There could be funding available to your small business. We’re looking at you, restauranteurs in Benton County. And martial artists in Thurston County, contractors in Walla Walla, stylists in Yakima, and a beloved movie theater in Stevens County. Those are just a few of the vertebrae in the small- business backbone of Washington, and they were all grant recipients in last year’s Working Washington round of funding.

Once again, in partnership with the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA), Commerce will open applications for Working Washington Grants: Round 5 (WWR5) on August 17.

WWR5 offers one-time grants to small for-profit and non-profit businesses that have experienced financial hardship due to Covid-19 and related public health measures. Eligible for-profit and non-profit businesses, including tribal member-owned businesses operating on a reservation with a license issued by a federally recognized tribe in Washington State, are encouraged to apply.

$70 million was appropriated by the legislature for the next round of Working Washington Grants: Round 5. In this round of Working Washington grants, available funds are set aside for specific targeted groups or sectors:

  • 60% is identified for the arts, heritage, and science sectors, including those that operate live entertainment venues
  • 40% is identified for most other sectors, including hospitality, fitness and personal services

The WWR5 grant portal will open on Wednesday, August 17 along with support in multiple languages to applicants with questions.

General timeline:

  • August 17 – September 9: Application portal will remain open for 24 days
  • Mid – Late September: Review of applications
  • Early October: Commerce will notify grantees and disburse funding

Before you do anything else!

As of April 4, 2022, recipients of grants using federal funds are required to have an UEI number. The UEI replaces the DUNS Number. If you don’t have one yet, you should apply now. You may apply for grants without one, but cannot receive funds until you have an UEI. Click here to apply now.

Are you eligible?

  • Active for-profit or non-profit business* (identified by UBI number or EIN number) physically located and operating in Washington state.
    • *Nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply if they have a primary business activity that is similar to the eligible businesses who qualify for this program
  • Be able to demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Have been in operation prior to January 1, 2021
  • Have not reported annual gross receipts of more than $5,000,000 in calendar year 2019 (If no revenue was generated in 2019, must provide gross receipts from 2020)
  • Have reported total revenues of at least $10,000 in 2019 or 2020
  • Generates at least 51% of revenue in Washington state
  • Have not permanently closed or intend to permanently close in 2022
  • Have expenses that are necessary to continue business operations and the expense is not a federal, state, or local tax, fee, license, or other government revenue
  • Have experienced a 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
  • Self-attest that the expense is not funded by any other government or private entity

Are you ineligible?

The following business and organization types are not eligible to apply for WWR5:

  • Multinational corporations
  • Childcare provider (not including recreation/entertainment)
  • School (Pre-K, K-12 and higher education)
  • Public library
  • Science companies, including research and/or development laboratories or services, and science manufacturing
  • Professional services (accounting, insurance, legal, financial services/firms, architects etc.)
  • Hospital/Healthcare provider, including dentists and chiropractors (personal services such as massage ARE eligible)
  • Property management/real estate (including owners or operators of short-term rental properties)
  • Host/operators of a vacation or short-term rental unit (like Airbnb or VRBO)
  • Licensed marijuana/cannabis operation (this does not include CBD retailers)
  • Drivers of shared ride companies e.g., Lyft or Uber (independent taxi and limo ARE eligible)
  • Third-party delivery drivers e.g., Amazon or Door Dash
  • Government entities or elected official offices
  • Passive business, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns
  • Financial business primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance company and factoring company
  • Businesses that have permanently closed or intend to permanently close in 2022
  • Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature (such as rent-to-own businesses and check cashing businesses)
  • Businesses of a prurient sexual nature (“adult” businesses)
  • Speculative businesses
  • Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities
  • Businesses without a physical location in Washington state
  • Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity or age restrictions per regulations
  • Businesses found to be in violation of any COVID-19-related order issued by the governor. This includes remaining open when ordered to close, or disregarding COVID-19 health or safety measures applicable to the business.
  • Businesses found to have compliance or regulatory issues as of March 2020
  • Businesses that are actively engaged in current/pending lawsuits
  • Businesses disbarred by the federal government
  • Businesses actively pursuing a bankruptcy declaration

You probably have more questions, and we have more answers. Check out the below links for more information on the application review process, funding sources and more. 

Working Washington Grants Frequently Asked Questions

Working Washington Grants Round 5: Eligibility and Program Guidelines

TL; DR: Grant applications may be completed and submitted through the portal beginning August 17, 2022 and will close Sept. 9, 2022 at 5:00 PM.

You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. We’d love to add some jet fuel to your journey.