SOUTH BEND — The Pacific County Board of Commissioners awarded about $200,000 to about two dozen small businesses in the county affected by the covid-19 pandemic at a Sept. 3 special meeting.
The funds, totaling $194,200, were awarded to 23 businesses whose principal place of business is located in Pacific County, had no more than 20 employees as of March 1 and prove they have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Priority was given to businesses that haven’t previously received financial assistance of any kind, according to Management and Fiscal Analyst Paul Plakinger. The county received 113 applications in all.
The grants for the small businesses will be allocated from the county’s portion of the federal CARES Act.
The following peninsula-based businesses received grant funds: American Century Trophy, Auntie Pow Pow’s, Campbell House, Harmony Soapworks, Hill & Son Excavation, Hill Towing, Long Beach Commercial Security, Long Beach Thai Cuisine, Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation’s Cranberry Museum, Peninsula Poverty Response, Purly Shell Fiber Arts, Rank’s Cabinets, RJ Construction, Rosemont Terrace RV Park, South Pacific County Humane Society, The Berry Patch Restaurant, Willapa Bay Accounting.
State to disburse more federal funds to local governmentsOn Aug. 31, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the state will award an additional $190 million in funds that the state received from the federal CARES Act to counties, cities and local health jurisdictions.
While the state Department of Commerce is expected to release specific funding allocations for each local jurisdiction soon, a document from the Association of Washington Cities shows Pacific County and the county’s four cities — Ilwaco, Long Beach, Raymond and South — are slated to receive a combined sum of $536,750, in addition to the $1.62 million that was disbursed earlier this year.
The vast majority of the new funds, $432,800, will go to the county government. Ilwaco is set to receive an additional $14,475 and Long Beach will receive $21,825. The amount a jurisdiction receives is based on 2019 population estimates.
Once the additional funds are in hand, Plakinger said he is optimistic that the county will be able to disburse a second round of grants for small businesses. He said the county received several applications from businesses who have received prior financial assistance, but are in danger of closing, and that those businesses may be prioritized during a second round of funding.
As of now, Plakinger said businesses will not have to re-apply for the second round of funding if they have already submitted a completed application. The county plans to reach out to applicants as soon as details about a second round of funding are more concrete, he said.
Long Beach City Administrator David Glasson said the city still has some covid-related expenses it may use the additional funds for, but that they are still “evaluating our options.” Ilwaco City Treasurer Holly Beller said the funds will continue to be spent on covid expenses that were not budgeted for, such as personal protective equipment for employees, community outreach and education, and waived delinquency and shut-off fees.