Economic Recovery Initiative
Information for Workers and Employers in Thurston County
The Thurston Regional Economic Recovery Task Force* is developing and coordinating a multi-faceted response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its specific impacts to and throughout our broader Thurston County Community.
This is a difficult period for our community, and we want you to know, you’re not alone. Local partners are coming together in an effort to figure out how we can reduce impacts today and position ourselves for a quick and effective recovery in the months ahead.
We will endeavor to provide local businesses and impacted workers relevant information through this resource site and other means as events unfold. We’re working fast to bring you information as we learn about it, so please forgive any errors or omissions and be sure to share with us any resources or solutions you think could help others.
Together, we will make it through this.
The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) has announced a $50,000 grant to support development of an East Port Peninsula Development Plan. This study encompasses a plan for development along the East Bay waterfront, to include an analysis of infrastructure investments required to facilitate the development outlined in the plan.
ArtsWA has announced funding resources for non-profit and sponsored arts groups and organizations facing financial hardship due to economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, in the form of grants, is provided by the CARES Act via the National Endowment for the Arts: https://www.arts.gov/news/2020/national-endowment-arts-announces-cares-act-funding-support-arts-jobs-and-help-sustain.
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The City of Olympia recently converted Community Planning and Development permitting operations to a digital portal using a program called SmartGov. In addition to creating broad system efficiencies, the digital portal has ensured permitting assistance and review remain uninterrupted during the pandemic. Customers can still submit applications, pay fees, request inspections and review status online, while staff review and stamp approval virtually. Even before the pandemic, the City was processing about 87% of permits (more than 5,000 per year) via the web portal vs. in-office visits. Customers have expressed their support vis a vis a recent user survey showing a 95% approval rating.
Charitable giving by our community has helped the Community Foundation and United Way of Thurston County to make a real difference for local families and service organizations. Highlights include: Funding to support a quadrupling of Meals on Wheels deliveries to 10,000 per month; Doubling the number of food backpacks to kids through the Thurston County Food Bank …