Department of Commerce announces $32.5 million in grants from new Small Business Innovation Fund

The funding will support at least 22 projects across Washington state focused on improving programs and services to meet the needs of underserved communities, businesses and entrepreneurs

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced 22 projects that have received conditional grants from the Small Business Innovation Fund (SBIF) ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. The total awards of $32.5 million will fund a variety of activities including:

  • incubators and accelerators for small businesses,
  • support local procurement initiatives,
  • Improvements to physical workplaces in response to public health demands or vandalism,
  • Support for small business competitiveness programs that focus on recruitment and retention, and
  • Projects that increase a small business’ ability to thrive 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 in underserved, low-income and rural parts of the state.

The following organizations and projects have been awarded contingent grants for the provision of the programs and services:

  • Center for Inclusive EntrepreneurshipSeattle – Founders Program
  • Chelan Douglas Regional Port AuthorityEast Wenatchee – Founder’s Program
  • City of Goldendale – Financing of operational improvements and repairs
  • City of Tacoma – Competitive programs
  • Clallam County Economic Development CouncilPort Angeles, Competitiveness Programs
  • Club of downtown Colfax – Incubator program
  • Technology center for compound recycling (CRTC), Port Angeles, various initiatives
  • Economic Development Agency for Tacoma-Pierce Countyaccelerator program
  • Washington State Latino Community FundSeattle – Accelerator Program
  • Multiethnic Business Association (AHANA), Spokane – Incubator Program
  • Muslim American Youth FoundationBurien – Accelerator program
  • local fundsChelan – Accelerator program
  • casual adviceBellingham – Accelerator program
  • Port of Willapa HarborRaymond – 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 CouncilLacey – Funding for improvements and repairs
  • City of Odessa – Financing improvements and repairs
  • Tri-Cities Diversity and Inclusion CouncilRichland – Founder’s Program
  • University District PartnershipSeattle – Funding for improvements and repairs
  • Walla Wala Foundation downtown – Incubator program
  • Washington Manufacturing Services (Impact Washington), Bothell – Founders Program

“We’ve received an unprecedented volume of funding requests,” said Linda Womack, Managing Director of Small Business Finance and Community Support. “The select pool of organizations represents a diverse array of projects that provide small businesses across the state with access to innovative new programs and services to help them build and grow.”

Commerce received over 120 proposals that were evaluated on project opportunity, outcome, solution, project maturity, management and overall budget. Final award considerations included equitable and geographic distribution of funding, alignment of the project with legislation, and applicant’s location relative to the service area. The department is currently negotiating the final terms of the contract with the scholarship holders.


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