Help for Small Business Owners

Are struggling to make ends meet because of COVID-19? Help is available! 

SIMBA is partnering with the Washington State Department of Commerce to provide outreach, technical assistance, and support to small business owners, to get you the help you need to continue operations in the wake of COVID-19. 

There are a variety of resources available to small business owners in the form of grants, loans, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

Please call or text Anna Marie Martin at 509-710-6052
or email at <info@spokaneindependent.org> for more information. 

Here are the current opportunities. Please check back often as this information is updated frequently. Translated materials are available.

Working Washington Small Business Grants: Round 3 Coming Soon!

The Washington State Department of Commerce is working on an additional $20 million in small business grants. These grants will be targeted to businesses most impacted by the newest restrictions announced by Governor Inslee on Nov. 15.

Details will be posted on this page and the Department of Commerce COVID-19 Resources page. SIMBA will provide outreach, support, and technical assistance as a Trusted Community Advisor.   

Who can apply for Round 3?
These grants are prioritized for:

  • Small businesses with annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019.
  • Businesses in the sectors that are 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.
  • Certain nonprofits may also be eligible if they have a primary business activity that falls into a similar category as noted above. Example – a nonprofit full-service restaurant or nonprofit music venue.
    If Commerce is able to fund all the eligible applicants from the priority pool, and funds remain, we may be able to provide grants to additional businesses or nonprofits from other sectors or who have annual revenues larger than $5 million.

What does the grant pay for:

  • The maximum award grant will be up to $20,000.
  • The grant can only cover expenses or costs incurred due to COVID-19 and that were necessary to continue business operations.

How to apply:

  • The online application portal will open early next week (the week of Nov. 30). The portal link will be available at www.commerce.wa.gov/bizgrants. Additional information about eligibility and prioritization will also be posted there.
  • Priority will be given to applications received by Dec. 10, 2020. If Commerce is able to fund all the applicants who submit by that time, we may be able to consider applicants who submit after the 10th.

Here is a checklist of the information you’ll need to have ready:

  • Applicant W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Copy of valid government-issued photo I.D.
  • For tribal-member owned businesses: license or certification if business activity is conducted outside the tribal jurisdiction; letter or certification from the tribe recognizing you as a business if business activity is within the tribal jurisdiction.
  • Copy of 2019 Tax Return or other confirmation of Business Gross Revenues for 2019.
  • For businesses with a physical location, evidence of that location, such as lease, tax statement, utility bill, etc.
  • 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.

 

Inslee announces additional COVID-19 financial support

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced additional financial support funds for families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor was joined by Lisa Brown, Department of Commerce director, for the announcement.

“We know this pandemic is taking an economic toll,” Inslee said during a press conference Friday. “On Sunday we announced $50 million in business supports, but after more discussions with legislators and our agencies, we’ve agreed on how to more than double that.”

In addition to funds announced on Sunday, the total new economic supports amount to $135 million. Included in that total is:

  • $70 million in business support grants.
  • $30 million for the recovery loan program.
  • $20 million for rental assistance.
  • $15 million for energy bills for low-income households.

Included in the $70 million in business support grants is $50 million for a new round of Working Washington grants focused on the hardest-hit industries. Remaining funds will go toward historically disadvantaged businesses who applied for earlier business grants and bolstering Commerce’s business resiliency network.

“We know this is hard on these small businesses, and we know that this will not fully solve the burden so many business owners are shouldering,” Brown said. “But it will help get some of them get through a difficult period. We are going to keep working with legislators, congress and other partners on securing additional support.”

The grants will be allocated first to businesses most impacted by both COVID-19 and the most recent measures taken to address public safety. Equity will also be a priority in making allocation decisions. In addition to the new funds, there will also be separate business support programs coming from local governments.

“This is a significant relief effort,” Inslee said. “I can’t say it’s going to help everyone, but I can say we are not done yet collaborating with our partners to find more funds.”

Find more information on available business assistance here.

 

Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund

Program Overview: 

As immigrants, we’ve made Washington our home. If you’re an immigrant experiencing hard times because of COVID-19, and you aren’t eligible for federal financial relief or unemployment insurance, this fund is for you. 

Apply for the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund and receive a $1,000 one-time direct payment (up to $3,000 per household).

Eligibility

To apply, you must meet ALL of the requirements below:

  • Be 18 years old or older, 
  • Reside in Washington state,
  • Have experienced hardship due to the pandemic,
  • Did not receive federal CARES Act Economic Impact Payment (also known as a “coronavirus stimulus check”) due to immigration status, and 
  • Are not eligible for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic due to immigration status.

