La Conner business works with EDASC and its partners to apply for COVID-19 relief

Friday, April 24, 2020

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LA CONNER -- When dog groomer Carmen King moved her business here three years ago from the state of Georgia, she spent countless hours building a new client base.

“People want to know you before they bring you their dog,” she said. “The first year was tough but we grew a fantastic list of new clients.”

Now, forced to close her business Fifi’s Bubble Palace due to the COVID-19 pandemic, King has been taking on a new – and often confusing – challenge: seeking grant and loan support.

Her ally for this challenge has been EDASC and its partner organizations the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) offering no-cost support.

“If I hadn’t been involved with EDASC, CIE and SBDC, I think I would be struggling,” King said. “They literally walked me through every single step… You are all the best part of this experience and that is the truth.”

Numerous grant and loan opportunities are available to help businesses like King’s during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view EDASC’s COVID-19 Updates page for carefully researched and vetted business support resources. Click here to sign up for EDASC’s e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on any updates.

For many small businesses, applying to receive grant or loan support can be a daunting process. The same was true for King.

“I don’t have bookkeepers,” she said. “My business is literally two people. Some of the grant applications are so confusing to someone who has never done one before.”

With the help of EDASC, CIE and SBDC, King was able to apply for grants from the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund and the Working Washington Business Emergency Grant Program, as well as for a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan program.

So far, she has been approved for the SBA loan and is waiting to hear back on the two grants.

Aside from the no-cost business support she has received, King is also thankful for support from her clients. She said she currently has about 150 people on a waiting list once she’s able to reopen.

“The generosity and support in this community is amazing,” she said.

If you are seeking business support services, whether it’s related to COVID-19 or not, contact EDASC Business Retention & Expansion Coordinator Tamsin Bell at tamsin@skagit.org.

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