Today, the Pierce County Council took strong steps to support Pierce County residents and business owners struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Building on the COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program the Council previously created, councilmembers passed an emergency ordinance that expands the program’s funding by $3 million.
In addition to increasing the funding available, the program eligibility has also been expanded to include employers with up to 20 employees for businesses located anywhere in Pierce County, including incorporated cities.
“As a Council, we are concerned with the significant health impacts of COVID-19, as well as the vitality of our communities. Our small businesses are the heart of the economic foundation of Pierce County,” said Council Chair Doug Richardson.
The Pierce County Council created the COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program on March 24, 2020 with the allocation of $640,000 for small businesses of ten or fewer employees in unincorporated Pierce County. The program, administered by the Pierce County Economic Development Department, was designed to keep businesses located in unincorporated Pierce County in operation and protect jobs threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Economic Development Department started reviewing loan applications on March 26.
To date, more than 198 applications have been received from Pierce County businesses, including 86 companies located in incorporated Pierce County. With more than 55 loans approved, the initial funding has nearly been expended.
An application and information can be found at https://www.piercecountywa.gov/6770/Emergency-Small-Business-Relief-Loan-Pro, by emailing PCSBRLoan@piercecountywa.gov or calling 253-798-6150.
In other action, by emergency ordinance the Council also tripled its funding for the Emergency Food Network to provide food security to those in need during these unprecedented times. The Council provided in additional $500,00 in funding to the $250,000 previously approved in March 2020 for food banks throughout Pierce County.
Nourishing the residents of the County is critically important as the region recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Libby Catalinich, Director, Office of Communications