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COVID-19 Financial Guidance & Resources

Manufacturer Loan and Grant Resources

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):

Please Note: SBA Disaster Loans as well as the new loans made available through the CARES Act can be forgivable, in whole or in part, if the funds are used as the lending terms require (payroll, rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.). Talk to a SBA-approved lender today to learn how to apply for a forgivable loan. Updated  April 2, 2020, Source: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program:  Apply online for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan. In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. For questions either call the SBA Disaster Helpdesk, which is open from 8AM to 8PM EDT 7 days a week: (800) 659-2955, or connecting with your local Washington SBA District Office.

  • Paycheck Protection Program: This program is expected to begin April 3rd. The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. This is part of the recently approved CARES Act. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.  Click here to learn more about who can apply and and how to apply.

  • SBA Debt Relief:  SBA Debt Relief for existing SBA loans. If you have an existing SBA loan (7a or 504) you may be eligible.

  • SBA Express Bridge LoansExpress Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender by connecting with your local Washington SBA District Office.

Additional SBA and CARES Act Guidance:

Local Washington Grants:

  • Check with your local Chamber and or Economic Development Districts/Organization for other loans and grants that might be available. Additional small business loans and grants will become available shortly.

  • Seattle Office of Economic Development's Small Business Stabilization Fund:  Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced an expansion of the Seattle Office of Economic Development's Small Business Stabilization Fund, which is offering immediate financial relief funds of up to $10,000 for impacted low-income small and mirco-businesses. Please visit website for FAQ's and fund availability. 

  • Seattle Foundation/Amazon/Alaska Airlines/Starbucks Fund:  A $2 million fund created in coalition by Seattle Foundation, Amazon, Alaska Airlines, Starbucks, and more donors will provide one-time operating grants to those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Learn more

  • Amazon Seattle Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund:  They’re offering $5 million in cash grants to Seattle businesses. Amazon is currently accepting applications online. Note that the fund is intended for businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue. The businesses should also have a “physical presence within a few blocks of our Regrade, South Lake Union, and Bellevue office buildings, that are open to the general public, and that are reliant on foot traffic for customers,” according to Amazon. You can find more details and information about the Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund here.

Other Business Grants:

  • Facebook Small Business Grants Program:  Facebook announced that it will offer $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to up to 30,000 small businesses across 30 countries. As of March 23, they weren’t yet taking applications but you can sign up to receive updates about the program here. They say applications will open in the coming weeks. Facebook also launched a Business Resources Hub to help guide businesses

  • Amazon Seattle Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund:  They’re offering $5 million in cash grants to Seattle businesses. Amazon is currently accepting applications online. Note that the fund is intended for businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue. The businesses should also have a “physical presence within a few blocks of our Regrade, South Lake Union, and Bellevue office buildings, that are open to the general public, and that are reliant on foot traffic for customers,” according to Amazon. You can find more details and information about the Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund here.

  • James Beard Foundation Relief Fund:  This foundation is gaining support and funds from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to help provide micro-grants to independent small businesses in the food and beverage industry. The purpose of the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund (the “Fund”) is to provide critical financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that, due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) national disaster, have an immediate need for funds to pay set operating expenses and keep from going out of business. Please note: Due to an overwhelming response within hours of opening, the Foundation has suspended the application for the JBF Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund at this time.  Please check the website should the application reopen.

  • Yelp Support:  While they aren’t offering cash grants, Yelp is offering $25 million in waived advertising fees, free advertising, products, and services to small businesses, mainly local restaurants and nightlife establishments, that have been impacted by coronavirus.

Federal Grants:

There are plenty of federal business grants for small businesses,however they are primarily open to companies in the science, technology, or health fields. If your business is involved in research and development or in scientific initiatives—including environmental and climate initiatives—then federal grant programs might be able to cover some of your expenses and help with your small business funding.

