Washington Department of Commerce is opening up additional funding opportunities through Working Washington Grants and the Washington Small Business Flex Fund.

Working Washington Grants

The Washington State Department of Commerce is opening new Working Washington Grants targeted towards customer-facing businesses near the U.S./Canadian border.  These businesses have been hit particularly hard because of border closures due to COVID. To qualify, businesses must have annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 and are in one of the following counties:

  • Clallam
  • Ferry
  • Island
  • Jefferson
  • Okanogan
  • Pend Oreille
  • San Juan
  • Skagit
  • Stevens
  • Whatcom

Eligible applications will be reviewed based on the following priority criteria:

  • Customer-facing businesses that require direct, in-person interaction with customers for a significant portion of business activity (Examples include a retail shop or nail salon).
  • Industry sectors most impacted by the closure, which includes but is not limited to retail, tourism, hospitality, recreation, and entertainment.
  • Lost revenue between 2019 and 2020 and/or added expenses to maintain safe operations.
  • Businesses operating in a rural or low-income community and/or owned by someone from a historically underserved population (minority, veteran, LGBTQ+ or women-owned).

Grants to eligible businesses will be up to $50,000. Award amounts will vary and will consider previous Working Washington awards received from Commerce or affiliated partners.  The portal to apply for these grants opens on October 4 and closes on October 18 or when funding is exhausted.  Apply at the Washington State Department of Commerce site.

Washington Small Business Flex Fund

Small businesses and nonprofits in Washington state can now borrow up to $150,000 from the Washington Small Business Flex Fund.  These are short-term low-interest loans for companies and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees, revenues of less than $3 million, and have been in business since June 30, 2020.

The loan terms include:

  • 3% – 4.5% Interest rates
  • No fees & interest-only payments for the first year
  • 60-month & 72-month loan terms (72-month loan term only available until 12/31/21)

These funds can be used for Payroll, Utilities & Rent, Marketing & Advertising, Building improvements or repairs, or any other business expenses.  This loan is not associated with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or any other SBA program. Any COVID-19 relief funds received for your small business are separate and do not impact the ability to apply for and receive a loan through the Small Business Flex Fund.  These funds will need to be paid back, and they are subject to availability.

*This information simplifies complex Acts as it is understood by Time Equipment Company. It is not to be taken as legal advice. The regulations for this program are changing. For further information contact the Washington Department of Commerce.