Grant of $5 million Put for Working Small Business Grants

Small Business Emergency Grant Program
The state Department of Commerce on Thursday added another $5 million to fund the Working Washington Small Business emergency grant program.
The grants offer up to $10,000 to businesses with up to 10 employees. Grant money can be used to pay for rent, utility bills, supplies, inventory and other operating expenses.
The program launched April 7 with $5 million from the Governor’s Working Washington economic development strategic reserve fund. The additional funds are from the state’s $200 million emergency response fund approved by the Legislature in March to counter impacts of the COVID-19 shutdowns.
The program received an estimated 25,000 applications and subsequently closed to applications April 17. The state does not plan to reopen the program to new applications at this time, but will be able to fund more requests with the additional funds announced.
Depending on the individual grant amounts, at least 1,000 businesses should receive funding, and likely more, according to Thursday’s press release from the state Department of Commerce. Based on submissions reviewed so far, Commerce officials say most are under the $10,000 maximum amount.
The Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority, which is handling the applications locally, reported Tuesday that it had received 800 applications and was expecting to cap grants at $5,000 to increase the number of applicants that would receive funding from the $173,000 allocated to the two counties.
Other assistance is available to small businesses, including new funding proposed by Congress for the federal Small Business Administration forgivable loan program known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). For information, go to sba.gov.
In addition, Commerce partnered with local organizations throughout the state to offer business resiliency assistance to small business owners in culturally and economically disadvantaged communities to help provide them equal access to the multiple local, state, federal and other business relief programs.
Some counties, cities and other sources may also have assistance available to businesses. For resources for businesses and workers, visit the state’s coronavirus web portal at coronavirus.wa.gov.

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