Shawn Loring, owner of Lazy Boy Brewing, works the vats at his shop Saturday afternoon in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Shawn Loring, owner of Lazy Boy Brewing, works the vats at his shop Saturday afternoon in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Purchase Photo

Everett’s $1 million CARES funds go to bills, bars and diners

The city selected 50 small businesses and 11 nonprofit service providers for $10,000 to $100,000.

EVERETT — Art galleries, billiards, breweries, clothiers, diners, doughnuts, groceries, rent, tamales, transportation and utility bills will receive thousands of federal pandemic dollars through the city.

They comprise the 50 small businesses and 11 nonprofit service providers on the city of Everett’s allocation lists for $1 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act money.

Cities, counties and states mobilized public health plans to slow the spread of the respiratory disease, which meant shuttering businesses for months. Congress passed the bailout package in response to a surge in nationwide unemployment related to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Everett received and reviewed 153 applications for its small business grant program. A few applicants were disqualified because they were not within Everett city limits.

The swift spike in job losses also meant problems for people trying to make rent and pay their bills. That’s why Everett split its $1 million in federal money between commerce and nonprofits, of which 28 service providers applied for a Community Development Block Grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The awarded amounts varied between $10,000 and more than $100,000.

“We really didn’t know what to expect,” city spokesperson Julio Cortes said. “We definitely knew we were going to have more than we were going to be able to grant to … We wish we had more funds obviously to support all of them.”

Lazy Boy Brewing is one of the small businesses to receive $10,000 through Everett’s federal CARES Act funding. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lazy Boy Brewing is one of the small businesses to receive $10,000 through Everett’s federal CARES Act funding. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Checks haven’t been sent yet because the city is finalizing contracts with each recipient. Once the papers are signed and approved, those funds should arrive in the next two or three weeks.

The money could be a lifeline for people to pay their bills.

Each of the selected 50 small businesses — of which 27 are owned by women, 14 by minorities, four by veterans and two by people who are LGBTQIA — will get $10,000. The city chose to divvy the money evenly and across the unofficial north-south divider of 41st Street to be fair, equal and “helpful,” Cortes said.

“We could have given $1,000 grants to more businesses,” he said. “But would that have saved the business, would that have helped the business? Probably not.”

Commercial leases in Everett, like housing, vary depending on the condition, location and size. But single office and retail spaces usually start around $2 per square foot. Larger commercial buildings can cost a few thousand dollars per month.

That’s just overhead. Then there are labor costs, which were cut in droves across Snohomish County where unemployment reached a high of 19.2% in April before recently receding to 9.8%. The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metropolitan area saw 246,000 people unemployed in May and 165,400 last month, according to state Employment Security Department data.

Lazy Boy Brewing, considered an essential business, kept operating during the early closures, owner Shawn Loring said. But their business as a distributor sank 90% when bars and restaurants closed.

Shawn Loring, owner of Lazy Boy Brewing, received $10,000 through Everett’s federal CARES Act funding. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Shawn Loring, owner of Lazy Boy Brewing, received $10,000 through Everett’s federal CARES Act funding. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Once those reopened, their revenue began to recover. Now, with the latest state mandate for indoor seating changing, Loring is bracing for another drop.

“We’re super appreciative of the Everett CARES Act,” he said. “It’s definitely going to help us out.”

He said the $10,000 will go to back bills for rent, utilities and vendors.

Everett CARES Act applicants had to show where the money would go, including a requirement that much of it would be used for payroll. To verify how the money is used, the businesses must enter into a contract with the city that permits Everett’s community development and economic development staff to check in over the coming months.

With less than one-third of applicants approved for small business funds, there are more that may need financial support. Cortes said the city launched in late March, a business directory that includes information about “Safe Start” guidelines and plans and resources for small businesses. It was translated, with help from the Snohomish Health District, into several languages.

Clothing store Burkett’s and Evergreen State Heat & AC, both selected by the city for $10,000, declined the money because they didn’t need it and wanted it to go where it was needed, Cortes said. City staff are reviewing existing applicants to distribute that money.

Of the 11 nonprofits receiving funds, eight will use the money for housing. The others are required to use it for food.

Volunteers of America Western Washington, based in Everett, led the nonprofit awardees with $104,121. It’ll be used for the agency’s Dispute Resolution Center, which works with tenants and landlords to prevent evictions.

“All of those dollars will go directly to rent payments,” senior director LaDessa Croucher said.

