City of Kent awards grants of $6,500 to 300-plus small businesses

City of Kent awards grants of $6,500 to 300-plus small businesses

$2.1 million from federal CARES Act funds to combat COVID-19 impact

Just more than 300 small businesses will receive grants of $6,500 from the city of Kent for economic relief during the COVID-19 outbreak.

About 211 businesses already received money as part of the Kent Small Business Emergency Relief Funding grants. With an additional $617,500 recently awarded from the federal CARES Act, the city of Kent will distribute nearly 100 more grants over the next couple of weeks.

In total, the city will spend $2.1 million on the grants, part of the $5.8 million Kent has been awarded from the state Department of Commerce through the federal CARES Act. The city also is spending about $1 million to purchase 500 laptops for city employees, including about 100 who are still working from home. The city has about another $2.7 million to spend on COVID-19 related expenses.

“Thank you for making sure our entire small business community will benefit from these funds,” City Council President Toni Troutner said to Bill Ellis, city economic development manager, after his report at a Sept. 8 council Committee of the Whole remote meeting.

A total of 539 small businesses applied for the grants and had to meet certain eligibility requirements. About 224 businesses were ineligible for a variety of reasons, including:

• 91 due to an owner, officer, partner, or principal actor of the business who is currently employed by city of Kent or who is an immediate family member (spouse, sibling) of a current city of Kent employee

• 67 due to they had not been in business for at least two years as of June 30, 2020

• 47 due to they had more than 15 full-time employees (eligibility was 15 employees or fewer)

• 46 due to they did not have a current city of Kent business license or were delinquent in payment of taxes or fees owned to the city of Kent as of Dec. 31, 2019

About five businesses were selected to receive grants but did not respond to numerous messages from the city after being notified they were eligible to receive funds, Ellis said. The city will award those monies to other eligible businesses.

Of the 217 businesses selected for the initial funding of $1.4 million, 72% are minority owned, 52% are woman owned and 3% are veteran owned, according to city documents. The businesses had an average revenue of $234,118 in 2019, have been in business an average of 11 years and have an average household income of $77,524.

Demographics of the applicants included 26% Asian-owned businesses, 24.5% white, 20% Black or African American and 8.2% Latinx or Hispanic. Other races were 2% or less and 13% left racial ethnicity blank on the form.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

The Kaiser Permanente Kent Medical Center on the East Hill. COURTESY PHOTO, Kaiser Permanente
Still no timeline on new Kent Kaiser Permanente facility

Company bought the former Kmart property in 2020

t
Kent food distribution warehouse changes name to Pacific Coast Fresh Company

Similar to Pacific Coast Fruit name but signifies products beyond produce by Portland-based business

t
Minimum wage initiative: Renton community members discuss misconceptions

Renton voters will decide Feb. 13 whether to implement one the highest minimum wages in the country

t
Page Turner Books finds new location in downtown Kent

Water damage from broken pipes causes store to find new spot at 215 First Ave. S.

t
Muckleshoot Tribe celebrates new Auburn hotel and expanded casino

The 18-story tower features 401 rooms; grand opening celebration Jan. 26-28

t
Lunar lander will burn up in space before reaching moon

Kent-based Blue Origin helped launch rocket and lander but mission to end early

t
Burst water pipes damage Page Turner Books in downtown Kent

Pipes freeze in vacant unit above store along West Meeker Street; store seeks donations

Courtesy Photo, Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation to close Kent aluminum can manufacturing facility

About 121 employees to lose jobs at Second Avenue North plant

t
Engines from Kent’s Blue Origin help launch Vulcan rocket to moon

Unmanned flight hopes to reach lunar surface around Feb. 23

t
Half Lion files Chapter 11 bankruptcy in attempt to reopen Kent restaurant

Brewing company leases space from city; plans to file reorganization plan by Feb. 7, 2024

Nana’s Southern Kitchen will give away 800 meals on Christmas Day in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Nana’s Southern Kitchen
Donations boost Nana’s Southern Kitchen giveaway in Kent to 800 meals

Food will be distributed on Christmas Day to those in need; initial tally was 250 meals