Gators Bar & Grill was one of several Kent businesses to receive grants from the state Department of Commerce. COURTESY PHOTO, Gators Bar & Grill

Gators Bar & Grill was one of several Kent businesses to receive grants from the state Department of Commerce. COURTESY PHOTO, Gators Bar & Grill

14 Kent hospitality businesses receive pandemic recovery grants

State Department of Commerce awards funds to hotels, bars, restaurants

Fourteen Kent businesses were among 1,493 hospitality sector companies impacted by the pandemic that received grants from the Washington State Department of Commerce.

The largest grants in Kent included $162,400 to Best Western Plaza By the Green; $123,638 to Gator’s Bar & Grill; and $76,067 to Quality Inn.

Commerce provided $79 million in relief to businesses that applied for the pandemic recovery grants to cover losses. Businesses in 37 counties received funding.

Authorized by the Legislature in 2022, funding provided through the Washington Hospitality Grant program assists businesses across the state with much needed relief right in time for the summer season, according to a July 24 state Department of Commerce news release.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has seen dramatic impacts to businesses across many sectors, the hospitality industry was hit particularly hard with continued operational challenges making it difficult for many restaurants, hotels and small hospitality businesses to fully recover,” according to the news release. “Commerce provided every eligible business that applied with a grant.”

Commerce Director Mike Fong said the timing of the grant is helpful.

“Many small businesses are family owned, providing a key pathway to building generational wealth,” Fong said. “Today, even as pressure from the direct financial impact of the pandemic is easing, small business owners are faced with ongoing obstacles as they adapt to new business models and uncertainties around workforce, supply chain disruptions and other challenging economic conditions.”

Fong spoke to the range of resources Commerce has to offer and continues to advocate for.

“Above and beyond this relief funding, our team works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to provide a spectrum of services to support every stage of business, from planning and startup resources to export assistance and equitable access to working capital to grow,” he said.

Grants to Kent businesses

• Best Western Plaza By The Green, 24415 Russell Road, $162,400

• Gator’s Sports Bar & Grill, 21609 84th Ave. S., $123,638

• Quality Inn, 1711 W. Meeker St., $76,067

• Agave Cocina & Cantina, 504 Ramsay Way, $58,563

• Kent Bowl, 1234 Central Ave. N., $57,164

• Ishtar Greek Cuisine 421 Central Ave. S., $28,927

• Pho to Chau Restaurant, 18230 E. Valley Highway, $21,225

• Joe’s Deli, 6621 S. 211th St., $7,653

• Shanasheel Restaurant, 23729 140th Ave. SE, $7,460

• Sweet Notes Cafe, 12966 Kent-Kangley Road, $4,534

• In Spice Productions, 10816 SE 271st St., $4,062

• Vintage Ice Cream Sales, 21630 112th Ct. SE, $2,687

• Pita Pit, 20038 68th Ave. S., $1,754

• Spicy Pot King, 25027 122nd Ave. SE, $1,213

Source: State Department of Commerce

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