Mayor Woodward details steps to protect local businesses heading into the holidays

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward has announced several ways the city is working to safely support local businesses heading into the holidays.

Woodward says the region’s mayors are working on a plan to get more COVID-relief funds to local businesses.

“I am fully aware and have heard from a lot of people this week that are frustrated and experiencing a lot of pain,” said Woodward. “Public safety and health is the number one priority.”

In an effort to help those struggling businesses, Woodward says the next four Saturdays will be designated “Small Business Saturdays.”

The city is also partnering with local vendors to host a winter marketplace at the Pavilion each Wednesday, beginning in December. Nearly 20 vendors will be set up through Riverfront Park, Woodward says.

Two food trucks will also be there, and Spokane Regional Health will have covid-protocols in place so people can walk around at a safe distance.

You can tune in Nov. 27 for Riverfront Park’s virtual tree lighting ceremony.

READ: Christmas tree now on display in Riverfront Park, lighting ceremony to be held virtually 

Governor Inslee’s latest restrictions were a blow to many local businesses, already struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. The Washington Hospitality Association predicted roughly 100,000 people would lose their jobs if more restrictions were imposed.

The closures are set to stay in effect until at least Dec. 14. Woodward says it’s unclear if they’ll be extended.

“If we had to extend this, it would be very detrimental to a lot of our business,” said Woodward.

She also says the answer for businesses is more grants, not loans.

“Expecting them to go any further debt with a loan to keep their business open is tough,” Woodward said.