As part of an effort to boost local businesses, the city of Buckley has made downtown a bit more user-friendly, awarded cash assistance to a handful of merchants and provided relief from utility bills.
Already under way is a program that sees a short stretch of Main Street made off-limits to vehicular traffic. Between River Avenue and Cottage Street, from 4 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Monday, shoppers and restaurant patrons will be able to wander freely. Fire pits and s’mores add to the atmosphere.
The city has provided signage to help detour drivers around downtown and point the way to parking.
The Main Street closure began Nov. 27 and, according to the city, will continue until further notice.
Providing more immediate assistance were $3,000 cash grants distributed to nine businesses scattered throughout Buckley. The Small Business Assistance Awards were funded through federal CARES Act money routed to the city.
Each of the businesses applying for “coronavirus relief funds” met the requirements, thus qualifying for the $3,000 maximum award. Receiving relief funds were: Buckley Dental, Buckley Liquor and Grocery, Chuck’s Drug, Firehouse Pub, Front Porch Quilts, Main Street Bistro, Northwest Fitness Zone, Tortas Locas and Total Sports.
Additionally, 38 Buckley businesses and private citizens applied for grants to help with past-due utility bills. The partnership between the city and Plateau Outreach Ministries saw the 38 recipients receive a total of $17,900. That money also originated with CARES Act funding.
The assistance was strictly limited to utility customers residing within Buckley’s city limits and was geared toward those who have taken a financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Money was available for customers whose utility account was current as of March 1, 2020, but had since fallen behind.