Governor Jay Inslee at this time introduced one other set of statewide COVID-19 reduction funds designed to assist small companies and households.
“We’re in a really tough place and we’re appearing at this time in a major manner to assist companies … that can have tough days forward responding to the pandemic and the restrictions vital to avoid wasting lives,” Inslee stated at a press convention held Friday, Nov. 20.
The governor stated the state will use $135 million from federal CARES Act funds doled out to states within the spring to assist companies most impacted by the state’s newest spherical of shutdowns meant to curb the unfold of COVID-19, in addition to renters combating housing prices and low-income residents who need assistance paying their utilities this winter.
“This can be a vital reduction effort,” Inslee stated.
Of the $135 million, the bulk — $70 million — will go towards grants for small companies, particularly these impacted by the governor’s most up-to-date spherical of restrictions which have shutdown theaters, gyms, bowling alleys and indoor eating at eating places and bars by way of not less than mid-December. The bundle additionally contains $30 million in loans for small companies.
One other $20 million will go towards rental help, whereas $15 million is earmarked for power help for low-income residents who need assistance paying utility payments.
Lisa Brown, the state’s Commerce director, stated state leaders understand the pandemic and the general public well being measures put in place to assist decrease COVID-19 transmission charges have “put hundreds of enterprise homeowners and workers in a really difficult” state of affairs.
The governor’s announcement at this time is meant to assist “these companies most affected by latest restrictions,” Brown stated.
Of the $70 million in grants, $50 million shall be reserved for companies hardest hit by the brand new restrictions, together with many eating places, bars, gyms and different venues which have needed to re-close to assist cease a speedy rise in COVID-19 circumstances all through the state.
“We are going to work as rapidly as attainable to get a portal open to get purposes for these grants on the Commerce web site inside the subsequent week,” Brown stated.
The remaining $20 million in grants will possible go to companies that had utilized for, however not been given, earlier state grants.
To assist encourage Washingtonians to help eating places in the course of the latest spherical of in-person eating closures, Inslee additionally handed a proclamation this week capping the entire expenses a supply service can cost a restaurant at 18 % of the invoice, and stopping these supply companies from passing the associated fee on to their workers.
Inslee stated he additionally has written to legislators and the president encouraging Congress and the Trump Administration to go one other spherical of COVID reduction earlier than the tip of the yr.
“This pandemic has brought on recognized hardships on households,” Inslee stated. “Households are struggling, companies are struggling whereas Congress has not taken any motion this summer season, we’re nearing a cliff for Washingtonians.”
Requested by a reporter from Yakima about enterprise in jap Washington which have stated they won’t abide by the governor’s most up-to-date spherical of restrictions, Inslee stated there are enforcement measures, together with fines, injunctions and taking away a enterprise’ liquor license which can be out there to state leaders if companies don’t adjust to the brand new guidelines.
The governor added that he believes most enterprise homeowners perceive that the restrictions are supposed to curb the third surge of the coronavirus and can assist open the financial system within the long-run.
“Most enterprise folks I speak to grasp that, if we’re going to have a wholesome financial system, we are able to’t have a raging pandemic,” Inslee stated. “We now have to get by way of the subsequent a number of months so we are able to restore our financial system. After I speak to enterprise leaders they get this.”
Insless added that state leaders are urging all Washingtonians to keep away from indoor Thanksgiving gatherings with non-household members this yr to assist get the virus beneath management over the subsequent few weeks.
“The home is on fireplace proper now,” Inslee stated. “This state is on fireplace. It’s raging. The acceleration fee is 100 % each 10 days. We now have to take some actions and do the very best we are able to … hopefully we’ve set the calibration excessive sufficient that we’ll not less than flatten the curve. … within the meantime, we want everybody’s cooperation.”
“We now have each motive to imagine that we’re going to have regular, incredible, giant household occasions subsequent Thanksgiving,” Inslee added. “There’s motive for hope.”