EVERETT, Wash. -- Small businesses across Washington are making some tough decisions just to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are applying for loans and grants to help them get by and pay the bills.
The City of Everett is offering some assistance to support small businesses in an effort to help save the local economy.
“We as a government are a servant to these businesses. We aren’t going to survive without them thriving. We need the business community to pull us out. Because we survive on tax revenue, we survive on sales tax,” said Dan Eernissee, the city’s Economic Development Director.
Applications are open online for the Everett CARES Grant Program. The city said it has $500,000 available from the federal 2020 CARES Act to support small businesses. Eernissee said the city will award 50 grants worth $10,000 to brick and mortar businesses that have 20 employees or less.
“Frankly, we don’t anticipate that $10,000 will be the fix-all for any of these businesses. They’ll have to be cobbling a lot of resources and going into their savings,” said Eernissee. “I can just be the shot in the arm that allows them to just weather this storm because it’s going to be tough.”
Eernissee said the city wants to help all businesses in Everett that are struggling during the coronavirus outbreak, but there isn’t enough money to go around. For the Everett CARES Grant Program, he said they are looking for small businesses who are showing resilience and have proactive plans in these hard times.
“Already are working to recover, that have a plan. And one of the requirements is to really articulate what their story is—about how they help the city, but also how they are planning to get through this,” said Eernissee.
Part of the application’s qualifying criteria includes:
o Proven businesses that COVID-19 clearly injured
o Businesses that provide needed jobs
o Business owners that reflect Everett’s diversity
o Well-operated businesses in all parts of the city
o Beloved businesses with a loyal customer base
o Catalytic businesses that multiply economic activity
o Businesses that contribute broad community benefits
o Businesses proactively working toward economic recovery