News for the Week of Dec. 13th

Since 1981, the private, 501(c)(6) nonprofit EDC has been priority-focused on recruiting quality new businesses to Clallam County while retaining the existing businesses and assisting in expansion. The EDC supports companies in creating new jobs and to grow the economy and infrastructure of our rural county and Washington State.
Coffee with Colleen presents Beth Pratt, the new Executive Director of the Sequim Valley Chamber of Commerce this Wednesday, Dec. 15th at 8am;

*Beth’s Background
*Why she pursued the position of Executive Director
*The highlights of success of the Sequim Chamber
*Programs she would like to pursue
*Her vision for the Sequim Chamber for 2022 and beyond

Please Join Us!
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89474510306?pwd=VlIrRHh5RG1nYVh3V3JXRzFSMmRodz09
Meeting ID: 894 7451 0306Passcode: 187447One tap mobile+12532158782,,89474510306#,,,,187447# US (Tacoma) +13462487799,,89474510306#,,,,187447# US (Houston)Dial by your location+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kd6ZsedAQi
Public Works Board approves $4.5M for for Clallam County Government’s broadband construction project:
Funding Requests exceeded available funding by over 200%:

According to the State’s press release the Washington State Public Works Board approved over $44.6 million in conditional grants for 15 broadband construction projects in unserved and underserved communities across the state.

Both Clallam County Government and Jefferson County PUD will be receiving funding to support broadband construction projects in their respective jurisdictions. The following amounts were awarded (conditioned on receipt of federal funds).

Clallam County – Clallam County Broadband Project, $4,525,174Jefferson County PUD – Discovery Bay East Fiber Project, $1,096,046 

“This funding is among the important ways we’re working towards digital equity in Washington state. Working in tandem with the state Broadband Office and the Washington State Office of Equity, we are one step closer to our goal of making broadband available and affordable for every community in Washington, and to make sure everyone has the tools and skills they need to securely and successfully use the internet,” said Washington Commerce Director Lisa Brown.
Funding announced today is part of the 2021 State Legislature’s infrastructure investment of the federal Coronavirus Capital Project Fund, and continues the Legislature’s commitment to connect communities with little or no reliable, affordable broadband service. Awards are conditional on the receipt of federal funds.
The Public Works Board will open an application cycle for $13 million in state funded broadband construction loans in spring 2022.
Visit the Public Works Board webpage for more information on the board and its programs, and to sign up for their email distribution list.
GRANTS…
Lifeboat 3 Application Portal for Round 2 has closed. The Next Round of Review is scheduled for 2022. Get your application in today!

The Clallam County Commissioners have agreed to begin the process to distribute up to $3 Million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to small businesses that have been the hardest hit and/or unable to receive federal or state funding with priority going to businesses that fall into one of the following categories:
Small businesses who previously applied and qualified for Working Washington or prior CAREs-funded Lifeboat grants that did not receive funding;

Nonprofits (and potentially small businesses) who provide child care services;

Small businesses who qualified for 2nd PPP rounds of funding due to incurring a 25% reduction in revenues but did not receive a 2nd PPP loan;

Startup small businesses who commenced operations in 2019 or 2020 in Clallam County or changed their business type in 2019 or 2020;

Fishing guides that did not qualify for any state or federal assistance programs during the pandemic;

Event Planners & Festival Operators that did not qualify SVOG or other state assistance programs;

Restaurants who applied for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund but did not receive any funding;

Businesses that transported passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 for transport to the hospital, that incurred significant unreimbursed COVID mitigation related costs);
and
Businesses that can make the case that their unique situation of revenue loss (relative to other businesses in the county) warrants grant funding.

You’ll be able to find more information about the grant program at 
https://chooseclallamfirst.com/lifeboat-3-grant/.
The 2021-23 Early Learning Facilities (ELF) grant application is now open.
The 2021-23 Early Learning Facilities (ELF) grant application is now open. Please visit their website for the link to the Zoom Grants application and to access supporting materials.
Emergency Broadband Benefits

The upcoming Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands.

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price.
Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
1. Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
2. Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
3. Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
4. Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Download the EBB Brochure HERE.
Other Good Stuff…
CIE’s Start Simple Course for December 2021

Tue, Dec 7, 20214:00 PM  
Thu, Dec 16, 20217:00 PM
Zoom – Online 

CIE’s Start Simple Course will help you quickly “kick the tires” on your new business idea. In just four 2-hour virtual classroom sessions you will learn to apply basic business concepts to know if your business goal is realistic and achievable. Our business advisor provides optional one-on-one homework support. NOTE: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, our November class will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the first two weeks of the month.

Session 1 – The Foundation: Program Orientation, Readiness Mindset and Personal Finance
Session 2 – Opportunity Discovery: How You Bring Value to Your Target Market
Session 3 – Money In and Money Out: Projecting Sales and Costs
Session 4 – The Bottom Line: Projecting Cash Flow and Break Even

Become part of a community of business owners working to create a vibrant local economy!

*This course is for residents living in the counties where CIE works: Clallam, Jefferson, Skagit, Island, Whatcom, North Snohomish, Whitman, Garfield, Columbia, and Asotin Counties.

