The University Place City Council recently approved to redistribute funds received through the federal CARES Act to support local businesses affected by COVID-19.

The Council approved at its July 6th meeting the acceptance of $992,700 from the State of Washington as part of the federal CARES Act. Based on recommendations from staff, $500,000 will be used to support local businesses.

The $500,000 will be divided into two tiers:

  • $400,000 will be available for distribution to businesses that meet certain additional qualifications (Tier 1 Businesses). These are businesses that paid a minimum of $10,000 in sales tax in 2019 and operate a storefront in one of the city’s commercial zones. Grants up to $20,000 will be available to these businesses based on the number of years in business and the number of full-time equivalent employees.
  • $100,000 will be available for distribution to businesses that do not meet these additional qualifications (Tier 2 Businesses). These are geared toward smaller businesses, including home-based businesses. They can apply for a minimum grant of $1,000, plus $1,000 per full-time equivalent employees, excluding the business owner. Grants for under this tier cannot exceed $5,000 per business.

All applications must be received by July 22, with the goal of beginning the distribution of funds by July 31.

“We believe our business grant program best reflects the input we received from our businesses as well as our Economic Development Advisory Commission,” Mariza Craig, director of economic development for the City of University Place, said in a release. “We appreciate the time that everyone took to join us in our virtual meetings so that we could develop a comprehensive plan that best reflects the needs of our business community.”

For specific grant criteria, including how to get applications, visit the Business Relief Funds webpage.