Seattle city officials on Monday will decide whether to move forward with a $5 million economic stimulus package aimed at helping restaurants and bars as well as hospitality workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said in a press release that the stimulus money comes amid statewide restrictions aimed at clamping down on resurgent coronavirus cases.
Durkan said the stimulus money is intended to “provide a lifeline to small business and workers most recently impacted.”
“Members of the restaurant industry and their families are carrying the heavy financial burdens of this pandemic,” said Seattle City Council President M. Lorena Gonzalez. “Many continue to face uncertainty about the long-term impacts to this industry.”
About $2.5 million of the grant money will go to restaurants and bars and $2.5 million will be granted to hospitality workers.
The city said it will identify eligible grantees from the current crop of Small Business Stabilization Fund (SBSF) applicants. All eligible applicants will receive grants to support continuing operations including outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.
Seattle Restaurants United, a local coalition that has lobbied for relief, welcomed the move.
“Restaurants and bars are central to Seattle’s soul. The COVID-19 pandemic is crippling our small business community, and local restaurants and bars are doing their part to stem the spread of the virus as we all endure this unprecedented challenge,” said Jessica Tousignant, Executive Director of Seattle Restaurants United, in a statement. “I am glad to see the City stepping up and providing immediate relief to restaurants and bars and their workers, and I urge Congress to also meet the urgency of this moment and provide immediate financial relief for small business and workers.”