  • Small Business Innovation Research Program:  The SBIR encourages small businesses engaged in research and development that have commercial potential. The SBIR aims to stimulate technological innovation and scientific entrepreneurship. Eleven government agencies participate in the program, and each creates their own eligibility guidelines, research and development topics, and reviews applications. Grants start at $150,000, but if your business shows promise, then you can receive additional small business grants of up to $1 million.
  • Small Business Technology Transfer Program:  The STTR has similar goals, but requires its small business applicants to collaborate with a research institution. Five federal agencies currently participate in this program, setting aside a bit of their budget to work with small businesses. As with the SBIR grants, these federal business grants start at $150,000 and then go up to $1 million. That’s where this small business grant comes into play.  Let’s take a quick look at the five main federal agencies that participate in the SBIR and STTR programs and their more specific grants.
  • National Science Foundation:  First, the NSF accepts proposals in the areas of engineering, science, or medicine, though specific topics change from year to year. They even have a YouTube channel to help you get your application in order.
  • NASA:  What’s cooler than collaborating with NASA? Getting paid to collaborate with NASA. Plenty of technology sectors are important to develop for NASA, but they’re especially interested in energy efficiency, alternative and renewable energy, or efficient ways of building spacecrafts.
  • National Institutes of Health:  The National Institutes of Health, a subset of the Department of Health and Human Services, offers grants for small businesses researching and developing commercially innovative biomedical technologies. Sound like you? Save some money while you’re saving lives.
  • Department of Energy:  The Department of Energy’s Office of Science also participates in these two small business grants. Topics for these federal business grants for small businesses include environmental science, clean energy, and material science. Check out their program’s frequently asked questions page for more details.
  • Department of Defense:  Whether your technology research and development is meant for the Army, Navy, Air Force, or DARPA’s advanced initiatives, the Department of Defense will help you fund and commercialize your products with a handful of grants for small business startups.
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture:  This branch of the Department of Agriculture supports research and development in the agricultural field specifically. Topics for grant funding for small businesses include forestry, food science and nutrition, aquacultural, biofuel products, animal protection, and more.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology:  A division of the Department of Commerce, NIST gives small business grants to companies developing technology under topics like cybersecurity, manufacturing, software, and trade. This being said, however, this agency also deals with energy, healthcare, and others—so you’re free to apply to some or all of these departments if you qualify for the SBIR.
  • Environmental Protection Agency:  The EPA awards government grants for small businesses looking to advance green technology and sustainable scientific developments.
  • Department of Transportation:  The Department of Transportation’s transportation systems center, Volpe, accepts solicitations for aid in developing technology regarding aviation, railroads, and highways, but you’ll want to make sure to check their updated topic listings before you apply.
  • Homeland Security:  The Department of Homeland Security provides grants for small businesses that work in the areas of border and maritime security, chemical and biological defense, cybersecurity, explosives, or first responder group technology.
  • Department of Education:  The Department of Education’s SBIR grant topics are listed under the National Center for Education Research branch, and range from pre-reading and pre-writing technology developments to research that deals with STEM skills, language learning, and behavioral learning patterns.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):  The Technology Partnerships Office of NOAA offers small business grants for developments and research in coastline communities and economies, healthy ocean monitoring, climate adaptation and mitigation, and much more.  

Some federal government agencies also offer specific government grants for small businesses.

  • Rural Energy for America Program:  This grant program, run by the Department of Agriculture, centers on small businesses in eligible rural areas looking to purchase, construct, or install renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvement technologies. You can partner one of these federal business grants with a USDA loan guaranty as well, and together they’ll back up to 75% of your eligible project costs.
  • Value-Added Producer Grant:  If you’re an agricultural producer, the VAPG program could help you with working capital expenses, ranging from processing to marketing and advertising, to inventory and salary expenses.
  • Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant:  The Department of Agriculture offers this grant program for small businesses and agricultural producers that are modernizing education and health in rural communities. Specifically, these business grants are an option if your company provides education or health services through telecommunications. Awards range from $50,000 to $500,000.

Corporate-Sponsored Small Business Grants

Corporation often provide small business grants to contest winners.

