Seattle small companies and neighborhood enterprise communities might see an extra $23 million in restoration help underneath a proposal by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The Seattle Rescue Plan, announced last week and topic to Metropolis Council approval, would use federal pandemic funds to broaden an earlier $10 million effort to assist small companies, with a heightened emphasis on communities that suffered disproportionately through the pandemic.
“We actually are also going to proceed to prioritize direct monetary help to these folks that want it essentially the most and haven’t but had the flexibility to begin recovering,” stated Durkan throughout a information convention Wednesday in Columbia Metropolis.
A lot of the funding, which comes from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, will go towards particular person small companies, organizations and neighborhoods affected by COVID-19, according to a financial summary by the city budget office.
Funds for small companies can be used for direct grants, technical help, and so-called “tender prices,” comparable to utilities and tenant enhancements, in accordance with the workplace’s abstract and metropolis officers.
Neighborhood restoration funds can be used to help particular occasions, cleanup, and issues like non permanent out of doors seating, vendor markets, and humanities and music installations.
The proposal emphasizes reduction for communities of coloration, which “had been notably hard-hit, each with the well being penalties of COVID and with the financial penalties,” Durkan stated.
The proposal additionally targets the town’s arts and cultural organizations, which usually account for practically a fifth of the town’s financial exercise however which suffered steep losses through the pandemic, metropolis officers stated.
Because the begin of the pandemic, two-thirds of the town’s artists have misplaced their jobs, in accordance with Calandra Childers, appearing director of the metropolis’s Workplace of Arts & Tradition, who additionally spoke on the occasion.
Almost three-quarters of cultural organizations needed to furlough employees and roughly the identical lack sufficient money to outlive the following 12 months — and 1 in 4 lack sufficient money to get by means of the following two to 3 months, Childers stated.
“So the urgency is now,” Childers added. “We have to make investments on this sector in order that we are able to convey them again.”
Some particulars stay unsettled. Metropolis officers don’t but know the quantity of the small-business grants underneath the brand new proposal; earlier small-business grants had been for $10,000.
Anthony Derrick, Durkan’s press secretary, stated officers with the mayor’s workplace plan to have a proposal to the Metropolis Council by Friday, with a attainable vote coming June 15.
However council help for the proposal is unclear. Derrick stated Councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda and M. Lorena González are on board as formal sponsors. However Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who was initially anticipated to hitch Durkan at Wednesday’s occasion, didn’t attend, Derrick stated.
Herbold’s workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark.
The mayor’s workplace has been “working along with the Metropolis Council on this plan for allocating [federal pandemic] funding, and it’s my understanding that there’s broad help for this plan at council,” Derrick stated.
Small companies typically have welcomed metropolis efforts to hurry the restoration, but additionally have known as on the town to deal with different points, comparable to homelessness and safety.
“This funding will assist” small companies, stated Jon Scholes, president and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Affiliation. “However our small-business homeowners and neighborhood enterprise districts are additionally compelled to navigate a homelessness disaster that’s getting worse. Our metropolis has to get [homeless] folks inside and prioritize federal funding accordingly if we’re really going to get well.”