Sign Up
Due to Covid-19, the IRS has released this Frequently asked questions for states and local governments on taxability and reporting of payments from Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.Click Here to Learn More
Resources for Employer Health Insurance for Employees
Are you looking to provide health insurance for your employees? Here are a few Washington State options!
Business Health Trust
One Redmond 
Clallam County Free Food Resources
WSU Extension has provided a comprehensive list of free food resources for Clallam county. To download the list click the button below.
You can also find this and other resources at chooseclallamfirst.com/communityrelief
Free Food Resources
Statewide Resource – No-Cost Accountant Services:
The Seattle Metro Chamber’s REACH program and the Business Health Trust are sponsoring accounting consulting services for small businesses to help employers navigate PPP forgiveness, Employee Retention Tax Credits, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and financial record-keeping for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The CPA assistance is available to Washington businesses with 100 employees or fewer. Employers can reach out to Leigh (leighj@seattlechamber.com) to get connected with an accountant at Clark Nuber. Many thanks to the Seattle Metro Chamber for offering this amazing resource statewide!
LOW INTEREST RATE, GOVERNMENT-FUNDED BUSINESS LOANS…
SBA EIDL Loans are now Better than Ever – New Upgrades:
On September 8, the SBA announced major changes to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.Key highlights include:
𝗜𝗻𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗 𝗘𝗜𝗗𝗟 𝗖𝗮𝗽 from $500,000 to $2 Million!
Payment Deferment:  Payments are deferred for the first 2 years (during which interest will accrue), and payments of principal and interest are made over the remaining 28 years. No penalty for prepayment.
𝗘𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗮 𝟯𝟬-𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝗘𝘅𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗼𝘄 for loans of $500,000 or less.3.75% fixed interest rate for businesses30-year term
𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗘𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗨𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗙𝘂𝗻𝗱𝘀. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
Fees: For loans $25,000 or less: No fees if applying directly through SBA.
*For loans greater than $25,000: One-time $100 fee for filing a lien on borrower’s business assets plus costs to file lien on real estate when applicable.
*For loans greater than $500,000 where SBA is taking real estate as collateral: One-time $100 fee for filing a lien on borrower’s business assets.
Additionally, the borrower will be responsible for recording the real estate lien and paying the associated fees.
*Collateral:  Required for Loans greater than $25,000
*Personal Guaranty:  Required for loans greater than $200,000
SBA EIDL INFO
SBA Coronavirus Recovery Information in Other Languages
The new Washington State Small Business Flex Fund is OPEN
As of July 4, over 561 applications had been matched with CDFI lenders requesting $56.449 million. Of the application pool, 53% are women-owned businesses, 73% are women and minority-owned businesses and 53% are non-white business owners.

The Small Business Flex Fund, a simple and flexible loan for Washington’s smallest businesses and nonprofits. With the Small Business Flex Fund, you’ll experience low interest rates, longer payback timelines, and community-based lenders with decades of experience helping businesses like yours to thrive.
Who is eligible to apply? Fewer than 50 employees
Annual revenues of less than $3 million Experienced direct economic hardship due to COVID-19Low-interest rates
Borrow up to $150,000 No fees and interest-only payments for the first year3% – 4.5% interest rates60 and 72-month loan terms (72-month loan term only available until Dec. 31 this year)Loan use is flexible;
Payroll
Utilities and rent
Marketing and advertising
Building improvements or repairs
Other business expenses
LEARN MORE AND PRE-APPLY 
Read the June 30 media release about the opening of the Fund.
IMPORTANT EMPLOYER UPDATES FROM ESD:
Paid Leave: Premium Rate to Increase in 2022For the first time since Paid Family and Medical Leave launched, the premium rate will increase. This change goes into effect with Quarter 1 of 2022. The split of the employer and employee share of the premium rates will also change in the new year.
Starting Jan. 1, 2022, the premium rate will be 0.6%:The new premium rate of 0.6% takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022. But for now, the current rate of 0.4% is in effect until Dec. 31, 2021.Employers will pay approximately 27% of the total premium and employees will pay about 73%.Continue using the 0.4% rate for the rest of 2021.But don’t forget to withhold at the new 0.6% rate starting in January! If you don’t, you’ll be responsible for the difference during quarterly reporting.
What’s nextUpdate your calculations and withhold the new 0.6% rate starting in January. If you don’t, you’ll be responsible for the difference during quarterly reporting.For your calculations, the employer share of premiums is 26.78% and the employee share is 73.22%.
We will have updated resources available at paidleave.wa.gov for you and your employees before the end of the year. Stay tuned!
Rate is increasing due to higher usage and reduced payrolls during the pandemic:Washington workers are finding value in Paid Leave.They are using the program as intended, and it’s allowing them to take care of themselves and their loved ones when they need it most.There has been high usage of the program this year, and family leave use was higher than medical leave use.About 51% of our claims are for family leave and about 49% are for medical leave. This means we need to change the amount we collect in premiums for each type of leave.Reduced payrolls during the pandemicWhile overall usage has been high, the total premiums collected during quarterly reporting have been lower because of reduced payrolls due to Covid-19.

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