OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday announced $135 million in grants, loans and other assistance to help businesses and workers hurt by new restrictions he imposed through mid-December in response to a rising number of coronavirus cases across the state.

At a news conference, Inslee said businesses would be able to apply for $70 million in grants, as well as $30 million in loans to help offset the business restrictions that took effect this week, including the closure of fitness facilities and gyms, bowling centers and movie theaters, and the requirement that restaurants and bars be limited to to-go service and outdoor dining. Those restrictions come after businesses had started to regain activity as restrictions from the initial stay-at-home order issued in March were loosened in May.

The economic package also includes $20 million in rental assistance and $15 million in utility payment assistance for those with low income. All of the funding is part of federal coronavirus outbreak assistance funds distributed to states.

“We are in a very difficult situation and we are acting to save people’s lives in the state of Washington,” Inslee said. “But we also need to act to hep people’s economic prospects hurt by this pandemic.”

The amount is more than double the amount Inslee initially cited when announcing the restrictions. The Department of Commerce said that businesses should be able to apply for grants by next week, but the loan program will not be available until early next year.

Inslee this week received letters from a group of democratic lawmakers, the Washington Hospitality Association and the Association of Washington Business all asking him to reconsider or modify the restrictions on restaurants, citing concerns about increased job losses.

“There are a lot of critiques of what we have proposed that are sincere and not illogical, but I want to point out that inaction is not an option here,” Inslee said. “I think we've taken reasonable action.”

Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association, said in a written statement that the “best relief for our operators and employees is to let us get back to work.”

“We want to work with the governor to get our operators open again now, even if at reduced capacity, so we can earn enough to keep our workers employed during the holidays and hopefully help the business survive," he said, saying that businesses would require greater economic relief if required to keep their doors closed.

In a statement, Senate Republican leader Mark Schoesler said that the package “is a start, but it is not nearly enough.”

“If the governor truly wants to provide adequate relief for Washingtonians, he must call a special session immediately,” Schoesler wrote.

Inslee has repeatedly said he does not believe a special session is needed before the start of the regular legislative session, which begins in January. This week, the governors of Colorado and New Mexico called special legislative sessions to deal with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

As of this week, there have been more than 139,000 confirmed cases in the state and 2,619 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.

The U.S. has recorded more than 11.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 253,000 deaths.

For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown. But for some, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

(16) comments

@the real JohnQPublic

From the picture, it looks like Inslee's mask obscures his vision, keeping him from seeing the truth. It also looks like it's way too tight, cutting off vital oxygen need to think and make decisions that are in the best interest of WA's citizens.

@the real JohnQPublic

Nevermind, that's not necessary that he receive vital oxygen. He's spending your $164,000 per week to be told what to feel and believe.


I got a bag over me head

Oh Really

Better than a body bag.


Consider the glass half full, you don't have two bags over your head.


Me glass is empty. I am high risk...Cardiac ..No bags here. Moronic

@the real JohnQPublic

“But we also need to act to hep people’s economic prospects hurt by MY BAD DECISIONS.”


Yeah that's good give loans out to people that already have a business loan that they can't afford to pay because he has shut down there sources of income then they can be even further in debt , how many businesses can say they don't have to get an operating loan or don't have a rent payment not MANY ,free moneys i can see but loans not so much . I know of one business personally , my wife's family has known for decades that was over on the west side , they had a bowling alley and a successful one too but after the first go around they had to shut down permanently, they had many employees and overhead that couldn't be paid and met , they couldn't get any assistance and a loan wouldn't work without income, and so goes the story for hundreds, the hoops businesses had to go thru to get this money was difficult and time consuming, this coming from the manager of another business i know , it wasn't a sure thing, these people took a beating so much for the dream of owning a small business


Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld was arrested on Federal charges for accepting voter bribes Thursday 19 2020.

Sidney Powell announced National full scale criminal investigation by the DOJ..this includes all "STATES" and it's members of smartmatices.

Angry old man

thats great for bizness but what about joe/jane worker.? unemployment? good luck on getting that soon..stimuliss fat chance..thanks mitch mcconnel


Yeah, more Cause and Effects for the hoax's ... The banks are still collapsing due to their own fraud and corruption but now the State's State Governor wants to

stepping as the bankster and put you on their hook for their debts/grants and call it saving to you...... so you can afford their high taxation and fees coming.

Oh Really

Whatever he does you will be agsinst. Bet you were salivating when you read this article. You'd probably been waiting all day to impart some of your wisdom. You must feel a real sense of relief you were able to set us straight. I just don't know quite how to thank you. I feel so enlightened.


Why would the Tyrant be subjected to legislation when he can do and say what ever he wants. "Screw the peoples elected officials, I know what I'm doing"

This is what you brainwashed turds voted for? Reminds me of a Robin feeding its babies. The Robin (Inslee) flys up and drops what ever it has (shit) into its babies (leftists) mouths and they happily swallow it.


So thats why your so happy.....your a professional at swallowing!

Oh Really

Have you tried breathing into a paper bag? It helps hyperventilating. Don't do it for too long though. You could choke on your own bs. You should run for office. I'm sure we'd all be so much better off with you at the helm.


Panic attacks..I own a degree in Psych..

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