A new program called the Kirkland Small Business Relief Fund has been created to provide immediate grants for qualifying small businesses and nonprofits in Kirkland that have been impacted by COVID-19. A joint effort between The City of Kirkland, the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce, and Banner Bank, the Relief Fund has received initial seed funding of $250,000 from Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org.

“The Small Business Relief Fund is an extraordinary example of creative collaboration between the public and private sectors to bring immediate support to our Kirkland business community,” Mayor Penny Sweet said in a statement. “I’m so grateful for the generous seed funding from Google and the incredible leadership of the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce, Banner Bank, and economic development staff at the City. We’re all in this together, and this fund demonstrates that.”

Applications will be reviewed by committee made up of members from the Chamber and Banner Bank. Eligibility criteria and more information about the application process will be available soon.

The Relief Fund is open to additional donations beyond the initial support provided by Google. Its goal is to give unrestricted grants to help support rent, employee salaries, and operating costs so that relief is available to businesses and nonprofits immediately. Grants will likely be dispersed in successive funding rounds, as donations allow, pending the distribution of anticipated federal and state aid.

“COVID-19 and social distancing measures from the state and county have created many challenges for our local businesses,” Samantha St. John, CEO of the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “Although we should all still be supporting our local businesses in any way we can while following required social distancing, I invite all those in our community that are able to donate to this fund to support Kirkland businesses.  These are challenging times, but we can get through them together.”

More information on applications and donations can be found at kirklandchamber.org/relief.

Thumbnail photo by Merrill Images