The Federal Way City Council voted unanimously at Tuesday night’s meeting to approve a plan to distribute federal CARES Act funds to local businesses.
In April, Governor Jay lnslee announced the award of nearly $300 million to local governments across Washington from the state’s allocation of the CARES Act federal funding. The amount the City of Federal Way received was determined by population.
Federal Way was awarded approximately $2.96 million in federal funding to help with reimbursable costs it has already incurred in response to COVID-19 public health impacts. Mayor Jim Ferrell decided to allocate up to $2.5 million in funding to be available to Federal Way businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
There will be two rounds of grant disbursements available to Federal Way-based businesses, with $1 million available in each round. Awards of $1,000 will be available for 500 businesses and $2,000 per business up to 250.
“This is about helping the businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mayor Jim Ferrell. “I’m really proud of the unity and support the City Council has shown to the small business sector in our city during this critical time. It’s critical that we get this money out in an equitable and transparent process that has the full support of our community.”
The criteria for businesses to be eligible for a Small Business Grant from the City include:
- Domiciled in Federal Way
- Possess a Federal Way business license
- Must have been in business one year prior to 2020
- Must be current on all taxes and government fees
- Not a recipient of other grants or other state or federal COVID-19 funding
- No more than 10 employees (full-time equivalent) per business
- Annual revenues of business cannot exceed $1.5 million
- Home occupation businesses operated from the owner’s primary residence may qualify if the residence is physically located in Federal Way city limits, although priority will be given to “brick and mortar” businesses
- Nonprofits are not eligible
Awardees will be randomly selected based on application criteria
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure businesses in our city are aware of this opportunity for them to secure some of these funds,” Mayor Ferrell said.
The second round of disbursement will be initiated shortly after first round with the potential to be deployed by mid-July.
Also approved in the disbursement plan is an allotment of funding so the City can assign staff to process applications, purchase software, and begin its configuration and testing. Initial plans for the deployment of the application is the first week in July.
It will be followed by a two-week window for applications and then subsequent review and dispersal of award letters.