Somers announces $14 million in relief for small businesses

One program will target aerospace companies. The other will focus on service and retail industries.

EVERETT — Two small business relief programs totaling $14 million in aid are heading to the Snohomish County Council for approval, Executive Dave Somers said during a Friday briefing with reporters.

The Small Business Relief, Recovery and Resiliency Grant Program will target the service, retail and entertainment industries, while the First in Flight Fund is for Paine Field tenants and other aerospace companies. The programs are phase one of a $44 million economic recovery package funded through the federal CARES Act, Somers said. Each would make $7 million available to eligible small businesses.

“Both of these programs are meant to provide a lifeline for small businesses and employees whose lives have been impacted by the virus,” Somers said. “We hope they will be adopted quickly so we can get those dollars flowing out to our businesses.”

The application process should take less than 30 minutes, the county said. Approved aerospace companies could see up to $1 million in relief within five weeks. Other small businesses could get $25,000 in the same span.

To be eligible, businesses like restaurants or retailers must be physically located in Snohomish County, have a state business license, have 20 or fewer employees, be in operation for at least a year, and have experienced a 25% reduction in revenue from the pandemic.

Relief dollars must be used to cover unaccounted expenses between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 30, 2020.

For the First in Flight Program, businesses must be a current Snohomish County Airport tenant or aerospace business and have employees working in the county as of March 1, meet all conditions of the Coronavirus Relief Fund CARES Act support received by Snohomish County, be a small business and have been in business continuously since March 23, 2019.

Businesses owned by women or people of color are encouraged to apply.

Additionally, applicants that are not selected will be kept on file if more dollars are added to the fund.

The County Council could vote on the programs by the week beginning May 17, county spokesman Kent Patton said in an email.

The county is also set to announce a similar relief program for nonprofits in the next month.

For more information, go to www.snohomishcountywa.gov/5600/COVID-19-Business-Recovery.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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