Working Washington Emergency Grants Now Open to Small Businesses in Thurston County Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

Submitted by Thurston Economic Development Council

The Department of Commerce is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant (WWSBEG) program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Small businesses who qualify for the grant program and are located within Thurston County must go here, which will link to a Commerce page with complete instructions —  download the application, fill it out electronically and email it to the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) at grants@thurstonedc.com.

The Thurston EDC will prioritize applications based on the severity of the impact the business is facing due to COVID-19, including from being forced to close by the government-mandated closures, social distancing measures or illness.  Awards will be approved on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on the availability of funds. The objective is to support businesses through the crisis and enable them to retain as many employees as possible.

Eligibility: Applicants should have been in business for at least one year. Please note that funding is not meant to help launch a business, but to support existing businesses who are specifically impacted by one of the executive orders and are vital members of their local community.  Applicants are eligible to receive one WWSBEG award during the current budget cycle, which ends on 06/30/2021.

Grant Awards: County/regional economic development organizations will be asked to verify the size of candidate companies prior to submission.  For each award, local economic/development organizations are encouraged to be judicious in discerning an appropriate and proportional amount based on the necessity to the business and importance to the local community so as to ensure that this emergency resource can be utilized by companies across communities in Washington.

Application Process: Applications will be reviewed as they are received and applicants will be accepted or denied on a rolling basis.

Approved grant expenditures: Grant funds can be used for expenses related to consulting, marketing, and training or for operational expenses including rent, supplies/inventory, utility bills, etc.  Applications must include a list of proposed expenses grants will be spent on.  Applications without a list of proposed expenses will be considered incomplete.

Note that payroll cannot be reimbursed via WWSBEG. Please direct all payroll needs to Employment Security Department. The following expenses are not eligible: capitalized equipment, travel, office equipment, and computer software.

WHO: Thurston EDC & Department of Commerce
WHAT: Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program
WHEN: Grants opened on April 7, 2020, at 1 p.m.
WHERE: https://thurstonedc.com/resources-for-small-businesses-impacted-by-coronavirus-covid-19/
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call the Hotline at 1-888-821-6652 or email grants@thurstonedc.com

About the Thurston Economic Development Council and Center for Business & Innovation:

The Thurston Economic Development Council has been supporting a strong economy in Thurston County since 1982 with a mission to create a dynamic and sustainable economy that supports the values of the people who live and work in Thurston County. At the foundation of the work we do are three main principles: recruit, retain, and expand.

We work to maintain the health of local businesses by offering technical assistance, and providing advocacy on their behalf. We present market opportunities to Thurston County employers, providing support for them to expand their operations. We actively attract investment and employment opportunities into our region through outreach, promotion and trade missions.

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