Support Our Local Businesses
Posted on 11/18/2020
Whistlestop Restaurant Exterior

City of Renton SealNov. 20, 2020

Originally published in Mayor Armondo Pavone's Nov. 13 Newsletter


Photo of Whistle Stop restaurant in Renton

Support our local businesses

COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented level of stress to all of us, and nowhere is this more apparent than in our business community. This public health crisis has upended our workforce and forced businesses large and small to modify, suspend or in some cases cease operation altogether. And while resources to help businesses were put in place at every level of government, the extended duration of the pandemic and severity of the economic downturn have exhausted these relief efforts and we don’t currently see an end in sight.

Mayor's Newsletter cover for November 13, 2020The City of Renton acted very quickly to assist our business community in weathering this storm. We were able to divert staff from their normal duties to reach out to Renton businesses and guide them to every available resource. Partnering with Renton Chamber of Commerce, the State of Washington, King County, Port of Seattle, Renton Downtown Partnership and our neighboring communities we ensured that our businesses had access to every available form of assistance. The city devoted the largest share of its federal CARES Act funds (over $1.5 million) to a business grants program to assist our most vulnerable small companies. We realize, however, that these funds can only go so far and the needs of our struggling businesses are more than we can supply.

Our downtown businesses are also feeling the impact of several road construction and utility projects currently underway. While these efforts will lead to a safer, more attractive and inviting district, we know the construction interruption and access challenges are placing an additional burden on small shops and restaurants in this already trying time.

We need the help of all Renton residents to support our local shops and services at this time. Buying local can indeed make a difference to our companies right now. We are launching a new “Make Yourself at Home” campaign to encourage Renton-area residents to shop, stay and eat locally at this time. This project will help equip our business community with the tools to promote themselves as part of a larger marketing effort.

In addition, I will be asking the Renton City Council to extend the emergency ordinance put in place earlier this year easing certain regulatory requirements for businesses for an additional six months. This will continue to allow more flexibility in additional business signage and simplify the process of outdoor seating requirements. 

Please join me in supporting the unique shops, hotels, restaurants and services that make Renton such a wonderful and diverse community. Together we can help keep them in business so that they can thrive again in the future.

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