Council approves emergency ordinances related to COVID-19

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Measures provide economic relief to residents and small businesses

Pierce County Councilmembers acted this week on four urgency ordinances to immediately provide support, relief and resources for individuals and companies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Council passed Urgency Ordinance No. 2020-43 to declare an emergency and establish a loan program for small businesses. Under certain qualifying circumstances, businesses may apply for zero-interest, twelve-month loans at $2,000 per employee, with a total amount per employer not to exceed $10,000. The loan fund will be administered by the Pierce County Economic Development Department. 

To support funding of the program under Urgency Ordinance No. 2020-43, the Council adopted Urgency Ordinance No. 2020-42 to amend the current biennial budget by reallocating $640,000 to the program to support businesses. 

The Council passed Urgency Ordinance No. 2020-44 to provide economic relief for Pierce County sewer customers. The ordinance waives penalties or interest on delinquent sewer payments during the 90-day period from the March 6 emergency declaration. Additionally, commercial sewer customers will be charged based upon actual usage instead of water usage from the prior year, to reflect the relief restaurants and other businesses may need at this time. This relief may be extended for an additional 90 days upon notice to the Council. 

The Council passed Urgency Ordinance No. 2020-36 changing the effective date of the implementation of the Alternative Commercial Connection Charge Program under the declared emergency from April 1 to Sept. 1. The Alternative Commercial Connection Charge Program was adopted Sept. 3, 2019 under Ordinance No. 2019-28s.

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