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Posted on: June 4, 2020

COVID-19 Rapid Relief Program Application Process Now Open for North Bend Businesses

CARES Act graphic

The application process has opened for small businesses and community organizations in North Bend in need of emergency funding through the City of North Bend COVID-19 Rapid Relief Program (CARES Act).

Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments whose businesses and organizations have experienced economical hardships due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund. The City anticipates receiving $208,950.00 from the CARES fund and after reimbursing the City for eligible expenses incurred from COVID-19, the remaining funds will be used to assist local businesses and organizations.

During the June 2nd City Council meeting, Council authorized City staff to accept grants or donations of any monies for the program, including any grants or donations from the State of Washington, King County or other state or local governments or agencies, and to spend such monies to implement and administer the program.

The City will partner with the SnoValley Chamber of Commerce to help administer the process.

This program will provide working capital grants for small, locally-owned North Bend businesses, community organizations and social service agencies that meet specific criteria as detailed in the application. The grant amounts generally range between $1,000 and $10,000.

There will be limited consideration given for grants greater than $10,000 for those that play a significant role in the broader cultural, retail, and economic vitality of North Bend.

Businesses must be located within North Bend city limits. Applicants that are non-profit corporations or community organizations must be located within North Bend city limits or – if not located within North Bend city limits – must provide essential human/social services to North Bend residents or play a significant economic, social, or cultural role for North Bend.

Both of the forms below must be completed and submitted to info@snovalley.org by Friday, June 12 at 5 p.m. Mailed applications must be postmarked no later than June 12. Completed and signed applications should be mailed to SnoValley Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 357, North Bend, WA 98045.

Forms are available in languages other than English upon request to bkeveren@northbendwa.gov.

Application (required to apply)

 Economic Injury Worksheet (required to apply)

After reviewing the Worksheet for completeness, the SnoValley Chamber will determine whether the business meets all minimum criteria and the application is complete. The Chamber will then forward the application to a City committee comprised of the Mayor, City Administrator, City Finance Director, a City Councilmember and two Economic Development Commission members to determine the amount of the grant to be funded, if any.

Funding for the Small Business and Community Organization Rapid Relief Program is made possible by City of North Bend funds and reimbursements from the State of Washington using the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) dollars available to support local recovery efforts from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

GRANT CRITERIA REQUIREMENTS

• The small business or community organization must have no more than 25 full-time equivalent employees. Unique circumstances will be considered as exemptions to this requirement.

• Based on the information submitted on the City of North Bend Economic Injury Worksheet, grants may not exceed $10,000. There will be limited consideration given to grants greater than $10,000 for small businesses or community organizations that play a significant role in the broader cultural, retail, and economic vitality of North Bend. The City of North Bend may choose to give full or partial funding of the requested amount at its sole discretion.

• The small business or community organization must have experienced a significant loss of income in 2020 (more than 25% per month) due to COVID-19 or the Governor’s related “Safe Start Washington” order, as compared to the comparable period during 2019. Small businesses and community organizations that qualify as an “essential business” and remained open to the public or worked under normal operating conditions during February-May 2020 do not qualify. Revenue loss must be documented with federal tax or North Bend Business & Occupation tax returns and/or or similar financial documentation.

• Alternatively, the small business or community organization must demonstrate that it will incur significant new costs for personal protective equipment or physical improvement to its processes or location to comply with social distancing or other directives or recommendations issued by the county or state due to COVID-19.

• The small business or community organization must be current on all state licensing and other regulatory requirements.

• The small business or community organization must be a current North Bend business or organization and have had a North Bend business license and not been delinquent in payment on any taxes or fees owed to the City of North Bend as of December 31, 2019.

• The small business or community organization must have had a physical location in North Bend city limits on or before March 1, 2020 and had a consistent or growing level of business for at least one year prior to that date. Home occupation businesses operated from the owner’s primary residence may qualify if the residence is physically located in North Bend city limits, although priority will be given to brick-and-mortar businesses.

• If it is a small business, the small business must be engaged in a type of business eligible to receive funding by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

• If it is a non-profit corporation or community organization, it must be located within North Bend city limits or – if not located within North Bend city limits – provides essential human/social services to North Bend residents or plays a significant economic, social, or cultural role for North Bend.

• If it is a human/social services organization, it must show that public demand in North Bend for its services have significantly increased due to COVID-19, but that increased revenue needed to meet the demand is not available.

Grant funds will be eligible for:

1. Payment of rent or required monthly loan payments.

2. Payment of essential wages, taxes, and typical benefits to employees (e.g. health insurance, paid vacation / sick leave) essential to maintain business, but only to the extent those wages, taxes and benefits have not been reimbursed by other federal, state or regional grants or loans.

3. Payment for personal protective equipment, sanitizer, disinfectant, or other supplies, equipment or physical changes (e.g., plexiglass barriers) necessary for the protection of public health or the health of business or organization owners or employees.

4. Typical operating costs that are included in “cost of goods sold” on a business’ or organization’s income statement (raw materials for manufacturers, component pieces for assemblers, items for resale for retailers, food for restaurants. etc.).

5. Typical operating expenses that are included in “operating expenses” on businesses’ income statement (e.g., water and sewer utilities, insurance, professional services, etc.).

6. Typical draw or wages on a weekly or monthly basis to owner, provided such draws or wages are consistent with those paid in previous quarters or years.

Grant funds will be ineligible for:

1. Any expense that would not be considered an eligible business expense by IRS rules

2. Political contributions

3. Bonuses to owners or employees

4. Wages to any member of owner’s family who is not a bona fide employee

5. Charitable contributions

6. Gifts or parties

7. Draw or salary to owner exceeding the amount that owner was paid on a weekly or monthly basis for the same period in 2019.

8. Pay down or payoff of debt by more than required per month in underlying debt instrument.

9. Payroll and other employee- or business-associated costs for which the business or organization has received other federal, State or Regional funds (e.g., Payroll Protection Program) are not eligible.

For more information, contact:
Bre Keveren
City of North Bend
bkeveren@northbendwa.gov

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