Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants Program and Pierce County

Tuesday, April 8, 2020 PRESS RELEASE
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 PRESS RELEASE
Monday, June 22, 2020 PRESS RELEASE

Quotes from the WWSBEG Awardees

Grants by County,
A map created by Washington State Department of Commerce 

Last updated October 5, 2020 at  10:52 AM

On Tuesday April 8, 2020 Washington State Department of Commerce introduced the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program (WWSBEG). Utilizing Working Washington funds (formerly known as Strategic Reserve Funds) typically used for assistance in recruiting new companies or assisting with existing business retention and expansion in Washington State. This program was created to help very small businesses (ten or fewer employees) who have been impacted by COVID-19. Maximum grant size is $10,000.

We received 4,054 applications from Pierce County businesses and have been diligently working through those.

The State Department of Commerce and the Governor requested that we submit no more than 145 applications to them for consideration. We have completed that task and notified the businesses that have moved forward on Friday, April 17, 2020. Based on guidance from the Department of Commerce, we anticipate that a minimum of 36 of the 145 applications we submitted will get funded.

This low percentage of awards (relative to the 4,054 we received) is a result of the state providing $10 million for the entire state. More than 26,000 applications have been received state-wide. This has created a mismatch between the needs of our small businesses and resources available under this grant program.

While we believe the program is a step in the right direction it clearly requires far greater funding. We are strongly urging the state to infuse more money into WWSBEG as soon as possible.

Program Updates

The EDB is now working with the 76 Pierce County businesses selected by the Governor’s Office to administer the grant funds awarded by the WWSBEG Program. More information about the Pierce County WWSBEG recipients can be found in the Monday, June 22, 2020 Press Release.

WWSBEG funds have been allocated throughout the state to businesses selected by the Governor’s Office. If WWSBEG is refunded it has been shared that businesses who have already submitted applications to the WWSBEG may be eligible for selection, which will again be made by the Governor’s Office. WWSBEG will not be accepting any more applications at this time. 

Resources for Additional Loan and Grant Programs

Frequently Asked Questions about the WWSBEG

  1. What were the requirements for the grant?
    • Washington State Commerce requirements for the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant are small businesses with 10 employees or fewer.
    • The EDB is responsible for processing incoming grants from Pierce County companies and therefore all applicants we receive must be a Pierce County business.
  2. What will happen with the new $5M additional funding added to the program which increased to total amount available statewide to $10M?
    • The funding with be distributed to ADO organizations by Commerce and may result in more businesses receiving the grant.
    • There is no need to reapply because of additional funding. Commerce and the Governor’s office will work off of the 145 applications already submitted to select any additional awardees.
  3. What if I accidentally sent in my application twice due to a technical issue?
    • Applications were not disqualified due to multiple submissions. Multiple submissions did not increase your chances of receiving the grant.
  4. What if I own several businesses and sent several individual applications?
    • Applications were evaluated individually and there was no penalty for one individual submitting multiple applications.
  5. What is the next step?
    • Commerce has asked for 145 applications to be submitted from the over 4,000 applications submitted to the EDB. The 145 applications were submitted to Commerce on Friday, April 24, 2020. Of those 145 applications we understand that approximately 36 companies will receive funding, those companies are determined by the Governor’s office.
  6. How do I know if I have been one of the 145 applicants that are moving forward?
    • The EDB sent an email to the 145 applicants who have move forward to Commerce on Monday, April 27, 2020.
    • The EDB is working to reach out to all other applicants by email to let them know that their application is not currently being considered for the grant.
  7. What happens if the WWSBEG program receives additional funding?
    • The EDB will follow guidance from Commerce on next steps if this program gains additional funding in the future.
  8. Where do I go to find out more information about the status of this program?

Applications submitted to Washington State Department of Commerce per their 145-application limit for Pierce County.

Questions? Please contact:

Bruce Kendall

Bruce Kendall

President & CEO