Based on support of the City Council and under the supervision of the City Manager, the City of Des Moines announced on Friday, June 30, 2023 that it has created an economic emergency relief fund to assist qualifying businesses that were affected by the recent Boil Water Notice from Water District #54.

The Emergency Economic Relief Fund and Employee Support Grant will provide up to $5,000 to Downtown/Marina District businesses that were forced to close, or limit services as a result of the Boil Water Notice. Previously unspent American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds, and other City funds, will be allocated for this program. Preliminary estimates indicate up to 100 businesses may have been affected with a loss of $1,000,000.

The City of Des Moines is committed to the health and wellness of our residents, businesses and visitors. This is especially the case when we encounter hardships.

Recently, Water District #54, a special purpose district, suffered a catastrophic event as E‐coli bacteria was found in Water District #54’s water supply. Residents located in Water District #54’s service area were told to boil water until further notice and businesses were shut down by the King County Health Department. The Boil Water Notice remained in place for seven days.

Here’s more from the city:

“When emergency events occur in the City, we try to do everything in our power to assist our businesses and our local economy. This was demonstrated recently by the City’s response to COVID when we distributed more than $500,000 to local businesses through our GRO program. Additionally, the City injected $160,000 into the local economy and provided 8,000 meals to our community members, utilizing 25 different local businesses, with our Emergency Assistance Takeout for Seniors Program (E.A.T.S.). The City also created a program to help businesses and residents recently impacted by a vandalism spree in the Downtown Marina District through our Downtown Storefront Restoration Project. Finally, $125,000 was allocated to ANEW, a non‐profit that provides workforce apprenticeship programs that will lead to family wage careers in an effort to support personal, professional and regional growth for those in our community.

“The City has a critical responsibility to support our businesses and local economy and employees. While the City is not responsible for the water contamination, this unfortunate situation provides an opportunity for the City to reinforce our commitment to our businesses. We welcome businesses
who have been impacted by this incident to apply for the funds on behalf of their business and in turn, we encourage them to allocate the financial support to their employees who were unable to work during those days.

“We also encourage our residents to support our local businesses, especially at times like these when your support is desperately needed.”

Here’s the link to apply: