Small Business Assistance and Grants in Washington
When you start a business in Washington, there are several resources that you can utilize to establish the company. One such resource is the Washington small business grants as well as other types of financial and economic assistance. A business grant consists of a small amount of seed money, which is awarded by the government and private institutions and does not need to be repaid. If you are wondering why Washington is a good opportunity for small businesses, then the answer lies in these grants along with several other funding and incentive programs.
Associate Development Organizations
Associate Development Organizations (ADOs) in Washington serve as partners for local economic development. This is a local organization that exists in each county and can provide valuable resources to new businesses. They also offer export assistance and support. Although the organization itself doesn’t offer Washington small business incentives, its economic partners have implemented several business assistance programs. Partners like the Export Finance Assistance Center of Washington (EFACW) provide free export finance advice and consultation on payment risk mitigation.
Innovation Partnership Zones
Washington is home to Innovation Partnership Zones (IPZ) and each zone focuses on a specific area of business. Vancouver focuses on applied digital technology accelerators, while Snohomish is considered the Aerospace Convergence Zone. The objective of each of these zones is to create new opportunities for small businesses through innovation and partnership. As a new business, you will be able to build relationships with private and public entities. Your business can benefit from Washington tax incentives that are applicable in these particular zones.
For example: If your business is located in the Tri-Cities Research District and focuses on advanced technology, manufacturing, or clean energy, then you can apply for Washington small business grants and funding programs like the Fuse Fund.
Small Business Flex Fund
If you are planning to start a small business in Washington then one of the important points of business operation is availability of proper funds. There are different types of Washington small business grants and funding options that you can choose from. One of the more popular funding options is the Small Business Flex Fund as it provides access to growth capital for startups, home-based businesses, and other small businesses quickly. It is a simple loan wherein you can borrow up to a maximum of $150,000.
Startup Washington 365
If you plan on doing business in Washington then Startup Washington 365 can be quite beneficial for you. It is a program dedicated to providing business owners and entrepreneurs with a competitive advantage. Starting a business requires a lot of paperwork, but making it operational is another story altogether. Startup Washington 365 provides information and resources concerning the operational details of a business including Washington small business incentives, entrepreneurial education, training, tools on data and analytics, co-working and maker spaces, and other funding sources.
Form Your Startup in Washington Today!
Public Participation Grants
Another popular Washington small business grant is the Public Participation Grant (PPG). This grant, unlike Washington tax incentives, is administered by the Washington Department of Ecology and is aimed at providing funds to small businesses, individuals (sole proprietorship or home-based business), and not-for-profit organizations. The PPG Grant award limit can be up to a maximum of $120,000, and eligibility is based on contaminated site projects.
Export Voucher Program
The export voucher program is one of the reasons why Washington, for a small business, is a growth-oriented option. The program has been implemented by the Washington State Department of Commerce and you can receive only one export voucher in a fiscal year. The export vouchers provided as a part of this program can help with offsetting the exporting expenses of small businesses. The export vouchers are considered one of the key elements of Washington’s small business incentive programs and they cover a wide range of export expenses from digital advertising, to e-commerce platform fees, international shipment of product samples, sales trips to foreign markets, and trade show fees among others. You will be eligible after registering your business in Washington and once your company is considered to be in accordance with the small business size standards.
State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)
The primary goal of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), is to provide a variety of financial awards to state governments so that they can assist small businesses that are involved in exports. The financial support as a part of the STEP program can help entrepreneurs to participate in various foreign trade missions, develop e-commerce capabilities, and learn more about exporting their products globally. This Washington small business incentives program provides an award ranging from $2,000-$5,000 depending on the business activity, with a maximum amount that does not exceed more than $10,000 for each eligible small business.
Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB)
The Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) is responsible for providing funding to the Washington state government so that they can support small business growth and expansion. The Washington small business incentives and funding support are primarily for projects that revolve around wastewater, industrial and domestic water, stormwater, telecommunications, public buildings, and port facilities. They provide grants of up to 80% of the total cost of a project with a limit that does not exceed $50,000.
Small Business Retirement Marketplace
The Small Business Retirement Marketplace is a virtual marketplace operated by the Washington Department of Commerce. The objective of this marketplace is to provide low-cost retirement savings plans to small businesses, especially those with less than a hundred employees including self-employed individuals and sole proprietorships. The Department of Financial Institutions has verified each of these retirement plans. The virtual hub allows business owners to compare various retirement plan options. If you plan on doing business in Washington then you can choose from plans like traditional individual retirement account (IRA), traditional 401(k), and Solo 401(k) among others.
Small Business Grants for Women
The number of women and minority-owned businesses (WMBE) has grown steadily over the years in Washington. Today there are 114% more women entrepreneurs, which is approximately 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the nation. This is why one of the popular Washington small business grants is those that are focused on women entrepreneurs. The Amber Grant is one such grant and the grant money awarded can vary from $10,000 to $25,000 annually.