The Pierce County Council on June 9 passed an emergency ordinance creating a $5 million adaption grant program to assist businesses and nonprofits offset the costs of complying with coronavirus operational requirements.
The money is part of the $158 million federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, approved by the council in May that supplemented the 2020-21 biennial budget.

“The ordinance is intended to support businesses and nonprofits, as well as facilities that provide care to vulnerable adults, as they move into Phase 2 of the Safe Start Washington plan as approved for Pierce County (June 5),” said Hugh Taylor, senior legislative analyst for the council.

In early June, Pierce County’s application to move into Phase 2 was approved by the state Department of Health. Activities allowed under Phase 2, with certain restrictions, include opening restaurants at 50 percent capacity, in-store retail at 30 percent capacity and salons, barbers and other personal grooming services.

Skilled nursing facilities, long-term care facilities and adult family homes are eligible for grants of up to $10,000. Other businesses are eligible for grants up to $8,000. The grant program sunsets on Dec. 1, 2020.