From our friends at Seattle Southside RTA:

Last week, Gov. Inslee signed House Bill 1368, which allocates $240 million of the general fund for additional grants to small businesses through the Department of Commerce’s Working Washington grant program, with an application portal expected to open in late March.

Grants of up to $75,000 will help businesses maintain operations and reopen businesses that were temporarily closed due to the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.

The bill provides $150,000,000 to help businesses maintain their operations and to be eligible, the business must:

    • Apply for or have applied for the grant;
    • Have reported annual gross receipts of $5,000,000 or less to the department of revenue for calendar year 2019;
    • Have expenses that are necessary to continue business operations and the expense is not a federal, state, or local tax, fee, license, or other government revenue;
    • Self-attest that the expense is not funded by any other government or private entity;
    • Have experienced a reduction in business income or activity related to COVID-19 or state or local actions in response to COVID-19; and
    • Agree to operate in accordance with the requirements of applicable federal, state, and local public health guidance and directives.

The bill also provides $90,000,000 to assist the reopening of businesses that temporarily totally closed their operations and to be eligible, businesses must:

    • Apply for the grant;
    • Have reported annual gross receipts of $5,000,000 or less to the department of revenue for calendar year 2019;
    • Demonstrate the business was actively engaged in business, and as a result of the governor’s proclamations November 15, 2020, temporarily totally closed operations. Demonstration of active engagement in business can be given through but is not limited to taxable activity reported to the department of revenue. The department may use other methods to determine if this criterion has been met;
    • Have expenses that are necessary to reopen business operations and the expense is not a federal, state, or local tax, fee, license, or other government revenue;
    • Self-attest that the expense is not funded by any other government or private entity; and
    • Agree to operate in accordance with the requirements of applicable federal, state, and local public health guidance and directives.

If a business received one or more Working Washington small business grants, the grant awarded must be reduced to reflect the amounts received from previous grants.

Reopening costs include (but are not limited to) upgrading physical work places to adhere to new safety or sanitation standards, procuring required personal protective supplies, updating business plans, employee costs including payroll, training, and onboarding, rent, lease, mortgage, insurance, and utilities payments, and securing inventory, supplies, and services for operations.

Nonprofit organizations may be eligible to receive funding under if they have a primary business activity that has been impacted.

Click here for more information and visit the Washington State Department of Commerce website for additional small business resources and business grants.

Additionally, The Biden Administration announced today that the Small Business Administration will prioritize Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications for businesses with fewer than 20 employees for two weeks beginning Wednesday, February 24.  Click here for PPP resources and links.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Caitlyn Shearer at Seattle Southside RTA at [email protected]SeattleSouthside.com.