The City of Des Moines has allocated over a half a million dollars in CARES funding towards local businesses impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

A major component of this allocation is the new Grant Relief Opportunities (G.R.O.) Program operated by the City.

The G.R.O. Program received more than 30 local business applications, with businesses ranging from Restaurants and Nightlife to Business Services and Health and Wellness. While the majority of the applications received were for relief related to Governor Inslee’s Stay Home Stay Healthy Order (with a maximum of $25,000), the City did have two businesses apply for the adaptation/remodel grant (with a maximum of $10,000), to improve their businesses to be more accommodating to the social distancing requirements.

“Through the hard work of highly exceptional staff and partners, the City has been able to develop and manage the G.R.O. Program,” the city said in a statement. “Once all the applicants have been notified, the City will announce the businesses and the amounts awarded. The City has worked closely with the Small Business Development Center at Highline College in the administrative review of applicants, and the City is very appreciative of the expertise and continual support it provides to our local businesses.”

The City says it focused on maximizing the impact of these programs through aggregate demand of our local businesses. As a result, the City has also provided the following recovery assistance:

    • Purchasing Masks from Outdoor Research for more than $20,000 for staff, businesses, and public.
    • Supporting Partners Crackers by purchasing $4,800 worth of crackers to be distributed to the Food Bank, senior center and first responders.
    • Supporting the Des Moines’ Food Bank with more than $70,000 to provide refrigeration trailer and power, face coverings, staffing, general assistance, and more.
    • Continuing the City of Des Moines’ EATS Program with $60,000 extended through the end of the year.
    • Funding Housing & Utility Assistance with $25,000, partnering with African
    • Community and Housing Development (ACHD). Relief is intended for residents of Des Moines facing difficulties paying rent and their utilities.

For more information on the GRO Program or the city’s economic relief support, please visit desmoineswa.gov/covid-19-relief.