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Klickitat PUD implements COVID-19 Small Business Customer Assistance Program

Partners with Klickitat County Economic Development for program administration

 

April 29, 2020



May 1

The Klickitat PUD (KPUD) is implementing a program to assist small businesses in Klickitat County with their energy costs. Eligible businesses will be able to obtain significant discounts in their KPUD bill for three months.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, KPUD said its growing concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and state-mandated business closures led it to consider a plan to provide energy assistance for businesses.

“Klickitat PUD commissioners recognized the lack of energy assistance available specifically for small businesses and asked staff to work on a proposal to address this need,” the statement said. “In coordination with Klickitat County Economic Development (KCED), staff began to develop a COVID-19 Small Business Customer Assistance Program. KPUD commissioners approved implementation of the program at their meeting on April 28. The intent of the program is to take reasonable action to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our small business utility customers.

“The program extends discounts to impacted small businesses depending on business type. It is intended to encourage appropriate reopening of businesses that are struggling to keep the lights on due to this crisis or have had to close their doors due to state mandates.”

KPID is partnering with KCED for the administration of the program. KCED will take and review applications and provide recommendations to KPUD regarding eligible businesses. “KPUD is grateful for this partnership and is optimistic that, together, we can reach many of the small businesses struggling to qualify for other assistance programs,” the KPUD statement said. “Small businesses are the heart of a community and provide jobs and services needed for our day-to-day lives. Loss of small businesses would impact all of us and would decrease the tax base upon which our rural communities rely for hospitals, schools, roads,” and the like.

Eligible small businesses will receive a discount on their electric bill for three consecutive months upon reopening or being approved. Small business eligibility criteria include: being in business as of January 1, 2020, within Klickitat County; having between 1 and 10 employees; and having been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Agricultural producers do not qualify for the program.

The discount percentage is dependent on the type of business. Store-front businesses are eligible for a usage discount of 50 percent and waiver of the monthly basic fee. Home-based businesses are eligible for a usage discount of 30 percent. Discounts will be applied to a business’ active KPUD account.

To apply visit Klickitat County Economic Development’s website and complete the KCED survey at http://www.klickitatcounty.org/1193/Covid-19. Klickitat PUD’s website will be updated with relevant information to aid in the application process.

 

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