Snoqualmie, North Bend divvy up CARES funding

The two cities received hundreds of thousands of dollars, much of which will go to local businesses.

Snoqualmie is allocating $435,000 in funding to local businesses and organizations to assist them trough the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding is part of the COVID-19 Snoqualmie Rapid Relief Program. Of the funding, $410,000 will be reimbursed to the city from the federal CARES Act. The remainder of the money is coming from King County, including $5,000 directly from King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert’s office.

The city is paying out funding to 76 organizations beginning the week of July 13.

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson said the city decided to give all of its share of the CARES funding to small businesses and nonprofits. Many of the community organizations provide food, senior services and children services.

“Those agencies provide services that, as a small city, we are unable to provide,” Larson said in a statement. “We are grateful for the additional funding from King County and Councilmember Lambert.”

The Northwest Railway Museum received the most funding at $50,000. The historic museum has reopened its bookstore with a limited capacity. But much of the museum remains closed until the county reaches Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to reopen the state’s economy.

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation, Trail Youth and Helping Hands Backpack Program will receive $10,000. Several restaurants will receive $9,000 payments and the Mt. Si Senior Center will receive $7,500.

Other grants have been or will be awarded. Applications for King County grants are being accepted through July 17. Businesses will be reimbursed for up to $5,000 in rent, utility payments or payroll expenses.

The Washington State Department of Commerce is additionally accepting grant applications specifically for child care facilities. Awards could reach $100,000 per grant. The first round of applications was due July 13, but a second round is expected in August and September.

The pandemic has been hard on local businesses. Larson estimated the city is expecting to see a 75 percent drop in sales tax revenue for small businesses in the city.

North Bend

North Bend also received CARES Act and county funding. The city will provide $183,600 to 50 businesses. Like Snoqualmie, North Bend could have used all of the funding on government agencies.

The city received $208,000 from the CARES funding, and an additional $10,600 from King County. It accepted the funding on June 2.

“Our local businesses and organizations have suffered extreme financial hardships over the past several months and are struggling to stay afloat. The success of our economy is largely dependent upon their success,” North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland said in a statement.

The city will send its funding out within the next two weeks.

Other cities that will receive funding include Carnation, which was given $66,600. King County received some $260 million.

Transit agencies in the region got a slice of the pie. Agencies in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties will be receiving a portion of $538 million set aside in CARES funding. But much more will likely be necessary to fully fund regional transit.

King County Metro alone is facing a roughly $400,000 revenue shortfall over the next three years due to the pandemic.