small Business Administration. These are unprecedented times and so are the resources being made available; so please apply as soon as possible and without reservation. Below please find information on each program and links to application and further information on each program available to small business.
Pierce County: Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program was funded by the Pierce County Council, allocating $640,000 to this new program. This loan program enacted by the Pierce County Council is a direct action to keep businesses in operation and protect jobs threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is available to small businesses in unincorporated Pierce County that have 10 or fewer employees and have been operational for more than a year with at least 25% reduction in revenues attributed to COVID-19 pandemic. Information and applications are available through the link on the Pierce County Economic Development Department webpage. While not an option for businesses in incorporated communities, please visit your cities or towns to see if they offer a similar program for assistance.
State of Washington: Governor Inslee has allocated up to $5 million in funds to create the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program using a portion of the state’s Strategic Reserve Fund. A limited number of grants (up to $10,000) are available to small businesses with up to 10 employees.
Federal Government- Small Business Administration: The recently enacted CARES Act contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. It includes SBA Loan and debt relief options known as Paycheck Protection Program. Please pursue this program with your SBA lending bank NOW and be vigilant in accessing this program. This program provides loans which will be 100 percent guaranteed by SBA, and the full principal amount of the loans may qualify for loan forgiveness.
I implore you to take advantage of the assistance provided, and be both prompt and vigilant in applying while funds are available. Should you need assistance being directed to the proper agencies, please contact my office at 253.798.3308 or at Doug.Richardson@piercecountywa.gov
Stay Safe – Stay Strong!
Chair, Pierce County Council
For additional resources for business, please see the webpages:
Pierce County Economic Department https://www.piercecountywa.gov/6754/COVID-19-Business-Updates
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/diseases/covid-19-information-for-businesses
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html