The King County Council on Tuesday afternoon (May 12, 2020) approved $60 million in supplemental funding for continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation provides funding for a variety of programs, including: funding to respond to youth homelessness, relief for small businesses; expanded funding for the Community Development Block Grant; increased capacity for newly added isolation and quarantine facilities; support for the hard-hit tourism and creative sector (arts, culture, heritage, science and music) venues in order to attract visitors back to fill convention and events centers, hotels, restaurants; and more.

Further, the plan includes much needed funding to small chambers of commerce and community-based organizations whose primary mission is to provide marketing and technical assistance to small businesses in King County communities.

“This is a robust spending plan aimed at helping small businesses, organizations and our most vulnerable communities throughout the county weather the storm caused by COVID-19 and put us in a strong position to bounce back once the skies have cleared,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Council Budget Chair. “Ultimately, we need to get people back to work and have all of our ducks in a row for when we can safely approach something close to normalcy. If we can do this, we will be in the best position for ensuring the health and wellbeing of our residents as well as for our economic recovery. This plan helps us get closer to these goals.”

The Council approved $28.2 million in the first COVID-19 emergency funding measure in March, and another round of funding is expected later this month. King County expects all or most of the emergency spending to be reimbursed by state and federal funds.

The table below details how Tuesday’s approved measure allocates the $59.9 million in funding. Additional quotes follow the table.

Office of Equity and Social Justice To expand funding for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support ongoing needs of the community $1,000,000
Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget


  • $3 million for an Economic Development Relief Program for incorporated municipalities of the county to support chambers of commerce and community based organizations with primary mission to provide marketing, technical assistance and other support to small businesses, and cities for economic development activities
  • $2 million to 4Culture to provide relief funds to arts, culture, heritage, and preservation organizations throughout the county
  • $1 million to science organizations
  • $250,000 for arts, culture or science organizations, that provide education programs
  • $750,000 for live music venues
Assessments Laptops and related IT equipment to allow employees to work remotely $95,000
Adult and Juvenile Detention Two full body security screening systems to minimize physical contact and support social distancing requirements $410,000
Department of Local Services (DLS) Small Business Relief program to provide grants to small businesses in unincorporated King County and provide technical support and chambers of commerce and community based organizations to partner to provide support to small businesses and translation services to small businesses. $4,000,000
Public Health Support MOA that would provide 25% premium pay and an additional $4/hour for nights and weekends for public health nurses deployed to Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites $483,000
Housing and Community Development Increase expenditure authority of $3.3 million for the Community Development Block Grant and $964,006 in Emergency Solution Grant $4,308,000[1]
FMD Operating Expand operating capacity to support newly added Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites: Bellevue, Renton, and Sea-Tac.

Establish a mitigation fund for local governments to recover costs related to the county’s isolation and quarantine sites, assessment and recovery sites and shelter deintensification sites.

FMD Capital

Long Term Leases

Leasing costs for seven Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites across the county $5,719,000
FMD Capital Building Repair and Replacement Additional costs for the placement and installation of modular units as Isolation and Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter DeIntensification sites across the county and $150K to install fencing around Maleng Regional Justice Center $25,199,000
Lodging Tax Tourism Advance of future lodging tax revenues to help stabilize tourism destinations throughout the county by supporting Visit Seattle and Seattle Southside for a tourism campaign $8,000,000
Lodging Tax Homeless Youth Services Advance of future lodging tax revenues to support DCHS – Housing and Community Development to provide grants to organizations that provide programs and shelters to homeless youth $1,000,000

Total: $59,914,000

“This budget package marks the start of our work to support the economic recovery of our hardest hit communities, while continuing important public health programming to fight the spread of COVID 19,” said Joe McDermott. “I was proud to have run the amendment that doubled the amount of financial support proposed going specifically to the unincorporated King County business community. This initial investment in chambers of commerce, community organizations and direct grants to small businesses with a strong focus on equity for our neighbors who have been historically disadvantaged is a crucial piece of the puzzle the county can contribute in the broader recovery effort we face as a region, state and country in the months ahead.”

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