Resources for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The City of Washougal supports businesses and their employees during this unprecedented health crisis. With the assistance of our partners in the City of Vancouver, Clark County, the Greater Portland region, Washington State, and at the federal level, the important information below has been assembled to assist businesses-small and large-and workers affected by COVID-19.

Most recent resources opportunities listed at top.

City of washougal small business grant program

**DEADLINE TO SUBMIT: November 13, 2020 by 5:00pm** 

The purpose of this temporary emergency program is to assist small, locally owned Washougal-based for-profit retail, restaurant and service type businesses to survive the COVID-19 crisis, to minimize disruptions to workers and maintain availability of local goods and services in Washougal.  The Washougal City Council has committed a portion of CARES Act funding to the COVID-19 Washougal Small Business Grant Program Fund, an emergency fund that provides small working capital grants, up to $3,000, to qualifying small businesses to mitigate the direct impacts of business interruption due to operations limits during the COVID-19 response.

Program requirements and application materials can be found at https://www.cityofwashougal.us/630/Small-Business-Grant-Program


Washington State Safe Start Projects Grant 

New federal grant that supports Safe Start projects and partnerships aimed at helping Washington state businesses restart, rebuild and become more resilient have recently been announced by the Washington State Department of Commerce. The grant funds will support a number of initiatives ultimately aimed at helping Washington small businesses and strengthening core industry clusters. 

Some of the projects are new, but several build off existing efforts. Restart projects include technical assistance for businesses and entrepreneurs in underrepresented and underserved communities as well as a first-of-its-kind COVID-19 modeling project that will help predict and prevent outbreaks so that essential, high-risk businesses such as fisheries, food processors and meat packers can reopen and stay open safely. 

A fact sheet that includes descriptions of rebuild and restart projects can be found at https://www.commerce.wa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Overview-EDA-grant.pdf

If you're a small business owner and would like information about the various programs supporting small businesses, visit http://bit.ly/wa-covid19


CARES Disbursement Application

Clark County Councilors approved use of CARES funding to provide financial operational support to food establishments impacted by COVID-19 public health measures placed to prevent the spread of illness. Fund disbursement for each eligible food establishment is the same amount paid for the 2020 Retail Food Permit, ranging from $258 - $1,835.  The disbursement does not reverse 2020 permit fees, and 2021 permit fees will still apply. CARES funds disbursed to food establishment owners can be used at their discretion toward any operational expenses. The distribution of CARES funds to food establishment owners will be an additional step toward stabilizing our local economy and preserving jobs.  

Applications must be submitted by October 31, 2020. Submit an application here.


Small Business Relief Grant Program through Mercy Corps Northwest, Clark County and City of Vancouver

*UPDATED 9/14/2020* Deadline for the small business grant applications to September 25th

As small business owners continue to grapple with the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercy Corps Northwest has partnered with Clark County and the City of Vancouver to distribute grants to entrepreneurs facing financial hardship through a new small business relief grant program. 

Applications for grants between $2,500 to $10,000 will be accepted on Mercy Corps Northwest’s website starting Tuesday, Sept. 8. Eligible businesses are those with low to moderate income that have five or fewer employees. The program encourages minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses to apply. 

To apply or see a full list of grant requirements visit mercycorpsnw.org/clarkcounty. Mercy Corps Northwest plans to distribute the grants before the end of October. 


Clark County Main Street Support Program (CCMSSP)

 The Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) is accepting applications for the Clark County Main Street Support Program (CCMSSP), which will provide new emergency grants of up to $10,000 each for businesses with 10 to 20 employees in Clark County. Grant money can be used to reimburse rent expenses related to the impact from COVID-19.

 A pool of approximately $432,000 is available only to businesses in Clark County until funds are exhausted. Applications will be accepted through end of day on September 18, 2020. 

To learn more and apply, visit credc.org/ccmssp.


Round 2: Working Washington Small Business Grants

Commerce has funded a second round of $10 million in grants to support small businesses with 20 or fewer employees. Grant amounts will not exceed $10,000 total per business and is made possible by the Federal CARES Act. Nonprofits are not eligible for this program.

To be eligible for consideration, qualifying small businesses must:

  • Employ 20 or fewer employees
  • Be licensed to do business in Washington State
  • Provide proof that it has been impacted by COVID-19

If selected for an award, a successful business must be able to answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • The expense is connected to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • The expense is “necessary” to continue business operations.
  • The expense is not filling a shortfall in government revenues (i.e. taxes, licenses, state, county, federal and/or city fees).
  • The business will self–attest that the expense is not funded by any other funder, whether private, state or federal.

Application Process

Qualifying businesses will apply directly through their county economic development organization. Each organization has its own additional application process and qualifications. A list of economic development organizations with links to their respective website appears below.

If you have questions pertaining to this second round or the status of your application, contact CREDC.

