State to launch new round of Working Washington small business grants on March 29

Newest grant round focuses on brick-and-mortar businesses most directly impacted by COVID-19 public health measures

The Washington State Department of Commerce opened applications for Working Washington Grants: Round 4 on March 29. Business owners can find information about the program and a link to the application portal at commercegrants.com.

This is the fourth round of the Working Washington grant program. Legislators approved $240 million for the current round as part of an early action bill that also provided additional funding for rent assistance and other COVID-19 response efforts.

Some of the criteria outlined in this legislation include:

  • Businesses must apply the grant award toward expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 through June 30th, 2021.
  • Commerce must take into account previous Working Washington awards distributed by the agency or affiliated partners. This means grant awards will vary. The maximum grant award will be $25,000.
  • Grants must be equitably distributed statewide and to historically underserved and disadvantaged populations.

These grants are aimed at for-profit small businesses in industries that have hard costs associated with their operations, and faced the most significant challenges to paying those hard costs because they were required to close. Hard costs include but are not limited to rent, utilities, payroll or personal protective equipment.

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

  • Industries that had to close as a result of safety and public health measures.
  • Size of the business (measured by 2019 revenue).
  • Lost revenue between 2019 and 2020 as well as added expenses to maintain safe operations.

To ensure equitable distribution, Commerce will also consider businesses operating in a rural or low-income community or that is owned by someone from a historically underserved population (minority, veteran, LGBTQ+ or women-owned).

The application portal will be open until 5:00 PM PDT on April 9. Application information and technical assistance is available in multiple languages and is accessible to a wide range of people with disabilities.

Beginning March 22, businesses can contact Commerce’s technical support center by phone or by email: (855) 602-2722 or commercegrants@submittable.com.

The technical support center for additional languages will open March 29.Trusted messenger community organizations are providing translation and individual assistance through Commerce’s Business Resiliency Network. You can find contact information in this online directory.

Business owners can visit commercegrants.com for more information about eligibility, the documents required to apply and how to reach someone for assistance.

This interactive report details distribution from earlier Working Washington and resiliency grants. A summary of Commerce’s COVID-19 response efforts, including business and nonprofit grants, is available here.

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