Skagit County business owners are feeling the economic pain from the Skagit River bridge collapse. Monday was the first day people returned to work, but things are far from back to normal.
At Skagit Cycle, where spring normally means big bike business, sales are off 30 percent.
“I believe my customers are saying we're not going to Burlington for the next three or four days,” said owner Gary Santiago.
Congressman Rick Larsen, whose district includes Burlington and Mount Vernon, toured the bridge site and later met with business owners, telling them that small business administration loans are available.
Gov. Jay Inslee directed that the state Department of Commerce release the money from an economic development account to support the local economy.
The Department of Commerce is working with local partners in Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan Counties to develop a regional media plan to inform the public that area businesses and attractions are open and reachable by alternate routes and ferries.