Newsroom

Washington state businesses have received more than $9 billion in federal loans, grants, and debt relief since the start of the pandemic

Senator Murray: “Local stories like these will help me shape better policies when I go back to the other Washington to make sure our families get the support they need...The American Rescue Plan will help our local small businesses keep their lights on and their employees on payroll during this difficult time”

***WATCH VIDEO OF THE EVENT HERE***

Spokane, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) hosted a small business roundtable with local small business owners and leaders to hear directly from them and to discuss the importance and impact of key small business relief provisions in the American Rescue Plan. Senator Murray was joined by Alisha Benson, the Chief Executive Officer for Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the leading regional business development organization in Spokane, who discussed the impact federal relief has had on small businesses regionally; Trent Maier, the owner of Trailbreaker Cider (opened in July of 2019 in Liberty Lake, WA), who shared his perspective as a restaurant owner and recipient of two rounds of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans; and Caleb and Karli Ingersoll, owners of the Lucky You Lounge, who have both been vocal advocates for direct relief to live music venues like theirs. 

“I’m glad I was able to hear directly from small business owners about what has been working and what hasn’t in terms of federal relief. Local stories like these will help me shape better policies when I go back to the other Washington to make sure our families get the support they need,” said Senator Murray. “The American Rescue Plan will help our local small businesses keep their lights on and their employees on payroll during this difficult time. But it won’t just help folks get back to normal, it will set a course toward a fairer, stronger country and economy, where all of our families and communities can succeed—not just those at the very top.”

The American Rescue Plan Act provided $50 billion in new small business relief, largely administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This includes $15 billion in additional funding for Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance grants; $25 billion in funding for a new dedicated grant relief program for restaurants and food service businesses; $7 billion for expanded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance for nonprofits and digital news services; and $1.25 billion in Save Our Stages grants for independent live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions. Lastly, $10 billion was allocated to the Treasury Department to re-launch the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which was a recession-era program used to facilitate federal money to states to finance small business needs. Additionally, SBA is currently working to stand up the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program as well as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant Program in order to begin accepting grant applications as soon as possible. 

“The federal investments have been critical for our region’s relief and recovery efforts,” said Alisha Benson, CEO of GSI. “The investment supported much-needed grants and PPE to our small businesses and non-profits, while also infusing dollars to build consumer confidence for our economic recovery.  New investments through ARP will allow our community to work together strategically to build back stronger.”

“It’s been kind of an interesting situation for us because we’ve essentially started up a restaurant three times since we first opened in July of 2019,” Trent Maier, owner of Trailbreaker Cider in Liberty Lake said. “We received some PPP money in both the first and second rounds—what we considered to be a pretty significant amount of money that has certainly kept the doors open and—most importantly I think—kept people employed. For us our team is everything, and of course a lot of small business owners stand by their team.  It would have been devastating to have to retrain or find the caliber of people that we already had, and with all the stopping and starting it was an enormous challenge that all of the grants & funding helped get us through.”

“It’s been a really difficult last year for us. Not being able to do concerts or have any type of night life environment has been significant for us. It’s a huge loss of revenue and we've had to pivot into just making our restaurant function, which was a secondary piece of the business when we opened, so we didn’t get very much revenue from that,” said Caleb Ingersoll, co-owner of the Lucky You Lounge in Spokane. “But, I will say that I’m very thankful for the money that has been given out through the American Rescue Plan. We have gotten both rounds of PPP funding. We also got an EIDL, so that has absolutely made it so we can survive through this. I mean, without that help, we most likely would’ve filed for bankruptcy and shut down by now, so that was huge.”

VIDEO of the roundtable can be found HERE

Over the course of the pandemic, billions of dollars in relief aid have been distributed to Washington state businesses in the form of PPP loans, EIDL loans, EIDL advance grants, and SBA debt relief. According to the SBA’s website, the business relief breakdown is as follows:

  • Washington businesses have received a total of 61,316 PPP loans, amounting to $4.95 billion.
  • Washington businesses have received a total of 66,439 EIDL loans, amounting to $3.9 billion.
  • Washington businesses received a total of 96,247 EIDL advance grants, amounting to $308 million.

Altogether, Washington state businesses have received more than $9 billion in federal loans, grants, and debt relief since the start of the pandemic.

Since the first COVID-19 cases in Washington state, Senator Murray has fought to get small business owners, families, workers, and everyone who has struggled during this pandemic the assistance they need. In March 2020, Senator Murray successfully secured more than $375 billion in small business grants, loans, and assistance through the CARES Act, and another $325 billion in the December COVID relief law, before helping to pass the American Rescue Plan earlier this month.

Just last week, Senator Murray helped pass the bipartisan PPP Extension Act to extend the authorization for the Paycheck Protection Program for two months to May 31. This legislation was signed into law by President Biden today.

Last week, Senator Murray released a comprehensive online resource guide to help inform people across Washington state on what the American Rescue Plan means for them and our state, and how they can access aid and assistance through the law. As one of the key authors of the American Rescue Plan, Senator Murray sought to craft a package that provides struggling families with direct relief, gets schools the resources needed to reopen safely, and supports state, local, and Tribal governments with the funding they need to respond to the pandemic without cutting services. With the legislation now signed into law, Senator Murray will continue working to ensure resources and assistance get to families and communities quickly and efficiently.

###