Town awards $50,000 in rent relief grant money to Friday Harbor businesses

Submitted by the Town of Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor business owners were awarded grants of $500 to $2,000 from the Town to assist with business rent and mortgage payments incurred since March 1, 2020. The Friday Harbor Business Rent Relief Grant Program is funded with monies received from the state under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

“There is so much need out there, and each request had merit,” said Mayor Farhad Ghatan. “The grant committee made every effort to determine where the funds would do the most good.” Over 50 businesses applied to the program. The Town made a point of simplifying the application process as businesses are overwhelmed with the volume of paperwork required to get financial assistance for COVID-19-related expenses.

The Town Council increased their original allocation for this program from $35,000 to $50,000 after receiving over $100,000 in grant requests. The Town has carefully allocated the $72,600 it received from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund and was, therefore, able to direct more of these monies toward the grant program.

The state is providing CRF to local governments that did not receive a direct distribution through the federal CARES Act. In addition to the rent relief grants, the Town is using these monies to cover their costs incurred in response to the COVID-19 emergency. The state Department of Commerce determined the Town’s allocation based on population data and COVID-19 impact figures.