More info at http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/working-washington-grants-2/


non-contact infrared thermometers (NCIT) from FEMA for eligible businesses and other essential workplaces 

CREDC received an allotment of non-contact infrared thermometers (NCIT) from FEMA to support the phased reopening of eligible businesses and other essential workplaces with a high degree of person-to-person interaction. In partnership with our friends at GVCC, we will be distributing the thermometers to eligible businesses this week at three locations in Clark County. We are reaching out to seek your help spreading the word about the availability of the thermometers, how to request one and where they can be picked up.

Eligibility:

  • Must be a business with a high degree of person-to-person interaction in Clark County.
  • Must be a business with 50 or less employees, where employees are not exclusively family.
  • Must be a business within one of the industry classifications in Phase One or Phase Two of the Safe Start Plan.
  • Businesses structured as Sole-Proprietorships are not being considered, at this time.

How to request a thermometer:

By completing this form, eligible businesses can request one (1) thermometer per individual or entity regardless of the number of businesses owned or represented. Note that supply is limited and requests will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Pickup times/locations:

  • WED., JULY 1st from 1-5 PM at the CREDC office located at 805 Broadway St. (4th floor) Vancouver, WA 98660
  • THU., JULY 2nd from 9:30-11 AM in front of the Port of Camas-Washougal office located at 24 South ’A’ Street, Washougal, WA 98671
  • THU., JULY 2nd from 1-3 PM in front of Main Street Floral located at 717 W Main St #118, Battle Ground, WA 98604


New Applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Now Being Accepted

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. Recipients do not have to be approved for a loan in order to receive the advance, but the amount of the loan advance will be deducted from total loan eligibility. For more information, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance.


Washington Small Business Emergency Grants

Governor Inslee is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to assist small businesses (with up to 10 FTEs) impacted by COVID-19 to survive and retain jobs. The grant is administrated by the Washington Department of Commerce in collaboration locally with the Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC). Funds will be made available to awardees on a reimbursable basis in amounts of up to $10,000.

CREDC will be accepting the first round of applications via email between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on April 8, 2020. For full details, including eligibility, application and more, visit CREDC.org/wwsbeg.


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

As of April 3, 2020, SBA-approved lenders are accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications. A PPP loan is designed to provide quick relief for businesses to keep their workers employed during the crisis.

Learn more here or contact your local bank, credit union or financial institution. The response to this program has been unprecedented. Consider starting with your existing financial institution and confirm whether it is processing PPPs or not.  If not, find local SBA-approved lenders via zip code here.


CARES Act

The federal stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, provides several options for grant and loan assistance for businesses. Many of the programs will be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which was already overseeing low-interest loans available under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. A complete breakdown of the new programs and directions on how to apply can be found at the SBA website (SBA.gov), as well as through the US Chamber of Commerce. Some aid will be funneled through local SBA-approved lenders. Washougal businesses are advised to contact their bank, credit union or financial institution to confirm whether they are participating in the programs.  You can find a summary of the program from the National League of Cities here or learn more from the Department of Treasury here.


Small Business Resiliency Assistance

 The Washington State Department of Commerce announced a new partnership with organizations that serve cultural and historically disadvantaged businesses and communities across the state. The Small Business Resiliency Assistance program will provide technical assistance to small business owners affected by the COVID pandemic. Find the list of participating organizations here.


L&I is providing emergency relief to help employers struggling to pay their workers’ compensation premiums

The Department of Labor & Industries is now offering a penalty- and interest-free grace period for premium payments, along with payment plans for employers facing financial difficulties during the coronavirus outbreak. Under this offer employers can request their payments be deferred for up to 90 days or ask for a 90-day payment plan. You can find out more about L&I’s Employer Assistance Program here.


Program Highlights:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the crisis.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance: SBA loan that provides small businesses with working capital of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. Loan advance of up to $10,000 provides more immediate relief with funds available within 3 days of a successful application and will not have to be repaid.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans: Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • SBA Debt Relief: Financial relief to small businesses (payment of principal, interest and fees) of current and new (issued prior to September 27, 2020) SBA 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.

For businesses considering employee lay-offs or terminations, Washington State’s Employment Security Department (ESD) has enacted emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. Also, WorkSource & Workforce Southwest Washington have several programs that can help businesses affected by COVID-19, including layoff aversion programs.

In addition to providing COVID-19 Business Resources, which you can find here, the Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) is seeking feedback on the extent to which COVID-19 is impacting companies and the broader economy in Clark County. Feedback received will be provided to public officials to inform them on additional policy remedies that could help affected companies. Please take a few minutes to respond to the questions in this quick survey. Responses will be aggregated so as not to disclose any details unique to your company.

Please consult the links below for valuable information on business resources. Most are being updated frequently with the latest resources.  Overall, you can follow the City’s COVID-19 response updates at cityofwashougal.us/COVID19.

Download a PDF of this information.