Across Snohomish County, the demand for rental assistance has grown. Croucher said her office saw 223 households ask for help, totaling more than $500,000 over the first 16 days of July. That’s more than all of last year.

“With this, this is really just a different group of people,” Croucher said. “This is people of all income levels who have never been in this situation. … It’s been anxious.”

The clients are asking for funds between $800, below the median rent in the county, and as much as $5,000.

Housing Hope and Refugee & Immigrant Services Northwest collaborated on their application for rental assistance funds for people with low incomes. They’re to receive $60,000.

The two agencies have worked together on several projects and grant applications because their clients often are similar.

“We’re specifically targeting some of the most vulnerable populations,” Housing Hope Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Kohl said. “They tend to be low-wage earners, and those are going to be families that are primarily, of course, refugees and immigrants and people who were previously homeless.”

Their application sought more money to help keep people in their homes.

Basic needs soon could be further in jeopardy as the weekly federal $600 unemployment benefit is set to expire at the end of July.

“Sixty thousand dollars is not going to meet the need,” Kohl said. “That’s how much we were awarded because there is of course a much greater need than the money available.”

The money wasn’t designated yet, but Kohl said they’re likely to distribute it at $1,000 per household for about 60 families.

Housing Hope’s clients could use donated gas and grocery store gift cards, and money for rental assistance.

“Those types of assistance help us a lot,” Kohl said. “We want to make sure they can get to that job interview and make sure they can feed their families.”

For ChildStrive, which works primarily with families in south Everett and along Casino Road, the focus is food security. The nonprofit is to receive $53,225. How that will be spent will be spelled out in the city contract, CEO Jim Welsh said. The money is marked for basic needs, meaning it could go, for example, to the warm meal program, the drop-in food bank or rental assistance.

“The CARES Act has been absolutely critical,” Welsh said.

The families that come to ChildStrive for help have many needs, such as diapers, hygiene products, activities for young children and families, access to Wi-Fi, digital devices, child care and food. The nonprofit is accepting donations, and Welsh also asked people to consider supporting Connect Casino Road and Madres de Casino Road.

If Congress approves another round of federal funding, Cortes said, the city would use its list of applicants to consider other allocations.

Ben Watanabe:; 425-339-3037; Twitter @benwatanabe.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A resident reported finding a dead Asian giant hornet near Marysville on June 4. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Dead ‘murder hornet’ found in Marysville, a first for county

It could be from a previous season, scientists say, because males don’t typically emerge this early.

Jeff Thoreson does a cheer with his second grade class before the start of their kickball game on his last in-person day of school on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in Snohomish, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish teacher hit the right notes in memorable career

Jeff Thoreson will retire this month after molding minds at Riverview Elementary School for 41 years.

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2020, file photo, Staff Sgt. Travis Snyder, left, receives the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine given at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, south of Seattle. Nurse Jose Picart, right, administered the shot. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday, June 17, 2021, announced a new COVID-19 vaccine incentive lottery for the state's military, family members and veterans because the federal government wasn't sharing individual vaccine status of those groups with the state and there were concerns they would be left out of a previously announced lottery. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
New vaccine lottery announced for military in Washington

Gov. Inslee said there were concerns they would be left out of a previously announced lottery.

Police: After short chase in Marysville, man dies by suicide

Officers responded to a domestic violence call. The suspect reportedly shot himself at the end of a chase.

The Everett Police Department has asked the City Council to keep its nine Stay Out of Drug Areas, zones where people arrested for drug crimes are not allowed. (City of Everett)
Everett police ask council to renew 9 drug enforcement areas

SODAs are a legal tool that prohibits people arrested for drug crimes from entering certain areas.

Sequoia High graduates move their tassels from one side to the other at the end of the graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Gallery: Sequoia High Graduation

Sequoia High School graduates receive their diplomas

Woman killed in hit-and-run south of Everett is identified

Detectives have been searching for the vehicle that struck Katherine Mueller, 31, of Snohomish.

Pallet communities are groups of tiny homes for unhoused people. Here, a worker installs weatherstripping on a pallet shelter at Pallet in Everett in January 2020. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)
Tiny home community is proposed at a Marysville church

The Pallet shelter community would provide transitional housing to eight people. Neighbors have questions.

In Edmonds, ‘small cell’ deployment permit becomes a big deal

The City Council has allowed new cellular equipment under an ordinance that regulates conditions.

Most Read