Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan just announced the first round of "stabilization" grants to local small businesses hit hard by the sudden economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The first thing to know is that 9,000 Seattle businesses applied for these grants but only about 250 could be given money in this funding cycle.
The grants are worth $10,000 each, come from funds provided by the federal government, and are supposed to go to businesses that have five employees or less and are owned by someone earning at or below 80 percent of the median income in this area. Durkan also said outreach relating to these funds should focus on "historically underserved small businesses."
So where did the money actually end up going?
The mayor's office says nearly 80 percent of the money went to businesses whose owners identify as people of color, and a Stranger analysis of zip code data for the grantees shows that historically underserved south Seattle received the largest number of grants: nearly 100.
These grants went to businesses that include The Station Coffee Shop on Beacon Hill, Taqueria Tehuacan on Rainier Avenue South, and Delish Ethiopian Cuisine in Hillman City.
In north Seattle, 54 small businesses received grants. Same for downtown Seattle (where the largest number of grants, 26, were given out in a zip code that includes the International District).
Zip codes covering the Capitol Hill, Montlake, and Eastlake neighborhoods received 23 small business grants.
West Seattle zip codes received 12, Magnolia and Interbay zip codes received seven, and the main South Lake Union zip code received six.
The current round of grants was distributed by a weighted lottery that favored recipients in "high-displacement risk" areas. Comcast has pledged $50,000 to support "future rounds" of help from the city's Small Business Stabilization fund, but Durkan said she "will continue to advocate at the state and federal level to ensure our region receives the economic relief we need, both now and as we recover.”
She added: "It’s clear that the need far outweighs what the City can provide to our small businesses."
A full list of local businesses that received help in this first round of small business stabilization spending can be viewed here.