Aberdeen Council approves 13 more business for CARES Act grants

The Aberdeen City Council unanimously approved 13 more CARES Act small business grants Wednesday to applicants that met the city’s requirements and had documented revenue losses during COVID-19 related shutdowns and restrictions.

“We spent quite a bit of time reviewing every single applicant, and reviewing the numbers representing (their losses) and the amount of money that had received through other means, and we were able to establish there were 13 businesses who did qualify for at least a portion of the money they requested,” said Ward 4 Councilwoman and Finance Committee Chairwoman Deborah Ross. The grant maximum is $10,000.

There were 25 total applications remaining to be screened in the most current review. Some did not meet the requirements of the city for various reasons, according to a report from Community Development Director Lisa Scott — for example, one needed to provide more information, seven had received money from other sources, and two had been recommended for county CARES Act funding, taking them out of the running.

The end result Wednesday was 13 businesses receiving a total of $77,600. At its Aug. 12 meeting, the City Council approved nine businesses for $30,757, bringing the total through two rounds of funding to $108,357. The City Council authorized up to $200,000 in small business grants out of the more than $500,000 in reimbursable federal CARES Act funds for which the city was approved.

The 13 businesses approved Wednesday include: Aberdeen Office, $10,000; Andy’s Lock and Safe, $1,171; Atwood Autobody, $3,755; Bryan and Son’s Jewelers, $2,796; Dunsire’s Printers, $1,560; Grand Heron Gifts, $2,253; Grays Harbor Stamp, $10,000; Happy at Home Pet Sitting, $3,961; Harbor Accounting, $3,281; Harbor Blooms, $10,000; Rainier Lanes, $8,823; Redeviva, $10,000; and Waugh’s, $10,000.

Ward 5 Councilman Alan Richrod asked why some of the businesses did not qualify for the $10,000 maximum, or did not get the full amount each had requested. Ross explained that award amounts are based on gross revenue losses for the period of March 1 through May 31 in the years 2019 and 2020, less other award amounts from grants and loans. The maximum award is 30% of those loss amounts.

The recommendations to the council came from an ad hoc committee appointed by Mayor Pete Schave at the Aug. 12 council meeting, comprised of council members Ross, Dee Anne Shaw, Tawni Andrews, Kati Kachman and Nathan Kennedy. That group was formed after the city’s .09 advisory committee, which reviewed the first round of applicants, asked to be removed from the process.

Richrod asked, since about half of the originally authorized $200,000 was still available, if there would be a third round of grants.

“We originally set aside $200,000 and have only used up $100,000, so certainly that could be brought up for discussion,” said Ross.

Several council members thanked city staff for its part in the grant process.

“I’d like to say thank for everyone who put in time and effort on this,” said Kennedy. “Lisa Scott, the finance department and committee members hashed over these latest numbers at the last meeting over and over again, making sure everything was above board, to get the money to the people who could really use it.”

“If a business left something out, staff reached out to them to make sure we could do whatever we could to help that business,” said Andrews.