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Gov. Inslee announces steps to help small businesses

Gov. Jay Inslee. (Facebook)

In addition to requesting people his age stay out of the stores and urging neighbors and friends to do their grocery shopping, Gov. Inslee announced on Tuesday assistance for small businesses.

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“We know we have thousands of people who’ve put their lives into small business and we want to help them,” Inslee said.

The governor outlined three resources for small businesses:

  • The Working Washington Small Business Grant, through the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund and administered by the Washington State Department of Commerce with the help of county economic development organizations. The grants will provide up to $10,000 for small businesses under 10 employees. Businesses can use this money to pay for rent, utility bills, supplies, inventory and other operating expenses. To apply for an emergency grant, visit coronavirus.wa.gov.
  • Business resiliency assistance, through the Washington State Department of Commerce by partnering with organizations that serve economically disadvantaged communities across the state.
  • Forgivable loans, through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Small businesses, non-profits, independent contractors or a self-employed individuals in need of financial help may be eligible for a forgivable loan from the SBA. Beginning last Friday, local banks began taking SBA applications and issuing forgivable loans. For more information go to sba.gov.

“There are frustrations, but we have to keep those applications coming in,” Inslee said.

Inslee also recommended checking out the Office of Civil Legal Aid for help with foreclosures and evictions.

“We know we have a long economic recovery ahead of us,” Inslee said. “We have to be intense in our efforts.”

The governor also said the state is launching a fund to help food banks. Check out philanthropynw.org/wa-food-fund for more information.

“We expect 1.6 million Washingtonians approach food banks this week alone,” Inslee said, adding that’s about double the volume for a typical week.

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