On April 6, Seaside City Council took action to deliver a relief package for local businesses and residents.

Less than a month later, City Council approved $250,000 in relief for businesses that have suffered economic harm from government restrictions during the pandemic.

Director of Tourism Marketing Joshua Heineman announced results at Monday’s City Council meeting.

With 142 applications by the deadline, the city received requests for more than $520,000 in funding requested by retailers, food service, businesses and professionals.

Of eligible applications, 126 of 135 received all or part of their request, with 11 of those applications fully funded.

Restaurants, shops, galleries, cafes and entertainment venues operating in Seaside for at least one year were among those eligible.

A review committee of Clatsop Economic Development Resources and Small Business Development Center conducted review discussions with participation from Heineman and Assistant City Manager Jon Rahl.

Applicants supplied business start date, number of employees and how their employment situation has changed since March 15. A city business license and registration with the state were required.

The review committee met via video conference and reviewed each application between April 21 and April 24.

Director of Tourism Marketing Joshua Heineman of the City of Seaside Visitors Bureau announces emergency grant fund distribution.

Rahl developed a formula to aggregate a “top-down ranking structure” to finalize determinations, Heineman said. The final determination was unanimous among the committee.

Individual grant recipients were not immediately announced. The Signal was among businesses that applied.

The final determination allocated $247,000 of the grants. The remaining $3,000 in the pool will be allocated to six different businesses affected by Holladay Drive construction restrictions.

Emergency grants may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

Along with emergency grant funding, the city’s three-part 2020 Tourism Relief Program includes a waiver of transient room tax for the quarter ending March 31. For the same quarter last year, Seaside lodging properties collected more than $1 million for the city.

Lodging tax relief and non-lodging business grants are each funded through reserves of the combined transient lodging tax and business license fund.

All property owners received a one-time $50 reduction in their water bills. The credits are funded through the water department.

Overall, the relief program totals more than $1 million.

“In just a couple of weeks, Josh (Heineman) and Jon (Rahl) were able to pull together this program to award funds to the 130-plus businesses in the community,” City Manager Mark Winstanley said. “That was remarkable — that they could put that program together, to get it all figured out and to get it to the point of being able to award those funds.”

Councilor Steve Wright thanked the “blue-ribbon committee.” “I think we can trust their business judgment to put that money where it will really help.”

City councilors unanimously approved distribution of the emergency grants.

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