Applications for the Working Washington Grants: Round 5 and new Convention Center Grants programs opened Aug. 17. Together, these programs will distribute $75 million in pandemic relief grants to eligible small businesses and nonprofits across Washington. The Department of Commerce manages the grants with support from the Washington State Arts Commission.
Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Sept. 9 through commercegrants.com. Included on the page are dates and times for virtual application information sessions and workshops scheduled throughout the month of August.
Over half of the Working Washington grants funding is set aside for the arts, heritage and science sectors. The pandemic hit businesses and nonprofits in this sector – which includes live entertainment venues – particularly hard, as they were often the first to close and the last to re-open their doors.
“Funding the creative economy is critical for the entire state,” said Karen Hanan, executive director of ArtsWA. “The creative economy drives innovation, attracts tourists, and enriches communities at every level. We’re proud to partner with commerce to get this financial support out to businesses and nonprofits throughout Washington.”
The Convention Center Grant program supports businesses and nonprofits that rely — in full or in part — on conventions hosted in Washington for steady income. Like theatres and concert venues, many conventions were forced to cancel or go virtual after public health measures put limits on in-person gathering. A total of $5 million is available to these venues.
“The businesses and nonprofit organizations we’re focused on in these two programs strengthen their communities – they are important to the character and vitality of local economies throughout the state,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “An equitable economic recovery depends on continued support for all of our small businesses, but especially those farthest from opportunity.”