BLAINE, Wash. - A new grant program has launched for Washington state small businesses impacted by the U.S.-Canada border closure.
Businesses must have reported annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 to the Department of Revenue and be located in Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan, Island, Skagit, Whatcom, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens or Pend Oreille counties.
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).
The border has been closed to most travelers since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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