Friday afternoon Governor Inslee signed the $2.2 Billion Covid relief Bill. Out of that money, $240 million is dedicated to small businesses. I want to emphasize all of the rule making surrounding this legislation is not complete yet, but I wanted to give you an outline of what the grant program will look like. The Department of Commerce hopes to have all of the rules complete and an application for grant funding on its website in early March. I will email all of the details as I receive them. Some detail that is not complete yet, but aligns with how Commerce is setting the rules - The business had to have at least $25,000 in revenue for 2019, but not over $5 million in revenue. Any money received in prior Working Washington Grants Rounds 1 - 3 will be subtracted from a Round 4 Grant. More details to come...
Here is a link to all of the detail for the Bill - - https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1368&Initiative=false&Year...
Highlights of Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1368
Ø PROGRAM A: $150,000,000 to be used to help businesses “maintain their operations”. Criteria includes those whose gross revenue was under $5 million for 2019.
Ø PROGRAM B: $90,000,000 to be used “solely to assist the reopening of businesses that temporarily totally closed their operations”. Criteria includes those whose gross revenue was under $5 million for 2019.
Ø “Closure” is defined as a business that “was actively engaged in business, and as a result of the governor's proclamations 20-25.8, issued on November 15, 2020, through 20-25.12 ("stay safe-stay healthy"), temporarily totally closed operations.”
Ø Once an application is approved, Commerce will have to confirm whether they’ve received a prior Working Washington grant and then reduce the new grant by that total (subsection 5, p. 6)
Ø “The department must conduct outreach to underrepresented and unserved communities observed from prior rounds of awards. The department must ensure equitable distributions of grant funding, including considerations for geographic location and businesses owned by members of historically disadvantaged communities.” (subsection 4, p.6)
Ø Successful grantees must use the funding for costs incurred between March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. They are able to expend grant funding for any eligible expenses occurred within the aforementioned timeframe. Any expenses outside of the March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 timeframe would not be considered reimbursable. Commerce is not requesting receipts as a part of the grant award, in the event of an audit the business must show proof of expenditures.
Ø Any expense due to the impact of COViD-19, including personal protective equipment and payroll are eligible, as long as they have not been previously funded. Ineligible expenses would be lobbying, alcohol – other than for inventory needs of their business, salary increases, bonuses, and dividends to owner(s) or investor(s). Additionally, costs already reimbursed previously by federal programs (e.g. SBA Paycheck Protection Program) are ineligible for reimbursement through this grant award, as well as expenses previously reimbursed by any of grant or loan program (double- dipping), and personal expenses.
Ted Sprague, President CEDC
PO Box 1278
1452 Hudson St, Suite 208
Longview, WA 98632