Gov. Jay Inslee today announced additional financial support funds for families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor was joined by Lisa Brown, Department of Commerce director, for the announcement.
“We know this pandemic is taking an economic toll,” Inslee said during a press conference Friday. “On Sunday we announced $50 million in business supports, but after more discussions with legislators and our agencies, we’ve agreed on how to more than double that.”
In addition to funds announced on Sunday, the total new economic supports amount to $135 million. Included in that total is:
- $70 million in business support grants.
- $30 million for the recovery loan program.
- $20 million for rental assistance.
- $15 million for energy bills for low-income households.
Included in the $70 million in business support grants is $50 million for a new round of Working Washington grants focused on the hardest-hit industries. Remaining funds will go toward historically disadvantaged businesses who applied for earlier business grants and bolstering Commerce’s business resiliency network.
“We know this is hard on these small businesses, and we know that this will not fully solve the burden so many business owners are shouldering,” Brown said. “But it will help get some of them get through a difficult period. We are going to keep working with legislators, congress and other partners on securing additional support.”
The grants will be allocated first to businesses most impacted by both COVID-19 and the most recent measures taken to address public safety. Equity will also be a priority in making allocation decisions. In addition to the new funds, there will also be separate business support programs coming from local governments.
“This is a significant relief effort,” Inslee said. “I can’t say it’s going to help everyone, but I can say we are not done yet collaborating with our partners to find more funds.”