A message from WA Dept. of Commerce: Border Business Relief Program

Working Washington Grants:
Border Business Relief Program

The Washington State Department of Commerce is preparing to open applications for the Working Washington Grants: Border Business Relief Program. Commerce will continue to regularly update this site with additional information and link to the portal here when it opens Oct 4-18.

The Working Washington Grants: Border Business Relief Program will focus on customer-facing businesses that have experienced hardship specifically as a result of the COVID-19 border restrictions. Businesses must have reported annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 to the Department of Revenue and be located in Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan, Island, Skagit, Whatcom, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens or Pend Oreille counties.

Grants to eligible businesses will be up to $50,000. Award amounts will vary and will take into account previous Working Washington awards received from Commerce or affiliated partners.

Requirements for Eligibility:

  • Active business (identified by UBI number or EIN number) physically located in one of the following counties in Washington state: Clallam, Jefferson, Skagit, San Juan, Island, Whatcom, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille
  • Reported annual gross receipts of $5,000,000 USD or less to the Washington State Department of Revenue for calendar year 2019
  • Documented reduction in business income or activity related to COVID-19 or as a result of state or local COVID-19 related public health measures
  • Adherence to all required COVID-19 public health measures

Eligible applications will be reviewed based on the following priority criteria:

  • Customer-facing businesses that require direct, in-person interaction with customers for a significant portion of business activity (Examples include a retail shop or nail salon)
  • Businesses located within a 20-mile radius of a Canadian border crossing or port in Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan, Island, Skagit, Whatcom, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties
  • Industry sectors most impacted by the closure, which includes but is not limited to, retail, tourism, hospitality, recreation and entertainment.
  • Size of the business (measured by 2019 revenue).
  • Lost revenue between 2019 and 2020 and/or added expenses to maintain safe operations.
  • Businesses operating in a rural or low-income community and/or owned by someone from a historically underserved population (minority, veteran, LGBTQ+ or women-owned).

Customer service will be available by phone and email beginning September 29.

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