COVID-19

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 Task Force is represented by a growing number of partners, including the City of Lacey, City of Olympia, City of Tumwater, City of Yelm, Experience Olympia & Beyond, Olympia Downtown Alliance, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, Port of Olympia, Thurston Chamber of Commerce, Thurston County, Thurston Economic Development Council and local Tribal Nations.
BUSINESS HOTLINE

1-888-821-6652

Hotline Hours:
Monday-Friday, 9:30 am-3:30 pm

Thurston Strong Micro-Business and Childcare Provider Grants Close Aug. 14

Thurston Strong will continue to accept applications for micro-business and childcare provider grants through August 14. At that time, we will evaluate capacity to extend or pause the program until additional funding can be secured. To review eligibility and apply, please visit www.thurstonstrong.org and click on the applicable link on the landing page. If you have already applied, there is no need to resubmit. All received applications are being reviewed and processed now.

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Thurston Strong Resources Reaching Businesses

Over the past several weeks, Thurston Strong has offered a variety of resources to help business and institutional partners as they work through the challenges of remaining open or reopening to the public.  To date:

  • We have served 800 entities seeking protective masks and hand sanitizer
  • Are reviewing nearly 400 (and counting) applications for microbusiness grants
  • Are reviewing over 120 (and counting) applications for childcare provider grants
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Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund Opportunity

In March 2020 the Arts Administrators of Color Network set up an Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund, which supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists & arts administrators impacted by COVID-19 through $200 microgrants. As of June 2020, over 11,000 arts leaders have express financial need through the emergency fund application. To apply or donate, please visit https://aacnetwork.org/

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City of Olympia Permit Operations Continue Apace

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.

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United Way-Community Foundation COVID-19 Fund Paying Dividends

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 …

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