Arlington and Marysville have a number of initiatives to provide monetary, informational and other support to businesses as they re-open from the COVID-19 shutdown orders.

Snohomish County has been approved for phase two of re-opening under Gov. Jay Inslee's plan, which includes limited use of restaurants and other businesses.

Local cities are looking for ways they can help the economy recover as quickly as possible.

That includes monetary support. The federal coronavirus relief bill included provisions that allow cities to distribute funds to businesses and both Marysville and Arlington plan to.

"With a piece of that we are providing grants to businesses," said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization project manager for the city of Arlington. "With a focus on the small businesses in the city."

The grants are focused on helping those who have had trouble paying rent.

"The goal is to pay one to two month's rent," said Lopez. "We're hoping it will do a lot to help with that."

Local businesses have been welcoming the support, she said.

"They are super emotional and worried, and also appreciative to have any support at this time," she said.

Marysville has a number of grant programs as well, including from funds from the federal coronavirus relief bill.

"That provides $4,000 of rent relief for local businesses," said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.

The city is also working through the Community Development Block Grant funds to help local businesses as well, and have partnered with the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County for a third grant program.

"Dozens of local businesses received $10,000 to help," through that program, said Nehring.

The two cities also hope to help through information and support.

"We have dedicated staff, like myself, who are pushing communications about the support that is available," said Lopez.

They are helping businesses understand the regulations and restrictions.

"So you can look at the sheet and quickly see what capacity you're supposed to be under to re-open," she said.

An economic task force with Arlington is helping provide other tools for business owners.

"We've created a purchasing supply guide, that was put together by Mike Simpson [Arlington Grocery Outlet owner]," said Lopez.

"It helps provide guidance on how to get the items needed to re-open," she said.

They have done other material support such as providing pickup signs and mailing masks off to local households as well.

"So our citizens will have the masks to use to help them feel comfortable shopping again," said Lopez.

Marysville is also trying to make re-opening as easy as possible.

"We're offering a kit for small businesses to help meet some of the requirements of re-opening," said Nehring.

The kits have items like placemats, masks, posters that are required by the state, and personal protective equipment.

"If they want that kind of kit they can get it from the city," said Nehring.

The city's website has also been promoting businesses that remain open.

"On our website we've been highlighting businesses that are still open, in whatever manner that may be," said Nehring, and they plan to continue that.

Ultimately businesses will need to be open again if they are to survive, said Nehring.

"We've also been advocating to try and get us to re-open in a more expedited manner," he said.

"That's the best thing we can do for businesses, get them to open again."

The city's support efforts are constantly changing, said Nehring.

"I'm sure there will be other ways that we can help in the future," he said.

"We sort of adapt this every week," and their initiatives are always updating.

Lopez encourages Arlington businesses to follow the city's weekly newsletter to keep up to date.

"Contact us with any issues so we can work them out as well," she said.

Re-opening is important to city officials, she said.

"This is a priority for our city council members and our mayor," said Lopez.


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