Benton County Passed Over by COVID Small Business Relief
Working Washington Small Business Grants were kicked off April 7 by the state as a means for small businesses to obtain relief to help stay open during the COVID-19 issue.
We've reported earlier here that the $20 million set aside ($10 mil in April, another $10 mil this week) were not much relief really. Compared to the money being spent on the Contact Tracing program (it could send BFHD as much as $3 million into the red), the $20 million is a pittance.
When the April 7 batch of funds were allocated, there were 501 total businesses who received various amounts of money. There are some 608K-plus licensed small businesses in our state, the latest round is expected to help about another 5-600, leaving the remaining 606-7K on their own.
It's interesting to note that Benton County was 'passed over' completely by the first round of the program. The following is a breakdown of which surrounding counties got what money. The dollar figures are approximate.
- Franklin 20 businesses - total $165K
- Grant 21 businesses - total $201K
- Adams 27 businesses - total $154K
- Walla Walla 20 businesses- total $157K
- Lincoln 24 businesses- total $154K
Divide the money by the number of businesses to see what they got on "average."
In 14 counties, the application process was halted in the first round of grants due to what the state said were "overwhelming" numbers of applicants. We're pretty sure there were a lot from our area, but those specific numbers are not yet available.
According to the Working Washington website, Benton, Yakima, even King County were listed as being "under review." However, we've learned that according to an email sent to a Kennewick business, it appears nobody in Benton County got any relief.
We spoke with the owners of the Children's Attic store, and they said they applied for the Grant money. However, the email they received saying they were not receiving any, the email made it appear that no businesses in Benton got part of the relief.
They are one of hundreds, of not several thousand businesses that were/are part of the lock down.
There is not official explanation of what "under review" means, but based upon the information given to these Kennewick business owners, it appears it's likely that county either didn't get any, or the applications/process are being re-evaluated?
We will have to see what happens with this second go around with the Working Washington Small Business Grants.
To see the county by county breakdown, click on the button below.