Applications open for new round of state grants for businesses
December 10, 2020
Small businesses struggling to survive the impact of COVID-19 can apply now for up to $20,000 in a new round of $50 million in state Working Washington grants; the application deadline is this Friday.
Priority is focused on businesses with annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 and those most impacted by the recent public health measures, as well as businesses in sectors that have experienced significant, cumulative impacts. Examples include full-service restaurants, fitness centers, bowling alleys and music and event venues.
Information and applications for this third round of Working Washington Business Grants are available through an online portal on the Washington State Department of Commerce website at http://www.commerce.wa.gov/bizgrants. Commerce encourages businesses to apply by Dec. 11.
The grants are funded by CARES Act dollars and must be distributed by the state before Dec. 30. Commerce Director Lisa Brown said that leaves only a small window of time to process applications and distribute funds. The agency is launching a “10 Days of Biz Grants” push on social media and with local partners to get the word out to business owners who are understandably overwhelmed managing the added demands of their day-to-day operations.
Grants can be used only to cover expenses or costs incurred due to COVID-19 and that were necessary to continue business operations.
Certain nonprofits may also be eligible if they have a primary business activity that falls into a similar high-impact category, for example a nonprofit full-service restaurant or nonprofit music venue.
If the Department of Commerce is able to fund all the eligible applicants from the priority pool, and funds remain, the department may be able to provide grants to additional businesses or nonprofits from other sectors or who have annual revenues larger than $5 million.
The online application portal is open at http://www.commerce.wa.gov/bizgrants. Additional information about eligibility and prioritization is also posted there.
All applications received by Dec. 11 will be prioritized. Site traffic may be high so page load times may be impacted. Applicants are encouraged to be patient or try accessing the site during non-peak hours such as early morning, late evening or the weekend.
If Commerce is able to fund all the eligible applicants who submit by Dec. 11, the department may be able to consider eligible applicants who submit after that date.
Following is a checklist of the information business owners need to have ready to apply:
--Applicant W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identifcation Number
--Copy of valid government issued photo I.D.
--For Tribal-member owned businesses: license or certifcation if business activity is conducted outside the tribal jurisdiction; letter or certifcation from the tribe recognizing you as a business if business activity is within the tribal jurisdiction.
--NAICS code or clear description of your primary business activity. A NAICS code is helpful, but not necessary. If you have never used a NAICS code, you can learn more here: What is a NAICS Code? and explore NAICS codes to see which one fits your business.
Business owners who have questions about the grants can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 725-5003.