Help for small businesses and foster care alumni

Friends and neighbors,

As we near the end of summer, I wanted to share a few key resources. Our community is still experiencing the shockwaves of the pandemic, and my heart goes out to those who are hospitalized or recovering from COVID-19. The physical and mental toll of this disease is serious, and I hope everyone has had a chance to talk to their doctor about vaccine options.

I also want to extend my gratitude to all of the CNAs, nurses, doctors, public health officials and everyone else who is hard at work keeping people healthy. Thank you!

National Small Business Week

Small businesses are the heart of our economy. In Washington state, small businesses employ 1.4 million workers. The Small Business Administration celebrates National Small Business Week next week to mark the accomplishment and strength of American entrepreneurs. This year, they’re hosting a free virtual summit where business owners can network and get expert advice.

On top of that, the state Department of Commerce offers year-round programs and resources to help during the pandemic.

I was proud to vote for nearly $300 million small business grants and $500 million for unemployment insurance tax rate cuts to lessen that burden on businesses, as well as my bill to expand the Main Street program.

We know the pandemic has hurt businesses unevenly. Just this week, I met with auto dealers in our community who successfully adapted to the pandemic, keeping business going and their customers and employees safe. But it hurts to drive by the businesses that have had to close their doors forever. More must be done to keep our small businesses open, and I will continue to look for ways to support them.

Foster Care Alumni Aid Available

Before I sign off, there’s one more program I want to share with you: Washington Foster Care Pandemic Aid. If you’re between the ages of 23 and 26 and spent time in foster care, you may be eligible for up to $1,000 to help with food, housing, transportation, education and more. Visit this link to learn more about the program and to apply. The deadline is Sept. 24!

Thanks for reading! As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out at 360-746-3744, or send me an email here. It’s an honor to serve the 42nd Legislative District.

Alicia Rule