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State accepting applications for fourth round of small business grants

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | March 31, 2021 1:00 AM

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Commerce is accepting applications from small businesses for grants of up to $25,000.

Applications for the fourth round of the Working Washington grants are due no later than April 9. To be eligible, companies or self-employed individuals must: have been in business prior to Jan. 1, 2020; have reported gross annual revenue between $25,000 and $5 million on a 2019 tax return; have a physical business location in Washington separate from the business owner’s home; and have lost revenue or incurred increased costs due to COVID-19-related emergency measures.

According to the state Department of Commerce, non-profits, schools, day cares, health care providers, or other professional services (such as lawyers, lobbyists and property managers) are not eligible to apply for the loan.

Businesses that closed in 2021 or intend to close in 2021 are also ineligible for the latest round of state COVID-19 grants.

While grant applications are being handled by the state Department of Commerce, Grant County Economic Development Council (EDC) Executive Director Brant Mayo said the EDC is available to help small business owners with the application process if they need it.

“We can assist businesses in filling out applications, but we do not have any say or any part in the disbursement,” Mayo wrote in an email to the Columbia Basin Herald.

In February, the state Legislature approved $240 million for a fourth round of grants to small businesses that experienced losses because of the pandemic. The maximum grant award will be $25,000, and the Department of Commerce rules say grants will be “equitably distributed statewide and to historically underserved populations,” such as rural, veteran-owned or minority-owned businesses.

Applications will be reviewed throughout April, with grants awarded by early May, according to the Department of Commerce.

For more information, or to apply, go to the Department of Commerce website at www.commercegrants.com.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.