Before you apply, you should:

  1. Gather your required identity and residency documentation. You can review the list of approved materials at https://immigrantreliefwa.org/faq#req-docs 
  2. Calculate your household’s  average monthly income.
  3. Click the “Apply” button on the application page then navigate to the “Register” button and create a Survey MonkeyApply Account. A few minutes after you sign up you will get an email to verify your account. Please make sure you verify your account.
  4. Complete all of the application questions. This may take some time. You can save your application and come back at any time.
  5. Once you are finished with your application find the large green “submit” button to send in your application.

After you apply, please make sure to check your email inbox or the junk email folder for your confirmation. You will also get a text message confirmation the day you submit your application. You may log back in and check the status to see if your application is being reviewed and if you are awarded the funding. Please only submit your application one time.

If you need help filling out the application please visit http://immigrantreliefwa.org to connect with one of our community partners. Application info is translated into several languages. 

Check the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. 

Organizations and individual applicants can apply.

Deadline: Dec 6 2020 12:00 AM (PST)

 

Main Street Relief Fund

Right now, all over the country, America’s independent bars, restaurants, stages and local neighborhood spaces are in danger of disappearing. Adversely impacted by the pandemic, these beloved institutions of community, places that bring us music and shape the heart and soul of culture need your help to keep their doors open. To save our local restaurants and bars, we need direct financial support – that means grants and public policy solutions.

We must come together to meet the urgency of the moment. We are partnering with Crown Royal to help preserve these important small businesses and demand more from Congress. 

Singer/songwriters Ari Lennox and Anthony Ramos are lending their incredible talent to help raise awareness and critical funding for this effort. They’ve recreated the famed song, “If You Want Me to Stay,” a classic, poignantly titled to inspire hope, unity and generosity, while giving back to these small business landmarks.

Applications are now open

The Main Street Relief Fund is now open for applications. Twenty-five awards of $10,000 will be granted to small business restaurants, bars and live entertainment venues across the nation, with priority in the initial round given to businesses in Atlanta, GA, Norfolk, VA, Detroit, MI and Milwaukee, WI. Small businesses outside these target markets are still eligible to apply. Subsequent rounds will be announced in 2021. All small businesses in these industries are encouraged to apply, and will be eligible for subsequent rounds if not selected.

Grant Application Details:

  • Round 1: Nov 5th – Nov 30th; deadline to apply is November 30, 2020 – 5pm ET.
  • Award announcements will be made the first week of December.
  • Subsequent rounds will be announced in 2021.

Eligibility: Preference will be given to restaurants, bars and live entertainment venues in target markets who hosted live music and entertainment events through February 2020, and did not receive any federal COVID relief funding, and are owned by people of color or women. All small businesses who hosted live events are eligible to apply.

Grant Details: You may use this funding to cover business expenses (rent, payroll, PPE purchases, etc.). It cannot be used for any personal expenses.

Deadline is November 30, 2020 at 5pm EST (2 PM PST).

Washington State Seal

Washington State Coronavirus Response

For up-to-date information about the impact of the coronavirus, go to the Washington State Coronavirus Response webpage. Available in multiple languages. 

 

 Washington Listens Support Line

The program includes a phone line to speak with support specialists and connect to community resources. People who call the Washington Listens support line will speak with a support specialist and get connected to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous.

The Washington Listens support line is 1-833-681-0211. It is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method. Resources and self-help tips are available on walistens.org.

 

Washington 211 COVID-19 Call Center

Washington 211 COVID-19 call center is a general information line related to COVID-19. If you need information or have a general question, call 1-800-525-0127 or text 211-211 for help. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students, and more.

WA State department of Commerce logo

Current Opportunities from The Washington State Department of Commerce

There are many resources available to small business owners in Washington State. Here is a current list of available grants and loans. Check back frequently. 

The Washington State Department of Commerce maintains a list of resources available to small business owners. This site updates frequently, so check back often. 

 Spokane-county-logo-color

Resources available in Spokane County: 

Other Resources

Google OnAir offers free virtual workshops, events, and 1:1 coaching sessions to help small businesses and job seekers get the most out of their digital tools.

Small Business Relief Initiative and Fund – combined relief effort by GoFundMe, Yelp, Intuit QuickBooks, GoDaddy, and Bill.com. Make your contribution to help more small businesses receive grants.

Signs.com – Offering free printable signs for businesses for Covid-19 to show social distancing is important.

Info/Links to Previous CARES Act Grants

These grants have closed, but if you need to access your application, use the links below. 

