SEATTLE - Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle City Council announced $2 million for small businesses and organizations impacted by King County's vaccine mandate.
Patrons at bars, restaurants, clubs and venues must provide proof of vaccination in order to enter those places now, and some local businesses have been gutted by the lack of customers. Durkan and councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda, Lisa Herbold and Tammy Morales announced Monday the city will add $2 million to the Small Business Stabilization Fund (SBSF).
As many as 2,000 small businesses required to enforce the mandate will receive additional funding of up to $1,000 to offset economic losses.
The Mayor's Office says the funding will be applied automatically to eligible businesses through random selection.
"Every step of the way, we have listened to the science – it's why Seattle has the lowest cases, hospitalizations and deaths of every major city and one of the highest vaccination rates," said Durkan. The vaccine verification is the right thing to do to continue to keep our communities safe. Seattle is stepping up again, and as we implement this vaccine verification, it is important that we support our small businesses and arts community as necessary."
Businesses are can still apply for SBSF funding by visiting the Office of Economic Development page on the City's website.
Grant funding is scheduled to be distributed in December, once the 2021 supplemental budget is passed.
"As we ask folks to continue to follow CDC guideline to stay safe and healthy, we must also help small business who have been struggling to maintain their door open to the public in a safe way for their workers and customers," said Mosqueda. "Over these past year and ten months we have learn and adapted quickly to keep COVID rates as low as possible, this funding is another tool to help us accomplish that goal. Thank you to all the workers and small businesses who have continued to keep the economy running — we will continue to work to keep you and our community healthy and safe."
To be eligible for SBSF grants, businesses and nonprofits must be:
- Currently open and operating
- Have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees
- Located within Seattle city limits
- Have no more than two locations
- Have an annual net revenue at or below $2 million
- Have an annual net loss totaling or exceeding the SBSF grant amount
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: King County’s vaccine requirement begins Monday
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