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Credit: KUOW

How would Seattle's mayoral candidates help businesses recover?

Seattleites are voting for a new mayor this year. We're asking all the 2021 primary candidates how they would address a range of issues facing the city.

This week, we ask about how they would help Seattle businesses recover from the pandemic.

QUESTION: Many Seattle-area businesses are struggling to survive due to the Covid crisis. What’s one thing you’d do differently to help businesses recover?

Clinton Bliss

"Integrity, Compassion, Wise Action. Independent Democrat."

caption: Clinton Bliss is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Clinton Bliss is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Bliss Campaign

"Once everyone has a chance to get vaccinated and confirm immunity, I will reopen our city — as simple as that. We will publish a timeline so that people can take action to protect themselves. Until then, we need to continue to protect our residents. I support an individual's right to refuse a vaccination, with the understanding that they do not have the right to work in critical health care environments. Patients should not be getting Covid from their caregivers."

Colleen Echohawk

"Enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation, Candidate For Seattle Mayor"

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Colleen Echohawk is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
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Colleen Echohawk is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of the Colleen Echohawk Campaign

"Working with Department of Neighborhoods, the Seattle Public Library and OED, we will engage in an outreach program to help communities of color break down the barriers of language and accessibility to access government programs like the federal PPE and the small grant programs for small businesses funded by the city to address economic support for our BIPOC small businesses."

Jessyn Farrell

"A former legislator, nonprofit leader, and working mom who knows how to make progress on tough issues."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Jessyn Farrell is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Jessyn Farrell is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Jessyn Farrell Campaign

"When I led our state’s economic recovery task force last year, I heard from countless small business owners that federal PPP loans and city programs were inaccessible to those who needed the help the most. Many of the small businesses that define Seattle’s unique neighborhoods, particularly BIPOC-owned businesses without prior banking relationships, were left out of aid. So, I helped create a $50 million small business recovery fund for minority-owned businesses. I would expand on that as Mayor."

Lorena González

"President of the Seattle City Council and candidate for Mayor of Seattle."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Lorena González is a Seattle City Council Member running for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Lorena González is a Seattle City Council Member running for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Lorena González Campaign

"Providing ongoing commercial rent relief and assistance along with technical support to access federal, state and local resources is critical for small businesses to survive. Additionally, we must address the needless and inefficient bureaucracy that makes it cumbersome to get a permit, sign or street café."

Bruce Harrell

"I’m running for mayor to reset city hall, unite Seattle around our progressive values, and move our city forward."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Bruce Harrell is a former Seattle City Council Member and candidate for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Bruce Harrell is a former Seattle City Council Member and candidate for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Bruce Harrell Campaign

"I have a long history of assisting small, local, and BIPOC-owned businesses get off the ground and turned into thriving job creators and community pillars. As mayor, I’ll be a trusted partner, delivering an equitable recovery with dedicated resources to help businesses get back on their feet and expand to take advantage of opportunities ahead. I’m also the only candidate with a plan to preserve and revitalize arts, culture, and nightlife – some of Seattle’s hardest hit businesses and creatives."

Rodney Holt (write-in candidate)

"I have the social aptitude to navigate through these perilous times and unite the people of Seattle."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Rodney Holt is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Rodney Holt is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Rodney Holt Campaign

"Make sure there's an equitable distribution of government funding going to the small to midsized businesses. Make sure the community is aware of the different programs and grants they can apply for and make the application process more robust."

Andrew Grant Houston

“'Ace' is a queer architect of color, small business owner, activist, millennial, renter, and transit rider."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Andrew Grant Houston is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Andrew Grant Houston is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Justin Khanna

"I will implement commercial rent control. Economic recovery from COVID will take time and we must ensure local businesses can keep their costs down. I will cap rent increases at either “inflation plus 2%” or 4%, whichever is higher. This is a proven method to help people and their businesses stay in the city and it’s how we preserve our beloved small businesses for generations."

Arthur Langlie

"I bring a new set of skills to this position as a builder of teams and solutions."

caption: Arthur Langlie is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
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Arthur Langlie is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of the Arthur Langlie Campaign

"We need to provide businesses with safety services such that they are not burglarized or vandalized. Loss of business due to lack of safety is expensive and not in anyone’s business plan. Making downtown and neighborhood business districts as vibrant as possible to draw people back is critical. People want to feel safe and to congregate in areas that are safe and clean. I want to create a “buy local” campaign to draw our residents back to our small businesses to promote a thriving community."

Lance Randall

"I am a problem solver who will prioritize delivering results for our residents."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Lance Randall is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Lance Randall is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Lance Randall Campaign

"I will create a partnership between the city government and our local corporate foundations to raise money to fund a local grant program to provide significant financial assistance to small businesses. The grants can be used to catch up on delinquent lease payments, rehire employees, replenish inventory, upgrade equipment, and marketing to help them recover from the damage caused by the pandemic and economic downturn. This will be key in supporting small businesses across all neighborhoods."

Don L. Rivers

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Don Rivers is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
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Don Rivers is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of Don Rivers Campaign

"I will not mislead the citizens of Seattle. Our goals is to use the 3 L's. Listen, Learn and then Lead. Like you said, we are in a pandemic. Life changes everyday at every moment during this crisis. I will say this to the citizens of Seattle, we will be hosting monthly meetings with all business owners. To find a way to bring back our city of destiny."

Bobby Tucker

caption: Bobby Tucker is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
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Bobby Tucker is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of Bobby Tucker

"Visit them and volunteer, ask questions how can we work together to overcome this crisis together."

RELATED: How would Seattle's mayoral candidates address structural racism?

Each Seattle mayoral candidate was asked to describe themselves and answer the same questions. Follow the coverage leading up to the August primary at KUOW.org/elections. Stay tuned to KUOW's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for an opportunity to offer your own answers to these questions.

Colleen Echohawk is a former KUOW board member.

Candidates invited to participate in this survey but who did not respond by deadline: Henry Clay Dennison, James Donaldson, Stan Lippmann, Casey Sixkiller, Omari Tahir-Garrett.