OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Friday $135 million in economic relief for families and businesses affected by the new sweeping restrictions put in place to control the spread of the virus.
The restrictions come just before the Thanksgiving holiday, impacting businesses such as restaurants, bars, gyms and other services.
At a news conference, Inslee said businesses would be able to apply for $70 million in grants, as well as $30 million in loans to help offset business restrictions.
“We know this pandemic is taking an economic toll,” Inslee said during a news 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.”
The economic package also includes $20 million in rental assistance and $15 million in utility payment assistance for those with low income. All of the funding is part of federal coronavirus outbreak assistance funds distributed to states.
“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,” said Lisa Brown, director of the Department of Commerce. “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.”
Officials said the grant will be allotted first to businesses who have been affected the most by COVID-19, and the new restrictions put in place and equity will be considered.
Separate business support programs will also come from local governments, state officials said.
“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.”
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