Slog PM: A New Whale Just Dropped, a New City Program for Small Biz Just Dropped, and Stop Being Fucking Assholes to the Girl Scouts!!!

Councilmember Sara Nelson doing Councilmember Sara Nelson things

Councilmember Sara Nelson doing Councilmember Sara Nelson things screenshot from Seattle Channel

Small biz: Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell and the Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) announced the Capital Access Program, a new $8 million program intended to support small businesses. According to today’s press conference, which featured Fremont Brewing co-owner and small biz cheerleader Councilmember Sara Nelson, this program “will leverage 8 million dollars in recovery funding to lower the cost of Washington State Small Business flex fund loans for eligible small businesses by paying down 25% of the loan principal.” A little confusing, but they seem pretty excited.

“Through this new partnership, small businesses will be able to borrow up to $150,000 with 4% interest to use on business expenses, such as payroll, utilities and rent, supplies, marketing and advertising, building improvements or repairs and other business expenses,” said Markham McIntyre, the OED Interim Director.

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I liked this moment from Mr. Mayor:

“I had a quote here that was prepared for me, and I want to do it justice. It says, ‘Rather than help small businesses tread water, we need them to be thriving. More than a life raft, we need to help get them a speedboat to success.’ And I wasn’t clever enough to write that, I wasn’t even clever enough to read it perfectly, but I will tell you that’s what this is about.”

A speedboat to success! Businesses can start applying through the OED on March 8, and final applications must be submitted by April 8.

Of course, public safety came up during the press conference, courtesy Mayor Harrell and Councilmember Nelson, who both took the opportunity to bring up safety issues facing small businesses. But Nelson highlighted that today’s presser wasn’t about those issues but about some good news: access to capital. “Which, by the way, access to capital (long before COVID, long before the surge in crime) THAT is the biggest problem that small businesses face,” Nelson underlined. It certainly would be cool to apply that logic to Seattle’s unhoused people, whom the public safety conversation routinely vilifies.

Speaking of homelessness: Today the Seattle City Council’s Public Assets and Homelessness Committee saw a presentation on the JustCARE model. Here’s the slideshow.

We’ve had a moment to see how JustCARE addresses homelessness in Seattle, and now, the program’s future is in the council’s hands as its funding’s June expiration date approaches. Will the council fork over $7.3 million a year for JustCARE’s 150 beds? Committee Chair Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis is sold. He argued the program can do more than deal with visible homeless—it also plays an important role in reducing gun violence.

Oh, sorry, one more thing about today’s press conference before we move on: What do Harrell and Joe Biden have in common? At the end of the presser, a journalist asked the Mayor about Biden’s State of the Union Address, where he said we ought to fund the police. Harrell agreed. He’s been unchanging on this point: We gotta give the cops more money.

The journalist then asked how the Mayor intended to convince the council to ditch their previous defund stance: Bruce said he’s “persuasive.” Harrell has played much nicer with the council than the last mayor (I wrote about that today). Harrell also pointed to his blow-out victory last November. I think he intended to use this as evidence that the city is aligned with him, but when he added that council members who disagree with this stance would get left behind, it seemed to serve as a warning for progressives up for re-election next year.

Jseattle knows these streets too well:

Kraken Day? Here’s another sign that the council is aligning with our jock mayor: The council proclaimed today Kraken Day. Recently, we’ve heard a lot of grievances from Councilmembers Nelson and Pedersen about wasting time with meaningless resolutions, but I guess this was worth the council’s time.

The end of an era: Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reported that the oldest LGBT-focused community mental health agency in the world, Seattle Counseling Service, is about to close its doors in Seattle.

COVID-19 in the bottom third of this Slog round-up because somehow the pandemic is like filler content, lol… it’s been a long pandemic… Washington households, listen up! You can now order two tests a month while supplies last! Learn more here.

New whale just dropped: The J Pod has welcomed a new calf into the Southern Resident orca family, according to the Center for Whale Research. The whale scientists call the little baby, J59, but hopefully the whales named it something with a bit more pizazz.

Highway encampments: There’s this belief, I guess, that encampments around highways are un-sweepable due to disputes over who’s responsible for the land. Because of this discrepancy, these areas have long served as a safe place to set up more permanent camps. For example, I’ve visited one of these encampments in Georgetown. Many residents have had the time to build structures that would put tiny homes to shame. Gov. Jay Inslee wanted to address these camps, but the bill to do it died. KOMO has the story.

Stop Being Mean to Young Girls Challenge: There are so many freaks in this world. Today, I learned about a few more. Girl Scouts, young entrepreneurs who bring us delicacies such as Thin Mints, reported an uptick in harassment from the adults they sell to. These tirades include lectures about healthy eating, bitching about price hikes, and ranting about the group’s rumored (and false) link to Planned Parenthood. Get a life.

Ukraine Updates: I know The Stranger is not your go-to for war updates (unless it is, then cool), but today the UN took the bold stance that Russia should stop attacking Ukraine. It must have been a bold stance because five of 193 assembly members voted no, and 35 abstained. Also today, Russia says it took over Kherson, which would make it the first major city in Ukraine to be overtaken. But Ukraine denies the city has fallen. “The city is not captured totally, some parts are under our control,” the ministry said.

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Article Source: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2022/03/02/67655752/slog-pm-a-new-whale-just-dropped-a-new-city-program-for-small-biz-just-dropped-and-stop-being-fucking-assholes-to-the-girl-scouts