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How Washington small businesses can apply for up to $20K in COVID-19 relief

Small businesses and certain nonprofits in Washington that have been affected by coronavirus restrictions are eligible for up to $20,000 in emergency funding.

SPOKANE, Wash — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Tuesday that the state would provide additional aid to businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. 

During a press conference, Inslee announced that he would extend current restrictions on indoor businesses, restaurants, gyms by three weeks through Jan. 4. In light of the announcement, the state is making an additional $50 million in business grants available, prioritizing those that have been hit the hardest such as event venues, restaurants, movie theaters and bowling alleys.

Small business owners have until Dec. 11 to apply for Working Washington Small Business grants.

Applications for up to $20,000 in emergency funding opened on Dec. 2, a week after Governor Jay Inslee announced an additional $70 million for businesses.

Small businesses with yearly revenues of $5 million or less in 2019, businesses in the sectors that are most impacted by the recent public health measures and certain nonprofits are eligible. 

The grant can only cover expenses or costs incurred due to COVID-19 and that were necessary to continue business, according to the Washington State Department of Commerce.

The application includes an eligibility checklist with the following criteria:

  • The expense is connected to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • The expense is “necessary” to continue business operations.
  • The expense is not filling a short fall in government revenues. (i.e. taxes, licenses, state, county, federal and/or city fees)
  • The Business will self–attest that the expense is not funded by any other funder, whether private, State or Federal.
  • The business wouldn’t be requesting assistance with expenses if they had not been impacted COVID-19.

Businesses can apply online. Here’s a list of things you’ll need for the application process.

  • 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.

According to the Department of Commerce, priority will be given to applications received by Dec. 11, 2020. If they are able to fund all applicants who submit by that time, they may be able to consider applicants who submit after the deadline.

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