Downtown Vancouver businesses would continue to be eligible for critical funds to maintain a thriving downtown core, under legislation voted out of the Senate Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee today.

“Vancouver has worked diligently over many, many years to revitalize and strengthen our core with the help of the Main Street Program,” said Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver), the sponsor of SB 5617. “We’ve all seen how a thriving downtown core helps create jobs and support existing jobs across the city.”

The state program provides assistance for local downtown preservation in the form of business-and-occupation tax credits that help businesses stay strong, a need that has been heightened by nearly two years of pandemic conditions.

“Now more than ever, our small businesses need all the help and tools we can give them, particularly in the face of the ongoing pandemic,” Cleveland said. “This proven economic development tool ensures that our small businesses have the best opportunities to start and thrive.”

Cleveland’s bill extends Vancouver’s eligibility for the Main Street Program by clarifying the population criteria.

Having passed out of committee, the bill is now available to be called to the floor for a vote of the full Senate.