7,800 Small Businesses To Receive Pandemic Relief Grants

·2 min read

OLYMPIA, WA — The Department of Commerce has now issued more than 7,800 grants to small businesses across the state in an effort to keep local businesses afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The grants come as part of the $100 million Working Washington grant program announced by Gov. Jay Inslee back in November. Through that program, the state Department of Commerce says they've given $12,500 grants to roughly 7,200 businesses, and grants of $4,500 to another 630 businesses. Those 630 had recently received $8,000 resiliency grants, but also qualified for Working Washington grants and were given the additional money to bring their funding in line with what other Working Washington recipients had been given.

The department says they received more than 28,000 applications for this third round of Working Washington Grants. Under the program, they were instructed to prioritize small businesses that had been disproportionately impacted by pandemic shutdowns and safety guidelines. As a result, more than half of the 7,200 approved grants went to restaurants, with fitness centers making up the second-largest portion of grant recipients.

DOC leadership says they're hopeful these grants will help struggling businesses make it through the economic fallout caused by the pandemic.

“The economic impacts of the pandemic are felt far and wide, there’s no doubt. And while some industries have been able to pivot their operations and continue to bring in enough revenue to stay afloat, those options aren’t available for many others,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said. “Small businesses are the heartbeat of our local communities and our state economy. Throughout the country and in every part of our state, small businesses are struggling. We appreciate the governor providing this unprecedented level of grant funding, and hope the state Legislature and Congress continue to make business support a priority in the coming weeks.”

Businesses who saw their grant requests approved are being told to check their email for notifications frequently, as the department is working to distribute the approved grants over the next few days.

This article originally appeared on the Bonney Lake-Sumner Patch