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The deadline is approaching for small businesses in Skagit County to apply for a COVID-19 relief program aimed at protecting jobs and supporting struggling companies.

Applications for the Skagit County Small Business Grant Program are due Sunday with the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County managing the distribution of the funds.

“(A grant) is not going make anybody whole,” said EDASC CEO John Sternlicht, though he hopes the grants will be sufficient to keep small businesses open and workers employed.

About $750,000 will be available in this round of funding, given in grants of up to $25,000, according to the EDASC website.

Funding is available for Skagit County businesses with 25 or fewer employees that can show they’ve had at least a 25% loss in business revenue due to the virus, according to the EDASC website.

Sternlicht said gifts will start at $5,000, with an additional $1,000 for each employee.

“These employers have more of a fiscal impact in the community the more employees they have,” he said.

The program is also open to local nonprofits that specialize in food distribution, child care, shelter and other basic needs. Sternlicht said this decision was made by the county commissioners, in acknowledgement of the increased demand during the pandemic.

More details on eligibility, including a link to the application in English and Spanish, are available on EDASC’s website.

Sternlicht said EDASC is assembling a review panel to rank the applications, with participation from the county and the business community.

This program is funded with most of a $1 million COVID-19 federal relief grant the county commissioners allocated to support small businesses.

On July 11, the county awarded a portion of this money to small businesses that did not receive earlier state relief funding, issuing $2,000 to $9,000 grants to 30 businesses.

EDASC has also distributing funding awarded to the cities of Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley, and the towns of Lyman and Concrete.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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