SOAR grant program gets its wings

By on Thursday, February 4th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – The Pendleton City Council has approved establishing a program of emergency grants for local restaurants. The Save Our Amazing Restaurants program provides four months’ worth of grants to help keep them in business. The grants of up to $5,000 a month are for essential costs like rent and utilities.

The vote on the SOAR grants was not unanimous. Mayor John Turner said that Councilwoman Sally Brandsen voted no.

“Sally is concerned that we’re not offering this grant program to anybody but restaurants,” Turner said. “She would prefer to see some sort of loan or grant to other small businesses.”

Turner said that’s a noble desire, but it’s not possible to fulfill. “To be honest, we just don’t have the funds for that,” he said. “Also, other small businesses haven’t been forced to shut completely down like a lot of our restaurants have.”