Port of Port Angeles to give grants to businesses

PORT ANGELES — A $70,000 program is being established by the Port of Port Angeles to help small businesses overcome challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The port will match a $69,000 federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant that the tax district received for airport operations with $70,000 from the general fund for the grant program, commissioners decided Tuesday.

The grant will cover COVID-19-related costs such as sanitation and personal protective equipment.

Entrepreneurs with up to 15 employees and self-employed proprietors and contractors will be eligible for the $1,000 allotments, commissioners decided.

Clallam County officials voted on Wednesday to apply for a Phase 2 variance, which would allow the county to join Jefferson County and 23 others in entering Gov. Jay Inslee’s second of four phases of reopening before the rest of the state.

If approved by state officials, some businesses could reopen under state guidelines.

Port board President Steven Burke said Wednesday he’s hopeful the port will be ready to process grant applications quickly, possibly sooner than the next regular meeting on June 9.

“Ideally, with going to the next phase, there are businesses that are incurring costs related to going to Phase 2, and we wanted to try to be ready as soon as possible or maybe just a little after Phase 2 is authorized for our county,” Burke said

The port automatically received the CARES Act funding for William R. Fairchild International Airport, as did Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he said.

The district will likely receive the funds within 30 days.

“There really haven’t been any actual costs related to COVID that affect our airport, at least not significantly,” Burke said.

“We’ll use it for the airport, but we’ll take general fund money to match it” for the grant program, he added.

“I feel strongly that if we get CARES money related to COVID, it really needs to go to our community in some fashion.

“We don’t just want to enrich our coffers.

“We want it to be distributed to people that are affected by COVID, and this is a way we can do that.”

The port sees the grant program as a way to help businesses beyond assisting them with rental of port property, Executive Director Karen Goschen said Tuesday at the commissioners’ meeting.

“This is having a tremendous hardship on businesses,” she said of the pandemic.

“We have leeway on helping instead of just deferring rent.”

Other ports also are considering how they can help businesses that are not necessarily port tenants, Goschen added.

Commissioner Connie Beauvais of Joyce said a small business such as the Blackberry Cafe in Joyce might not survive if required to halve its sit-down customer capacity, but with $1,000 it might be able to make it by continuing with take-out service.

She said businesses would have to be specific about expenditures covered by the $1,000 to take advantage of the program.

“There are people who will apply just to apply,” Beauvais said.

“They have to show how their business has been affected and why they are asking for these funds.”

Goschen said Wednesday she will develop a framework for the program for the commissioners’ consideration at a special meeting the first week in June.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

More in Business

Walmart was very busy on Black Friday with customers getting those special gifts and items on sale.
	ID: Roland Gagnon Jr. of Neah Bay came all the way in to Walmart for special bargain he needed like this car seat he purchased
(I tried to shoot shoppers at 5 AM but there was very few at that early hour so I shot this a little later on Black Friday in front of Walmart.) dlogan
Bargain hunters out on Black Friday in Port Angeles

Walmart in Port Angeles was very busy on Black Friday with customers… Continue reading

A sales associate helps customers as they consider the purchase of a big-screen television at a Costco warehouse on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Sheridan, Colo.  U.S. consumer confidence fell to a reading of 96.1 in November as rising coronavirus cases pushed Americans’ confidence down to the lowest level since August. The Conference Board said the November reading represented a drop from a revised 101.4 in October.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Picture of US economy still worrisome as virus damages

By Martin Crutsinger and Paul Wiseman | The Associated Press WASHINGTON —… Continue reading

A KidiZoom Creator Cam by VTech is displayed at the Toy Fair, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in New York. The digital camera comes with a green screen and animated backgrounds allowing kids to go to outer space, get chased by T-Rex, or make things disappear. The camera comes with a tabletop tripod, which can also be used as a selfie stick. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Holiday trends to watch: Adult Play-Doh; stores with shipping

By Joseph Pisani and Anne D’Innocenzio | The Associated Press NEW YORK… Continue reading

Global rally slows, but vaccine optimism still remains high

By Stan Choe and Damian J. Troise | The Associated Press NEW… Continue reading

Free business tax webinar slated

The state Department of Revenue will host a free live… Continue reading

Nina Hill receives OMC leadership award.
Olympic Medical Center recognizes lab manager

Nina Hill was presented a leadership award by Dr.… Continue reading