Waiting on small business, rental or other relief in WA? Tell us your story

We want to hear from people left out of federal recovery efforts, as well as those trying to change their communities for the better.

A utility worker wearing an orange shirt and helmet installs fiber cable on a utility pole while standing in a lift bucket.

In this Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, file photo, Travis Sheetz, a worker with the Mason County (Wash.) Public Utility District, installs fiber optic cable on a utility pole, while working with a team to bring broadband internet service to homes in a rural area surrounding Lake Christine near Belfair, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Despite the billions of dollars in federal pandemic relief money pouring into our state, many Washingtonians have still struggled to access assistance programs, keep their businesses open or find the care they need.

With the recent launch of WA Recovery Watch, our new investigative project, we would like your help to hone in on delays or dysfunctions that have left people out of the recovery. 

Please consider taking one of our reader surveys if you: 

We also want to hear about how communities hope to transform themselves with infrastructure or recovery dollars. Is your city or county trying to invest in climate mitigation? Will this money help address overdue upgrades or spark changes in how your community tackles collective problems? We hope you will share your successes and challenges with us to help shape our ongoing reporting. 

You can also share links to the above surveys if you are connected to regional organizations or communities that may be dealing with those issues. 

If your experience doesn’t match one of the surveys, we still want to hear your questions or concerns. Your questions can help lead us to problem areas or spark story ideas. You can also submit news tips for specific stories here. (The best news tips include a strong starting point for reporting, including program names, documents, recordings or first-hand accounts.)

We also have a new Spanish-language version of the WA Recovery Watch site to help share these stories and connect with a broader audience across the state. Si prefiere leer acerca de este proyecto en español, o proveer información en español, haga clic aquí.

Crosscut reporters have already revealed how some companies used lawsuits to overturn their rejections for federal arts venue grants from the Small Business Administration — walking away with millions in public funding while small arts groups fell behind. Another story detailed how delays have held up $340 million in emergency relief for immigrants in Washington. Nearly a year later, not a cent of that money has gone out to the people it was supposed to help.

We know many more important stories about recovery programs remain unheard, and others will arise as new federal spending makes its way to Washington. We plan to spend the rest of 2022 investigating the recovery issues that affect our state most. If you have ideas or suggestions on where we should be looking, you can also email me directly at: jacob.jones@crosscut.com.

Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors