Small Business Relief, Recovery and Resiliency Grants and First in Flight Fund Would Provide Much Needed Assistance
By Kent Patton | Office of the Snohomissh County Executive
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., May 15, 2020 – Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers proposed the creation of two new grant programs for businesses: first, a Small Business Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency (R3) Grant Program; and, second, a First in Flight Fund for Paine Field Airport tenants and other aerospace businesses in Snohomish County impacted by COVID-19. These proposed grant programs would be part of the relief and recovery actions Snohomish County is taking to help businesses impacted by the pandemic.
“Businesses are facing a critical moment in the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Executive Somers. “While some have been able to secure assistance from federal and state governments, not all have. Many of our local businesses need more. These grant programs would provide a direct injection of funds to help those most in need now. We are doing everything that we can to help keep employees paid and businesses viable. Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. These resources would serve as a critical lifeline to many in the community who are on the frontlines of preserving and rebuilding our economy.”
Snohomish County Small Business Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency (R3) Grant Program
The proposed R3 grant program now goes to the Snohomish County Council for consideration. If approved, the application process will be opened. It is anticipated that it will take less than 30 minutes to apply for most businesses. It is also anticipated awards will made within five weeks of the 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. Businesses owned by women and people of color 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 158,000 workers. The First in Flight Fund is designed to assist tenants at the airport and other Snohomish County aerospace businesses sustain operations, keep local residents employed, and support the County’s overall recovery efforts. If approved, grants in amounts up to $1 Million will be awarded to qualifying businesses.
The proposal now goes to the Snohomish County Council for consideration. If approved, the application process will be opened. 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.
- 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. Businesses owned by women and people of color 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 within a month.
For more 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.
 Snohomish County will provide terms and conditions for use of the award.