Office of Economic Development Provides Additional 72 Small Businesses With $10,000 Grants in Third Round of Small Business Stabilization Fund
Seattle (August 14, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan has signed an Executive Order to extend the moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions in the City of Seattle until December 31, 2020. The Office of Economic Development (OED) has also provided an additional 72 small businesses impacted by COVID-19 with $10,000 grants through the third round of the Small Business Stabilization Fund. To date, OED has provided 469 small businesses with $10,000 grants through the fund.
“There is no doubt that our residents and businesses are feeling the deep impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis. This pandemic has put people out of work, caused families to struggle to put food on the table and pay rent, and caused some of our most beloved small businesses to shutter for good,” said Mayor Durkan. “The moratorium on evictions is one critical tool we have at the City to keep people in their homes and keep businesses afloat. Seattle led the way to create some of the first relief measures in the country and it is critical to maintain efforts like the eviction moratorium during this unprecedented time. These efforts, coupled with our work over the last several months to provide immediate financial relief to hundreds of small businesses, are critical to helping our communities weather this storm.”
While the moratorium is in place in Seattle, property owners may not issue notices of termination or otherwise initiate an eviction action with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. The order also prohibits late fees, and when paired with Governor Inslee’s proclamation, increases to rent and security deposits are prohibited through October 15. Tenants who receive any eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint.
The moratorium on nonprofit and small business evictions impacts independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Along with halting evictions, the order also prevents eligible small businesses and nonprofits from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment during the moratorium.
Residential, nonprofit, and small business tenants who must appear in court should use the moratorium as a defense. If a tenant does not appear in court, the court may grant a continuance to allow the matter to be heard at a later date after the moratorium has lifted.
OED awarded an additional 72 businesses $10,000 grants from the third round of the Small Business Stabilization Fund. In March 2020, OED quickly launched the Small Business Stabilization Fund to provide emergency funding to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Because OED received nearly 9,000 applications to the original round of the fund, OED did not re-open the application process for rounds two and three. OED prioritized businesses located in areas of the city that are high-displacement risk. To be eligible for the Small Business Stabilization Fund, businesses must have a physical location (including a food truck or a farmer’s market stand), have five or fewer employees, and the business owner must be at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
Using federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars and private donations, the Small Business Stabilization Fund has provided 469 small businesses with $10,000 grants, with 80 percent of grants going to businesses in high displacement risk neighborhoods. Additionally, over 70 percent of awardees identified as business owners of color.
“When you support a small business, you are supporting families and our community. I am proud that our office has been able to invest in 469 small businesses throughout our city through the use of federal dollars and private donations,” said Bobby Lee, director of OED. “These grants are helping businesses survive this unprecedented crisis, support their employees and families, and continue to serve our communities.”
The full list of grantees for the third round of the Small Business Stabilization Fund can be found here: https://durkan.seattle.gov/2020/08/mayor-durkan-extends-moratoriums-on-evictions-of-commercial-nonprofit-and-residential-tenants-through-the-end-of-the-year/