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City of Blaine News

Posted on: September 21, 2021

New small business grants for businesses impacted by the border closure.

The Washington State Department of Commerce announced a new grant program that will launch Oct. 4 to help certain small businesses hurting due to the U.S.-Canada border closure. The Working Washington Grants: Border Business Relief Program will focus on customer-facing businesses that have experienced hardship specifically as a result of the COVID-19 border restrictions. Qualifying businesses must have reported annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019.

Information and a preview of the grant application is available now at commercegrants.com.

“For businesses that depend on visitors coming into or out of Canada, this closure has been extraordinarily difficult. This grant program is one way we can help small businesses hang on until U.S. and Canadian officials reach an agreement about reopening,” said. Gov. Jay Inslee. 

Grants will be up to $50,000 and take into account whether the business has received a previous Working Washington grant.

This targeted grant program will prioritize businesses that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Customer-facing businesses that require direct, in-person interaction with customers for a significant portion of business activity. Examples include a retail shop or nail salon. 
  • Businesses located within a 20-mile radius of a Canadian border crossing or port. 
  • Industry sectors most impacted by the closure, which includes but is not limited to, retail, tourism, hospitality, recreation and entertainment. 
  • Size of the business (measured by 2019 revenue) 
  • Lost revenue between 2019 and 2020 and/or added expenses to maintain safe operations 
  • Businesses operating in a rural or low-income community and/or owned by someone from a historically underserved population (minority, veteran, LGBTQ+ or women-owned). 

For more information, please visit: https://commercegrants.com/working-washington-grants-border-business-relief/

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