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The original item was published from 11/16/2021 3:20:25 PM to 11/20/2021 12:00:01 AM.

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Marketing & Communications

Posted on: November 16, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Council Approves Pandemic Recovery Grants, Information Briefing Scheduled

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A virtual public briefing will be held at noon Thursday, Nov. 18, to provide more details about the pandemic recovery grants the City Council approved Monday night for small businesses and non-profits.

The briefing will be held via Zoom and will livestream on CityofWS.org/YouTube. Residents who wish to participate will find a link to the briefings at CityofWS.org/CLFRF. The link will be posted in advance of the meeting but will not be active until Thursday at 11:45 a.m.

On Monday, the City Council voted to allocate a total of $3 million for affected small businesses and non-profits: $1 million for small businesses; $1 million for small social service non-profits; and $1 million for small non-profits in the areas of travel, tourism, hospitality and the arts. The money is part of the $51.7 million the city is receiving in federal pandemic relief.

The grants are intended to assist businesses and non-profits that are behind on their rent, mortgage or utilities payments. They will be available to businesses with less than 25 full-time employees or the equivalent, and to non-profits with an annual operating budget of less than $1 million, not counting “pass-through” funds from other sources that are distributed to the non-profit’s clients. The first 25 grants in each category will be reserved for entities in or serving low-income census tracts.

The briefing on Thursday will open with a presentation on details of the recovery-grants program, including eligibility criteria, information about how grant requests will be prioritized and how the grants will be administered. There also will be an opportunity to submit questions or make comments. Participants will use the chat box to submit questions or request to speak. Speakers will be limited to two minutes.

The briefing will be recorded and posted on the CLFRF webpage. A Spanish language version of the presentation will be posted as soon as it is available.

The recovery grants are part of the first phase for spending the federal relief money. In addition to the grants, this phase includes $1.35 million for crime prevention, $1.5 million in premium payments to city employees in jobs that required them to regularly interact with the public or coworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic and work in public during the pandemic, and a $100,000 matching grant to provide legal counsel to residents facing eviction due to the pandemic.

A second phase could make more than $15.5 million available for outcome-based partnerships and programs with specific goals tied to the strategic priorities the mayor and City Council adopted earlier this year. The actual amount could vary as the council votes on specific allocations.

The city staff is recommending that up to $20 million be reserved for addressing the city’s housing needs, $7.75 million be reserved to make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic, and up to $2.55 million be reserved to cover administrative costs.

For more information about the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Relief Fund, go to CityofWS.org/CLFRF.

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