Closed due to coronavirus sign on defocused empty restaurant room

Thurston County, Wash, October 13, 2020 — Thanks to a new infusion of CARES Act funding from Thurston County, Thurston Strong has expanded funding support available to local organizations, including retail and restaurants.

Independently-owned retail and restaurant operators have experienced an outsized economic impact during the pandemic. According to data from Washington State Employment Security Department, 35 percent of layoffs are tied to the hospitality industry. The Restaurant and Retail Grants will provide bridge dollars to those fighting to remain open.

$1.5 million in grants is now available to independently-owned and operated retailers, restaurants and local food chains headquartered in Thurston County and are currently open for business. Successful applicants will receive a $10,000 grant. A committee will review applications in the order received through October 31 or until funds are depleted.

“While we know it isn’t enough to undo the damage businesses have suffered over the past six months, we hope it will help sustain them until conditions trend upward once again,” said Jason Robertson with Thurston Strong.

“These grants are so important, and we hope they’ll help businesses survive these tough times," said Shauna Stewart, CEO of Experience Olympia & Beyond. “It’s also worth noting that every one of us can help these businesses survive by making a choice to shop local whenever possible. The very make-up of our community is dependent on the one-of-a-kind shops and eating spots that add character and vibrancy to our community. Thurston County would not be the same without them,”

To review eligibility requirements and other details, those interested should visit and click on the Restaurant and Retail Grant button.

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