Washington Department of Commerce awards $32.5 million in grants to small businesses

From the Washington Department of Commerce:

OLYMPIA Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced 22 projects conditionally awarded Small Business Innovation Fund (SBIF) grants ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. The total $32.5 million awarded will fund a variety of activities, including:

small business incubators and accelerators, support for local procurement initiatives, improvements to physical workspaces in response to public health requirements or acts of vandalism, support for small business competitiveness programs focused on hiring and retention, and projects that increase the ability of a small business to succeed and drive.

The Small Business Innovation Fund supports community-based programs and services that meet the needs of BIPOC entrepreneurs, women-owned small businesses, and businesses located in underserved, low-income and rural parts of the state.

Funding will support at least 22 projects across Washington state focused on increasing programs and services to help meet the needs of underserved communities, businesses, entrepreneurs.

The following organizations and projects have been conditionally awarded grants to provide the programs and services:

Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Seattle – incubator program Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority, East Wenatchee – incubator program City of Goldendale – funding for business improvements and repairs City of Tacoma – competitiveness programs Clallam County Economic Development Council, Port Angeles, competitiveness programs Colfax Downtown Association – incubator program Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC), Port Angeles, various initiatives Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, accelerator programLatino Community Fund of Washington State, Seattle – accelerator programMulti-Ethnic Business Association (AHANA), Spokane – incubator programMuslim American Youth Foundation, Burien – accelerator programNative Funds, Chelan – accelerator programOpportunity Council, Bellingham – accelerator programPort of Willapa Harbor, Raymond – accelerator programRainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition (Rainier Beach Action Coalition), Seattle – acceleratorSpokane Independent Metro Business Alliance (SIMBA), Spokane – competitiveness programsThurston Economic Development Council, Lacey – funding for improvements and repairsTown of Odessa – funding for improvements and repairsTri-cities Diversity and Inclusion Council, Richland – incubator programUniversity District Partnership, Seattle – funding for improvements and repairsDowntown Walla Walla Foundation-incubator programWashington Manufacturing Services (Impact Washington), Bothell-incubator program

“We received an unprecedented amount of funding requests,” said Linda Womack, Managing Director of Small Business Finance and Community Support. “The selected pool of organizations represents a wide range of projects that will help small businesses across the state access innovative new programs and services to help them build and grow.”

Commerce received over 120 proposals which were scored according to project opportunity, outcome, solution, project readiness, management and overall budget. Final award considerations included equitable and geographic distribution of the funding, the project’s alignment with the legislation, and applicant location vs. service area. The department is currently negotiating final contract terms with the grantees.

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