EDASC awards nearly $200,000 total in COVID-19 relief funds to small businesses and organizations

Friday, November 13, 2020

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MOUNT VERNON – EDASC in November awarded a total of $149,000 in COVID-19 relief funds to 36 Skagit County small businesses to help keep their doors open, retain employees and stay safe during the pandemic.

Funding for this program was provided by the State Department of Commerce through the CARES Act. Being sensitive to application fatigue, EDASC selected recipients from its pool of previous COVID-19 grant applicants. EDASC prioritized businesses and organizations that had not received grant funding to date and  still had a significant need remaining.

Grant recipient Alex Thieman, Owner of Lopez Island Creamery in Anacortes, said the award comes at the perfect time as ice cream sales slow for the winter.

“The grant will help us keep employees we otherwise might not have been able to hang onto for the end of the season because we don’t have the savings we had this time last year,” Thieman said. “We also have added expenses with our suppliers increasing their prices.”

EDASC CEO John Sternlicht said EDASC was pleased to award the much-needed grant funds to this latest group of Skagit County businesses.

“Although the total funding won’t solve everyone’s financial issues, we have worked hard to address urgent needs with what we have available,” Sternlicht said.

Along with local businesses and nonprofits, EDASC also awarded a total of $50,000 in CARES Act funding to the six Skagit County chambers of commerce as well as the Mount Vernon Downtown Association. This amount awarded was five times more than what was required by Commerce.

“The chambers and downtown association have been great partners, especially during the pandemic,” Sternlicht said. “We are honored to give back to these organizations.”

In total, EDASC has administered ten small-business COVID-19 relief grant programs this year in collaboration with local and state governments. To date, EDASC has awarded a total of $2 million to 257 small businesses and nonprofits.

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