WA Equity Relief Fund for Nonprofits

The Washington State Department of Commerce is partnering with Philanthropy Northwest to administer $2 million of relief funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act through an open application to community-based nonprofits and tribal organizations most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented impacts on nonprofit organizations including experiencing increased demand or disruption/creation of services; cancellation of contracts, programs, services or other funding losses such as canceled fundraisers, reduced donations and/or other issues affecting staff and volunteer capacity. We know these impacts are disproportionately experienced by organizations led by and serving Black, Indigenous, Asian (especially Southeast Asian), Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Latinx and undocumented communities. These impacts are also pronounced among economically vulnerable people living in rural, remote and tribal communities.   

The WA Equity Relief Fund for Nonprofits will provide flexible, general operating support to nonprofits that are led by and serve BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities most impacted by the global pandemic. Eligible applicants must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit or a community-based organization fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Application Tips:

  • Once you begin the online application, you will not be able to save your work as you go.
  • You must complete the application in one sitting.
  • We recommend you first fully review and respond to the questions using one of the templates provided below and then copy your responses to the online application form for submission.

This application is closed.

Technical Assistance: 

If you need translation assistance for this application, please email Community Outreach at the Washington State Department of Commerce at community.outreach@commerce.wa.gov. Please provide your name, phone number, the county you live in, and what language you need assistance in, and we will help connect you to someone who can help you.

For other questions, please visit our FAQ page: https://philanthropynw.org/wa-equity-relief-fund-faq

For more information, email us directly at relieffund@philanthropynw.org. Responses will be sent during regular business hours. Translations of the fund announcement are below:

Cambodian Khmer Russian
Chinese Somali
Korean Spanish
Lao Vietnamese         

 

Washington State Department of Commerce Small Business Resiliency Grant 

Small businesses have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing how important small businesses are to our local neighborhoods and communities around the state, the Department of Commerce has developed the Community Small Business Resiliency Grant Program using $5 million in federal CARES Act funds.

Successful grant applicants will be eligible for up to $10,000. A business owner with more than one business may apply; but each business application requires a unique state UBI number or Tribal Letter/Certification.

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Have been in operation since at least Mar. 1, 2019.
  • Have no more than 20 payroll (full-time or part-time) employees as of Mar. 1, 2020.
  • Be licensed as a Washington State business in good standing with state and federal agencies.
  • You will have to create an account with Zoom Grants.

This opportunity is now closed. Awardees will be notified by email in November.

The Spokane County Hospitality Relief Grant 

The Spokane Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the allocation of up to $10.8 million of CARES Act funding for a grant program to support local accommodation, food services, arts, entertainment and recreation industries. The Spokane County Hospitality Relief Grant will help offset the safety and operating costs, rent, and other allowable expenses for those sectors. Hospitality businesses can apply for a grant of up to $20,000 to assist with operating costs and to help reopen and stay open safely in compliance with state and local guidance regarding precautions such as masking, physical distancing, sanitation, and other associated employee and customer safety costs.

SIMBA is providing outreach and technical assistance to small business owners who apply for this grant.  

You will have to create a profile on the Innovia Foundation grant portal, if you have not already. 

Grant Eligibility Requirements: check here

It is strongly recommended that you preview the application questions so that you can gather all the information you need before you apply. To view the sample application, click here

GSI has created a frequently asked questions document, which will be updated periodically. 

Application closed at 5:00 PM (PST) on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

Late applications will not be accepted or reviewed.

Live Local CARES Act Grant Extended to Nov. 16th

Live Local has been given funds from the City of Spokane through the CARES Act to create two new “micro grant” programs that will allow businesses and organizations who have identified needs in their community and have a plan to address those needs, to receive funds to help implement their ideas.

Nobody knows our community’s needs and potential in this challenging time like local businesses and nonprofit organizations. WE are the #livelocalinw change we need! 

Live Local Community Action Grants

Does your business have a product that could be used by a nonprofit to benefit community members who have been impacted by COVID? For example: 

  • Do you have a food business and can provide gift cards to a community center helping to feed impacted families?
  • Are you a small business who can help contribute supplies or materials to people or groups in need? 

Contact your local business association with questions and apply today!

The selection process will take place on a rolling basis starting Tuesday, November 10th until all funds are allocated.

This opportunity is now closed.

Live Local Marketing Grants

Live Local INW now has a small amount of funds for business owners and organization leaders to be compensated for marketing activities that will promote the Live Local campaign through their independent marketing channels.

Eligible activity ideas include things like: 

  • Using your website to promote the Live Local campaign
  • Using your newsletter to educate about the purpose of the Live Local campaign
  • Co-promoting Live Local content on social media and creating new co-branded content
  • Other creative ideas that use local businesses and organizations as trusted messengers

The grant committee will begin the selection process Tuesday, November 10th, so apply today! Contact your local business association with questions or for assistance with your proposal.

This opportunity is now closed.