  • Intuit National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Grant:  Intuit, the tax preparation software company, gives small businesses a $4,000 grant in partnership with NASE. This is designed to help small businesses and freelancers take their business to the next level. Intuit usually gives out these small business grants annually.
  • FedEx Small Business Grant:  FedEx annually awards grants of up to $25,000 to 10 small businesses, nationwide, with its small business grant contest. You can check out the past FedEx small business grant winners—and hear their words of wisdom and warning—on the FedEx site.
  • Etsy Maker Cities Grant:  If you’re a maker of furniture, crafts, ceramics, fabrics, art, or anything else that Etsy sellers offer, then check out Etsy’s small business grant contest. Only nonprofits and educational institutions are eligible to win this contest, called Maker Cities. However, those recipients support small businesses. This is a great way to get more vintage and handmade goods into the hands of customers.
  • Girlboss Foundation Grant:  Twice per year, the Girlboss Foundation awards $15,000 to women entrepreneurs who are pursuing businesses in design, fashion, music, or the arts. Your small business grant application will be evaluated based on creativity and innovation in the industry, business acumen, financial need, and business goals for the next year.
  • Visa Everywhere Initiative:  Visa’s Everywhere Initiative offers grant funding for small business startups with innovative fixes—awarding $50,000 to the final three winners every year.
  • Nav’s Small Business Grant:  Nav, the business credit monitoring company, offers a small business grant competition to help “take your business to the next level.” Nav awards three prizes: first place wins $10,000, second wins $2,000, and third wins $1,000.
  • Comcast Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs:  This small business grant contest from Comcast is specifically for business owners who have the best plans for new and developing technology. Grand prize winners receive $20,000 and a trip to Philadelphia to meet with business innovation experts.
  • Wells Fargo Community Investment:  Offering business grants in nearly every state, the Wells Fargo Community Investment program focuses mainly on nonprofits—but small businesses with the right criteria can qualify, too.
  •  ExxonMobile Foundation:  This philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobile focuses on grant funding for small businesses concerned with eliminating malaria, increasing math and science education, and investing in women’s economic opportunities.
  • Coca-Cola Foundation:  Coca-Cola’s community-giving branch centers around empowering women, improving access to clean water, and fostering healthy living and youth development.
  • Patagonia Grants Program:  Patagonia offers grant funding for small businesses who are actively committed to protecting and preserving the environment through their work. This grant program has two deadlines per year and awards range between $10,000 and $20,000.
  • Kuvio Creative:  Kuvio Creative is a full-service web design and development company that gives back to entrepreneurs who are making a difference by providing them with small business grants and free services. Applications for the Kuvio Impact Grant open three times per year. Grant recipients will have a consultation with the Kuvio team and receive up to 100 hours of free services, such as web design and marketing, depending on the scope of the project. For-profit companies, nonprofits, women-owned companies, minority-owned businesses, and veteran-owned organizations from across sectors are welcome to apply.

Small Business Grants for Women

There are many federal, state, local, and corporate initiatives that offer business loans to women:

  • Eileen Fisher Program:  Awarding $100,000 in grant money to up to 10 recipients, this annual initiative is geared towards small businesses interested in creating environmental and social change—and, of course, companies owned and run by women.
  • Tory Burch Fellows Program:  This competitive grant-fellows program is designed for women entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses and get the support they need to do so. Tory Burch Fellows receive a $5,000 grant, a one-year fellowship with educational and networking opportunities, a trip to the Tory Burch offices, and more.
  • Cartier Women’s Initiative:  This program offers grants for small businesses run by women with the goal of helping them grow and take their businesses to the next level. Twenty-one finalists are chosen in this Cartier business grant program—14 will receive $30,000 and the top seven will receive $100,000 each.
  • The Amber Grant:  With a number of different grant initiatives for women, WomensNet’s Amber Grant program is a great place to look for assistance with your company, especially if you’re looking for grant funding for your small business startup.
  • Patrina Foundation Grants:  The Patrina Foundation awards small business grants to not-for-profit organizations within the New York Metropolitan area and surrounding counties that work to improve the lives of girls and women—whether educational, cultural, or social.
  • American Association of University Women Career Development Grant:  If you’re a woman who holds a B.A. and is looking to advance or change careers, the AAUW’s career development program can help you fund that major life shift.
  • Women’s Business Centers:  This isn’t a direct grant provider, but rather a database of Small Business Administration-sponsored Women’s Business Centers. Some centers give out small business grants themselves, while others will simply help you find local corporations or foundations that do so. Either way, you’ll want to make sure to check yours out.
  • Women-Owned Small Businesses Federal Contracting Program:  Although not technically a loan program, the SBA works with women-owned businesses through this program to help them compete for federal contracts. This program also works directly with federal agencies to increase their contracting opportunities for women.
  • The Halstead Grant:  This grant funding opportunity is for small business owners who make and sell jewelry. Although open to men, women tend to be much more active in this industry. You’ll receive $7,500 in cash, $1,000 in Halstead merchandise, and a variety of social media and public relations spotlights.
  • Idea Cafe Grant:  This program gives women $1,000 micro-grants for their small business startup. Again, men are free to apply for this grant, but most of the former winners have been women.

