Pullman City Council Decides Not To Use Coronavirus Relief Money For New Marketing Campaign-Allocates $360,000 In CARES Act Money For Small Business Grants

Pullman City Council has decided not to spend federal coronavirus relief money on a new marketing plan for the community and instead will use a portion of the funding for small business grants in town.

Councilman Al Sorensen initially proposed using 30,000 dollars in CARES Act money for a new marketing campaign for Pullman.  That idea garnered preliminary support from some councilmembers 2 meetings ago.  City staff issued a request for proposals from consultants for a marketing plan prior to the last Pullman City Council meeting.  That request was taken down after some councilmembers expressed concerns that the call for bids didn’t reflect what they wanted and that it was made without council approval.  City staff issued the request for bids early believing they were running up against a federal deadline.

Councilman Sorensen began Tuesday night’s CARES Act funding discussion during the council meeting by taking the marketing plan off the table.  He then proposed using a large portion of the funding for small business grants.  You can listen to Sorensen’s comments by clicking on the audio file below.

Sorensen’s proposal to use coronavirus relief money for Pullman small business grants received strong support from every city councilmember.  Council decided to use 360,000 dollars in the latest roughly half a million dollars in CARES Act funding for Pullman small business grants.  The 10,000 dollar grants will be administered by the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association.

Councilmembers also recognized the public outcry against using CARES Act dollars on a new marketing campaign for Pullman.  The region’s largest private employer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories based in Pullman also spoke out against the marketing plan proposal during the last city council meeting.