The King County Council approved $4 million in supplemental funding for grants, technical support, and translation and interpretation assistance to help small businesses in unincorporated King County recover from impacts of COVID-19 closures.
King County Local Services is helping small businesses in unincorporated areas receive funds through the county’s Small Business Assistance Program. The agency is partnering with local chambers of commerce and other community business organizations that serve businesses in these areas.
If you own a small business in unincorporated King County, and you meet basic eligibility criteria, you can apply for a Small Business Assistance Grant. To be eligible, a business must:
- Be active and licensed in the state of Washington, with a physical business address in unincorporated King County
- Be a small business, with no more than 15 full-time employees
- Have been in business for at least three years
- Have gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million per year
- Have not received any other federal funding related to COVID-19, including grants and loans
Local Services and the King County Council developed criteria to guide grant selection and awards, with the goal of helping small businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic in all parts of unincorporated King County. Applicants must be able to demonstrate and document financial need resulting from the COVID-19 closures.
The program will accept applications for two weeks, beginning on Friday, June 26 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 10. Materials and detailed instructions for applying will be posted this week—in English and eight other languages—on the project website, https://kingcounty.gov/localbusinesshelp.
Councilmember Joe McDermott: “The federal government made an unprecedented investment in the business community and failed to support the small businesses who desperately needed those funds. Business owners of color were effectively shut out of the Paycheck Protection Program, so it is once again on local governments to try to fill in for the federal administration’s failure. These continue to be historically challenging times for small businesses in our communities. This is a small but important fund for those that have once again been left out.”
Councilmember Kathy Lambert: “Small businesses across District 3 and all of unincorporated King County play such an important role in our community. The daily operations of these businesses have certainly been impacted by COVID-19. I hope that you will apply for this grant funding as it is a step towards helping our small businesses stay open and begin to recover.”
Councilmember Reagan Dunn: “The Small Business Assistance program is an invaluable resource for small business owners in unincorporated areas who are struggling to survive the pandemic. I’m proud that King County recognizes the value of offering a lifeline to these unincorporated businesses, which are so important in their communities but don’t have the same access to aid as businesses in urban areas.”
Councilmember Girmay Zahilay: “It behooves us as King County to prioritize services to those who are most marginalized. This small business support grant not only serves businesses who need assistance the most, but are often times located in areas that are intertwined within the fabric of their communities. While this will not solve all of the issues that are burdening unincorporated areas and small businesses, this is a great step in the right direction.”
Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer: “Unincorporated areas are reliant on King County as their local government, and in these times of uncertainty, it is critical that we work proactively to provide support and relief to businesses that are struggling. I am pleased that the Council was able to partner with the Department of Local Services on this initiative.”
Local Services Director John Taylor: “Small businesses are part of the fabric of our communities, and unfortunately they are some of the hardest hit by this pandemic. These grants are intended for those small businesses that need it the most. Since the beginning, Local Services has been working for unincorporated King County communities, and we will work with our partners and elected officials to deliver this much-needed assistance as quickly as possible.”
Economic Development Manager Hugo Garcia: “We know the economic impact and recovery of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is a marathon and not a sprint. This Small Business program will help our unincorporated King County businesses lead the recovery and will have a positive impact on our local economy.”