Small Business Grants for Minorities

There are some funding opportunities for minority business owners.

  • Minerals and Mining on Indian Lands:  This Department of the Interiors small business grant provides funding to both tribes and individual mineral owners seeking to make use of those resources on Indian lands.
  • Empowered Communities for a Healthier Nation Initiative:  If you own a health-related small business, you can use this grant to spread information and awareness of health and healthcare for minorities.
  • POWER:  President Obama began the Partnerships for Opportunity, Workforce, and Economic Revitalization initiative to help communities hurt by the changing power industry. These grants are gifted to various institutions instead of directly to businesses. You can see if you can snag a contracting opportunity or second-hand business grant by looking into the block grants the federal government awarded to your nearby state and local institutions.
  • Rural Business Enterprise Grants:  Available to small businesses, the RBEG program offers funds for rural development—including, but not limited to, infrastructural development, working capital for small business startups, purchasing equipment, and real estate development. Smaller requests are actually given higher priority, and grants usually range between $10,000 and $50,000. Federally-recognized Indian tribes are among the eligible applicants.
  • Community Connect Grants:  If you live or operate in a rural area that lacks an internet broadband speed of three megabits per second or more, and are looking to fix that, then check to see whether you’re eligible for this Department of Agriculture business grant. Indian tribes are also a major target demographic for these programs.
  • Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program:  Though not explicitly targeted toward small businesses, this grant initiative—like many others—includes federally-recognized tribes among its eligible applicants. If you’re a business owner operating in recognized tribal lands, and you’d like to invest in water or waste disposal, this grant funding could help out.
  • Minority Business Development Agency:  The MBDA has regular grant competitions for minority business owners, alongside a long list of other resources for you to learn from.
  • First Nations Development Institute Grant:  The Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative gives up to six small business grants of $30,000 each to Native American institutions supporting arts and culture. However, to qualify you must already have programs in place supporting this goal. The program is limited to those initiatives that support Native American artists in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • Tribal Energy Development Capacity Grant:  This program gives federally recognized tribes more resources to improve the economic influence of energy development in their areas. Although this grant doesn’t provide grants directly to small businesses, look for the “trickle-down” approach of funneling this government money into your business by securing the right government contracts for your small business.
  • Small Business Administration 8(a) Certification Program:  This program is not a grant—however, it is a federally funded initiative aimed toward helping minority-owned small businesses capture more clients and work, so we decided to include it. The SBA’s 8(a) program guarantees minority-owned businesses special government contracts that they might otherwise not have access to.

Small Business Grants for Veterans

Veteran-owned businesses are eligible to receive certain small business grants from the government, nonprofits, and some corporations as well. I

  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Program:  Similar to the 8(a) program, the SBA’s SDVOSBP isn’t a grant, but it helps veterans who own businesses get additional contracting opportunities from the government.
  • Small Business Administration Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Act of 2015:  The SBA’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Act removes the borrower fee on Express Loans of up to $350,000 awarded to veteran-owned businesses. Although this isn’t a grant, removing the fee make SBA loans more affordable for veterans.
  • StreetShares Commander’s Call Veteran Business Award:  This program rewards veterans or military spouses who run businesses with up to $15,000 in grant money.
  • USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant:  The 2501 Program, run by the Department of Agriculture, gives small business grants—as well as education, training, outreach, and other forms of support—to veterans and minorities looking to begin or expand their agricultural operations.

 

 

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