Applications Open for $2.17 Million in Cash Assistance for Hospitality Workers Impacted by COVID-19

  • The City of Seattle has opened applications for direct cash assistance for hospitality workers living and working in Seattle who’ve lost jobs or income due top the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office says $2.17 million in direct cash assistance is available.  This funding is part of the Mayor and City Council’s announcement last month provide up to $5 million in financial assistance for small businesses and hospitality workers impacted by the most recent COVID-19 restrictions.  The cash comes in the form of emergency grants. 

    The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) contracted with Wellspring Family Services to administer and distribute the $2.17 million in direct cash assistance in partnership with the Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund for hospitality workers. Through that fund, hospitality workers that have experienced economic distress caused by job or income loss due to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive up to $2,000 per family. An individual could receive $1,000, with an additional $200 per dependent, up to $2,000 per family.

    Eligible recipients must either be laid off or employed and facing reduced hours in the hospitality industry and earn less than 60% of the area median income (AMI) to qualify. Applicants must live in Seattle and have worked at a hospitality business in Seattle. This can include franchises or chains located in Seattle, with headquarters elsewhere. Gig workers are not eligible, but delivery drivers for restaurant or bars are eligible. After eligibility is established, there will be a weighted selection process that will prioritize applicants with dependents and earning less than 50% AMI. To learn more and apply, click here to connect with Wellspring.

    The city has also established the emergency Small Business Stabilization Fund. Applications for the most recent round of funding closed on November 30. The Office of Economic Development is contracting with Scholarship Junkies to award grants from the additional funding announced in December for eligible restaurants and bars. 

    The City also has a number of relief programs for working people, including emergency grocery vouchers, rental assistance, and support for immigrants and refugees.

    Residents and businesses can find a list of existing city COVID-19 relief resources and policies on this website.


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