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Readerboard on the Main Street Bar & Grill as businesses await the opportunity to legally reopen (June 5, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News

Childcare providers and small businesses can apply for Whatcom County grants to offset COVID-19 financial impacts

Applications are being accepted beginning tomorrow for a grant program, Whatcom ReStart​, funded by a pool of federal CARES Act allocations from Ferndale, Bellingham, Blaine, Lynden, Sumas, Everson, Nooksack and Whatcom County.

The Whatcom ReStart program will issue up to $2.6 million in general grants and another $800,000 for licensed childcare operators according to an announcement emailed to media today, July 15th, from the City of Bellingham. For-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for general grants of up to $15,000 each. There is no cap on grants to support childcare.

“By joining forces, combining County and cities’ CARES Act funding, we are able to increase the reach and efficiencies of our response effort,” said Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu according to the email. “I am very pleased with the level of cooperation and willingness of each jurisdiction to work collaboratively for the benefit of all our communities.”

“Whatcom ReStart is designed to give a meaningful boost to local small businesses and their employees,” said Don Goldberg, Director of Regional Economic Partnership, which, according to today’s email, is playing a key role in the administration of the grant program. “We want these grants to have the greatest possible impact on our economy and community to foster resilience as we move forward. Both the eligibility requirements and the application scoring guidelines were developed with this in mind.”

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Grant applications will be accepted between July 16th and July 31st. No late applications will be accepted. Funding decisions and notifications are expected to be made in August and grant funding is expected to be disbursed in September.

Eligible businesses must have had 25 or fewer employees as of January 1, 2020 (including full-time and part-time employees), be physically located in Whatcom County and have experienced a reduction in revenue greater than 25% that can be directly attributed to COVID-19 impacts.

Eligible childcare facilities must be licensed by the State of Washington, located in Whatcom County and are open and actively serving at least one child onsite as of July 31, 2020.

Click here for details regarding business grants and here for details regarding childcare grants.

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