Department of Commerce

From the Washington Department of Commerce:

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced 22 projects conditionally awarded Small Business Innovation Fund (SBIF) grants ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. The total $32.5 million awarded will fund a variety of activities, including:

  • small business incubators and accelerators,
  • support for local procurement initiatives,
  • improvements to physical workspaces in response to public health requirements or acts of vandalism,
  • support for small business competitiveness programs focused on hiring and retention, and
  • projects that increase the ability of a small business to succeed and thrive.

The Small Business Innovation Fund supports community-based programs and services that meet the needs of BIPOC entrepreneurs, women-owned small businesses, and businesses located in underserved, low-income and rural parts of the state.

Funding will support at least 22 projects across Washington state focused on increasing programs and services to help meet the needs of underserved communities, businesses, entrepreneurs.

The following organizations and projects have been conditionally awarded grants to provide the programs and services:

  • Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Seattle – incubator program
  • Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority, East Wenatchee – incubator program
  • City of Goldendale – funding for business improvements and repairs
  • City of Tacoma – competitiveness programs
  • Clallam County Economic Development Council, Port Angeles, competitiveness programs
  • Colfax Downtown Association – incubator program
  • Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC), Port Angeles, various initiatives
  • Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, accelerator program
  • Latino Community Fund of Washington State, Seattle – accelerator program
  • Multi-Ethnic Business Association (AHANA), Spokane – incubator program
  • Muslim American Youth Foundation, Burien – accelerator program
  • Native Funds, Chelan – accelerator program
  • Opportunity Council, Bellingham – accelerator program
  • Port of Willapa Harbor, Raymond – accelerator program
  • Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition (Rainier Beach Action Coalition), Seattle – accelerator
  • Spokane Independent Metro Business Alliance (SIMBA), Spokane – competitiveness programs
  • Thurston Economic Development Council, Lacey – funding for improvements and repairs
  • Town of Odessa – funding for improvements and repairs
  • Tri-cities Diversity and Inclusion Council, Richland – incubator program
  • University District Partnership, Seattle – funding for improvements and repairs
  • Downtown Walla Walla Foundation – incubator program
  • Washington Manufacturing Services (Impact Washington), Bothell – incubator program

“We received an unprecedented amount of funding requests,” said Linda Womack, Managing Director of Small Business Finance and Community Support. “The selected pool of organizations represents a wide range of projects that will help small businesses across the state access innovative new programs and services to help them build and grow.”

Commerce received over 120 proposals which were scored according to project opportunity, outcome, solution, project readiness, management and overall budget. Final award considerations included equitable and geographic distribution of the funding, the project’s alignment with the legislation, and applicant location vs. service area. The department is currently negotiating final contract terms with the grantees.