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Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants – Final Report

On April 7, 2020, applications for the first round of the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants went live on the Washington State Department of Commerce (Commerce) website. Commerce administered the funds for the relief program, and through Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) – the designated Associated Development Organization (ADO) for Spokane County – deployed $583,133 across the county to small businesses to offset operating and other costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over a two-week period in April, GSI and other local business development organizations received 1,851 applications, then 166 screened applications were forwarded to Commerce for final award decisions. 69 Spokane County businesses were selected for grants of up to $10,000. GSI has been responsible for managing the grant contracts over the last year.

Among the selected pool of grantees were 24 restaurants, 12 retail establishments, 7 construction companies, 7 healthcare businesses, 3 manufacturing companies, 3 hospitality establishments, 1 salon, 1 graphic design business, 1 preschool, 1 trade show service, and 1 management company. Grantees represented 26 women-owned businesses, 11 minority-owned businesses, 8 veteran-owned businesses, and 2 tribal-owned businesses.

Over the last few months, GSI has collected survey responses from 57 of these businesses indicating just how impactful the Working Washington grant dollars were for their business.

Every business that responded to the survey indicated that they are still in business today, with the help of the Working Washington grant. The grants helped retain a total of 342 employees, with 81 new hires. 17 of the businesses indicated that the funding was crucial to keep their business open, and that they would have closed without it. The majority of the funds were used on rent, utilities, supplies, and general operating expenses when revenue streams were at an all-time low.

GSI partnered with Commerce through three additional rounds of Working Washington relief funding and continues to advocate for small businesses in the region.

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One Response to Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants – Final Report

  1. As an owner of Shogun restaurant/Hibachi steak, seafood & sushi house in Spokane valley,
    I really appreciate for your timely support.
    Without your support,100% we can’t be survived now.
    As you may know well, our Shogun’s main visitors are event oriented group customers such as birthday ,anniversary party, plum party, company events,,etc
    That’s why under the pandemic misfortune, we couldn’t accept any group customers and they also refused to come inside for dining together.
    To be frankly with we are still under lots of financial difficulties.
    However, these days more than 15 employees including veteran chefs are gaining a little bit of confidence for survival and gradually overcoming now.
    Shogun has originally been established since 1994 and under my ownership from 2004.
    During my management I had to encounter serious financial loss as well as emotional difficulties of complete
    fire burned down in 4/22/2018(Easter Sunday morning) and then born again at the new location in Spokane valley in 8/16/2019.
    After the successful reopening at the current new location, however, exactly 4 months later Shogun had to close again beginning of 2019 due to nationwide Covid-19 misfortune.

    I have a strong goal once again to be the landmark restaurant in this east WA area.
    How can I forget your revitalization grant program such as PPP,,etc favored to my humble restaurant?
    If you continue to pay attention to us with caring mind of working together,
    I am sure we will be your strong front line supporter, contributor for the benefit of community.
    Once again thank you so much with deep appreciation
    God in your Grace and Peace
    Joseph(Jong) Lee/President of Shogun Inc,.
    509-863-6212

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