Covid-19 Relief Information

Information about Covid-19 relief and assistance

 

December 2020

$135 million assistance package targets hardest-hit small businesses and families

The pandemic is hitting industries and households in profoundly different ways. The latest round of $100 million in business assistance from the state’s remaining CARES Act funds, announced by Gov. Inslee last Friday, is focused on the hardest-hit sectors of our economy, such as restaurants and fitness centers. Equity is also a top priority for all of our relief funds, with attention directed toward rural Washington and communities facing historic disadvantage.

In addition to business assistance, $35 million was added to programs providing rent and utility payment assistance statewide.

Here’s the breakdown of the full $135 million relief and recovery package approved for Commerce to implement:

  • Applications for a new round of small business grants opens next week. An application portal for this new round of Working Washington emergency relief grants will launch early next week. $50 million will be available for grants up to $20,000 each, with a focus on businesses most impacted by the current public health measures or who have experienced significant cumulative impacts.
    Watch for application information at www.commerce.wa.gov/bizgrants

    We are also distributing nearly $20 million in grants to eligible applicants from our earlier resiliency grant round who didn’t receive funding. Those applicants will hear soon from our network partners and don’t need to take any action.

  • $30 million for business recovery loans through a new revolving loan fund program to be developed and launched in the first quarter of 2021. This is a longer-term financial tool that will provide small businesses a bridge to recovery. Follow Commerce’s small business resources page for updates.
  • $20 million in rental assistance is added to the current Eviction Rent Assistance Program. Partner agencies in each county, not Commerce, provide the assistance payments to landlords to cover their qualified tenants. Note that coverage was expanded from 3 to 6 months of eligible rent. Find the list of appropriate contacts by county here.

$15 million in utility payment assistance expands the existing Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), also administered through agency partners at the county level, not Commerce. Find information and contacts for each county here