Small Business Relief, Recovery and Resiliency Grants and First in Flight Fund would provide much needed assistance

On May 21, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers thanked the Snohomish County Council for the approval of two new grant programs for businesses, allowing the application process to open. The two grant programs include: a Small Business Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency (R3) Grant Program; and the First in Flight Fund for Paine Field Airport tenants impacted by COVID-19 and other aerospace businesses in Snohomish County. These grant programs are key parts of the relief and recovery actions Snohomish County is taking to help businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“I appreciate the Council’s approval of these grant programs,” said Executive Somers. “There are businesses and employees across the county who need this relief now. With over one million people currently unemployed in our state, every day makes a big difference. We’ll keep working hard to protect the health and livelihood of our residents. These are the first funds we have been able to deploy from the CARES Act, and I appreciate our entire congressional delegation for their assistance during these challenging times.”

These grant programs were part of the package of COVID-19 responses proposed by Executive Somers and funded by CARES Act resources. That package includes: $55 million for Public Health and Emergency response activities, including PPE; $37 million for economic stabilization; $25 million for human/social services and housing; $6 million for essential government services; and $20 million for emergency contingencies. Today, the Council approved the majority of the package.

The two grant programs approved on May 21 include:

Snohomish County Small Business Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency (R3) Grant Program

 The application process for the R3 Grant Program is now open. Applicants can visit http://www.workforcesnohomish.orgfor details and application materials. It is anticipated that it will take most businesses less than 30 minutes to apply.  It is also anticipated awards will made within five weeks of application. Grants in amounts up to $25,000 will be awarded to qualifying businesses. Businesses applying for grants under this program must:

  • Be licensed to do business in the State of Washington.
  • Be a business physically located in Snohomish County.
  • Have 20 or fewer employees (including the business owner/worker).
  • Be in operation for one or more years.
  • Certify at least a 25% reduction in revenue attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Able to demonstrate that the business was a going concern before March 23, 2020.

Economic and unemployment data for Snohomish County provides insight about our hardest hit businesses. The focus of this grant program is on small businesses that are critical to supporting our community’s broad-based recovery. Priority will be given to dining, retail, hospitality, arts and entertainment, and service sector establishments. Minority and women owned businesses are encouraged to apply.

Funding is intended to support business sustainability through the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds received must be used to cover expenses that have not been previously accounted for and are incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. 

First in Flight Fund

As the County’s economic engine, Paine Field accounts for nearly $60 billion in annual economic impact and has a direct and indirect employment of over 148,000 workers. The First in Flight Fund is designed to assist tenants at the airport, help other Snohomish County aerospace businesses sustain operations, keep local residents employed, and support the County’s overall recovery efforts. Grants in amounts up to $1 Million will be awarded to qualifying businesses. 

The application process is now open. Interested businesses should visit http://www.workforcesnohomish.org for details of the grant program and application materials. It is anticipated that it will take most businesses less than 30 minutes to apply.  Awards are expected to be made within five weeks of application. Businesses applying for grants under this program must:

  • Be a current Snohomish County Airport tenant or aerospace business and have employees on-site or in Snohomish County as of March 1, 2020.
  • Meet all conditions of the Coronavirus Relief Fund CARES Act support received by Snohomish County.[1] 
  • Be a small business.
  • Be in business continuously since March 23, 2019.

The focus of the First in Flight Fund will be on aerospace and aviation businesses that are critical to supporting Snohomish County’s recovery. Funding is intended to support business sustainability through the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds must be used to cover expenses that have not been previously accounted for and are incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. Examples of fund use include: employee payroll, loss of income or increased expenditures directly related to COVID-19, and loan/bond debt service for real property. Additional information and guidance will be in the application. Minority and women owned businesses are encouraged to apply.

Applications that are not selected will be kept on file for consideration should additional funds become available.

These proposed programs add to the actions Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers has implemented to support businesses and workers, including:

  • Launch of a Blue Ribbon Economic and Workforce Recovery Taskforce and District Advisory Groups
  • Creation of the Office of Economic Recovery and Resiliency
  • Establishment of a Response Fund with the Community Foundation of Snohomish County and local partners
  • Extension of a Deadline for Individual Property Taxpayers with County Treasurer Brian Sullivan

The County anticipates announcing a relief program for Snohomish County private non-profit organizations later this month.

Application materials for both grant programs are available at http://www.workforcesnohomish.org. Questions about the application should be directed to Workforce Snohomish at snocogrant@workforcesnohomish.org.

For more general information, please go to https://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/5600/COVID-19-Business-Recovery, the County’s comprehensive page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

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