Washington, the Evergreen State, ranks 10th in the United States regarding GSP (Gross State Product) with $618 billion. The state also has the second-highest minimum wage in the US, at $15.74 an hour.
The state hosts numerous multinational corporations, such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Amazon, and T-Mobile, to name a few. This is also why the state has the highest number of billionaires.
According to surveys, there are over 630,810 small businesses in Washington, which make up 99.5% of all companies in the state. These businesses provide employment for over 1.4 million workers, over 50% of the state’s labor force.
The top three prominent small business sectors that employ the highest number of workers in Washington are healthcare and social assistance (193,240+), accommodation and food services (191,380+), and construction (161,590+).
To ensure the growth and development of small-scale industries, the state and federal governments and some private organizations offer grants for small businesses. In this article, we have a list of the best small business grants in Washington.
Best Small Business Grants in Washington
Small businesses need capital to grow but most conventional loans are for large companies. To overcome this, the Department of Commerce offers financial grants and loans to small businesses and start-ups. The grant or loan amount can be used to purchase equipment, update, expand, and support business development.
Let’s take a look at some of the best small business grants in Washington:
1 – Washington Small Business Credit Initiative (SBCI)
The U.S. Department of Treasury has awarded over $163 million to the Washington State Department of Commerce to update the SSBCI (State Small Business Credit Initiative). The SBCCI programs aim to support small business ownership and improve the flow of capital to under-served regions. It offers a portion of the funding for VSB (Very Small Businesses) and SEDI (Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals)-owned businesses.
Under this initiative, small businesses get easier financing from CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions) and contributing lenders. Besides this, the program also offers Collateral Support for small businesses. This is extremely helpful for small businesses to get short-term loans quickly before they can access permanent financing.
You can check the official website to learn more about the Washington State Small Business Credit Initiative program.
2 – Washington Export Voucher Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funds the Export Vouchers program. It recoups and qualifies export expenses up to $10,000. The Export Voucher program funds can be used to recover eligible export expenses, such as online marketing fees, digital advertising, international digital marketing charges, services of the U.S Commercial Service, overseas shipping expenses for product samples, compliance certification charges to enter the export market, foreign market sales trips, etc.
Eligibility criteria admit any business or organization registered in Washington state and classified as a Small-Business entity according to relevant sections of the law. You can check this official link for more details about the Washington Export Voucher program.
3 – Ready for Business Fund
The Ready for Business Fund is a combined initiative from the Allied Chamber of Commerce, Comcast, and private lenders. It was started in 2021, and after immense success in the past two years, the organization has decided to award over $200,000 in grants to small businesses in Washington State.
Priority of eligibility is given to individuals at greater risk, such as women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as businesses in rural areas.
You can visit GSBA to learn more and apply for this small business grant.
These are the top small business grants in Washington. You can also learn about local funding programs for small businesses by checking out the state’s Small Business Administration (SBA) website. Make sure to read the specific eligibility criteria for the grant before applying. These small business grants are meant to help small businesses to become global names.
Interactive US Map for Small Business Grants