If you are the owner of a small business impacted by COVID-19 Yakima city officials want to help. Last week the city council approved a grant program making $1 million available  with no repayment requirements. Grant funds are from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

A news release from the city gives lots of information.

"Businesses within the city limits can apply for up to $10,000 for eligible expenses such as business rent/mortgage, business utilities, business insurance, and other operating expenses incurred on or after March 27, 2020.

Applications and additional information are available in English and Spanish at https://www.yakimawa.gov/media/small-business-cares-grants/

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 15th, the Yakima City Council approved an agreement for the Yakima County Development Association (YCDA) to assist in administering the grant funds. Business owners can contact YCDA at 575-1140 if they have questions or need assistance in completing the application.

Eligibility requirements include:

    Be a for-profit business with a valid business license
    Have a physical location in the city limits of Yakima
    Have been in operation for at least one year as of September 1, 2020 (businesses that started operations after September 1, 2019, are ineligible)
    Have 25 or fewer employees, part-time or full time, including the owner(s) as of the application date
    Have had to close or reduce capacity to operate due to COVID-19

Priority will be given to small businesses that have not received other federal or state assistance. In cases where assistance provided was less than $10,000, a small business may request the difference between what it already received and $10,000 and be given priority for that amount.

Applications must be submitted by 5 pm on Friday, October 2nd, to be considered in the first round of ranking and awards."