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

Funding supports at least 22 projects across Washington state that focus on enhancing programs and services to help meet the needs of underserved communities, businesses, and entrepreneurs.

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

  • small business incubators and accelerators,
  • Supporting local procurement plans,
  • Improving physical work spaces in response to public health requirements or acts of vandalism,
  • Supporting small business competitiveness programs with a focus on recruitment and retention, and
  • Projects that increase a small business’s ability 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 disadvantaged, low-income, and rural parts of the state.

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

  • Inclusive Entrepreneurship CenterSeattle – Incubator Program
  • Chelan Douglas Regional Port AuthorityEast Wenatchee – Incubator Program
  • The city of Goldendale – Funds for business improvements and repairs
  • City of Tacoma – Competitive programs
  • Clallam County Economic Development CouncilPort Angeles, competitive programs
  • Downtown Colfax Community – Incubator program
  • Composite recycling technology center (CRTC), Port Angeles, various initiatives
  • Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce CountyAccelerator program
  • Washington State Latino Community FundSeattle – Accelerator Program
  • Multi-Ethnic Business Association (Ahana), Spokane Program – Incubator
  • American Muslim Youth FoundationBurien – Accelerator Program
  • Native fundsChelan – accelerator program
  • Opportunity CouncilBellingham – Accelerator Program
  • Willapa Port HarborRaymond – Accelerator Program
  • Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition (Rainier Beach Action Coalition), Seattle – Accelerator
  • Metro Spokane Independent Business Alliance (SIMBA), Spokane – Competitive Programs
  • Thurston Economic Development CouncilLacey – Funds for improvements and repairs
  • Odessa city – Budget for improvement and repair
  • Diversity and Inclusion Council of Three CitiesRichland – Incubator Program
  • University district participationSeattle – Funding for improvements and repairs
  • Walla Walla Downtown Foundation – Incubator program
  • Washington Production Services (Impact Washington), Bothell Program – Incubator
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Linda Womack, director of small business finance and community support, said: “We received an unprecedented volume of funding applications. The selection of selected organizations represents a wide range of projects that help small businesses across the state gain access to innovative new programs and services to help them build and grow.

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Commerce received more than 120 proposals, which were scored based on project opportunity, outcome, solution, project readiness, management and overall budget. Final award considerations included equitable and geographic distribution of funds, project alignment with law, and applicant’s location versus service area. The department is currently negotiating the final terms of the contract with the grantees.



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