More Covid recovery grants available: Grant deadline is Sept. 9

More Covid recovery grants available: Grant deadline is Sept. 9 Main Photo

12 Aug 2022

The fifth round of Working Washington grants from the state’s Department of Commerce will include a focus on small businesses and nonprofits in the arts, heritage and science sectors; $70 million has been appropriated by the legislature for this round of funding. For businesses and organizations adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, these funds may provide the helping hand for them to get back on their feet. 

To find out more about who the grants are for and how to apply, we talked to Michael Wallenfels from the Washington State Arts Commission:

Why is the Arts Commission involved in promoting these grants?
“The legislature approved $70 million for recovery for small businesses, with 60% going to the arts, heritage and science sectors. That’s right in our wheelhouse,” Wallenfels said. “It’s been just fantastic working with the Department of Commerce on this.”

This sounds like a great opportunity, who should apply?
While the arts, heritage and science may seem like disparate sectors, these businesses all tend to be part of what’s called the “creative economy.” Businesses and nonprofits eligible for these grants might be anything from art galleries to music venues, museums to science centers, he said.

An additional 40% of the funding is identified for most other sectors, including hospitality, fitness and personal services. “We at ArtsWA are here to help that other 40% as well. We encourage people to pass the word to anybody they think of who might benefit from these grants.”

At potential applicants can find a list of eligibility requirements. Among those requirements, applicants must be able to show hardship from the pandemic and have made at least $10,000 in revenue in 2019 or 2020 and had been in business prior to Jan. 1, 2021. 

When does the grant open? When is the deadline for applications?
The grant portal is now open. The portal provides all the information people will need to know to get ready and apply for a grant. The portal includes an FAQ, eligibility quiz and more. Applicants will have a 24-day window to apply, from Aug. 17 through Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.

Grant awards will be made at the beginning of October.

Is there anything special to know when submitting their application? 
Perhaps most importantly, applicants should know they will need a federal UEI number to receive the funds. (This replaces the DUNS number that some businesses may already have.) The UEI is necessary for the funds to be awarded, but not to apply for a grant. Because it will take time to receive a UEI, Wallenfels recommends starting that process now. There is no cost for the UEI.

“It’s always free to get a UEI. Don’t pay someone to get it for you,” he said, adding that the state is hearing reports of scams. “You really shouldn’t have to pay (for a UEI) under any circumstance.”

Any other grants on the horizon? 
$5 million will be available through the Convention Center Grant program, which is open at the same time. It supports businesses that lost revenue from the cancellation of ¬¬– or reduction of participants in – conventions hosted in Washington state. Details also will be available on the Commerce website.

Final advice for applicants?
“Look at the eligibility requirements closely, but don’t be scared by them,” Wallenfels advises.

He encourages people to sign up for email updates on the Working Washington Grants Round 5. You’ll find the sign-up form here:

And he reminds interested applicants if they need help navigating the grant application process, the team at the Washington Arts Commission is ready to assist. Get in touch with them via Wallenfels at / 360-252-9831.