Mercer Island Auto Spa receives $10K small business grant

Comcast awards 100 grants in King and Pierce counties.

Mercer Island Auto Spa owner Brandon Santos was right in the thick of things on a recent afternoon, interacting with customers while giving their vehicles a water spray before sending them through the cleaning facility.

He’s been at the helm of the business since 2018 after beginning work there 13 years earlier. The full-service spa, which has been in existence since 1995, offers “an environmentally sound alternative to driveway and parking lot car washing,” according to its website.

Last month, Comcast announced that the Mercer Island Auto Spa was one of 100 King and Pierce counties small businesses to receive $10,000 grants through the Comcast RISE Investment Fund. Overall in the nationwide realm, Comcast RISE has awarded more than $110 million in grants, marketing and technology services to 13,000 small businesses owned by women and people of color since 2020.

Comcast notes that small businesses comprise 99.5% of all companies in Washington state. Throughout the United States, small businesses and micro-businesses collectively house 41 million employees and reel in $5 trillion, according to Comcast.

Comcast Washington’s Jack Follman said the company’s criteria for selecting grant recipients centered on how COVID-19 affected the business, their families and their communities.

“We also took into consideration how the business was able to pivot and continue forward, and how they were able to bring the communities up around them,” Follman added.

Mercer Island’s economic development coordinator Sarah Bluvas noted that the auto spa has served the Island for nearly 20 years, adding, “We are excited to hear that they’ve been awarded a small business grant by Comcast. Congratulations to the auto spa.”

Also on the small business front, the city encourages residents to shop local each day.

About eight months into the pandemic in November of 2020, the city of Mercer Island and its chamber of commerce came to the aid of local businesses by launching the “MInext” marketing campaign.

Aimed to strengthen connections between businesses and residents, the campaign was funded by Port of Seattle and King County grants and lasted for about three months. The “MInext” website spotlighted local businesses via videos and articles so residents could get the lowdown on how they began and what they bring to the city.

Teresa Ward-Maupin, senior vice president of digital and customer experience for Comcast Business, noted about the grant program: “We are incredibly proud of the work that the Comcast RISE team has done over its two-year term to help the small businesses we’ve worked with to not only survive, but also to thrive.”