Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. (GGHI) is pleased to announce that Governor Inslee has approved $184,299 of the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant (WWSBEG) to support 30 companies in Grays Harbor facing imminent failure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic emergency. GGHI received 245 applications from Grays Harbor businesses.

The selected pool of grantees includes 8 retail establishments, 7 restaurants, 3 healthcare businesses, 3 salons, 2 auto repair businesses, 1 construction company, 1 fitness facility, 1 trucking company, 1 social service, 1 insurance business, 1 tree service, and 1 manufacturing company. The selected pool of grantees also includes 13 women-owned businesses, 2 minority-owned businesses, and 5 veteran-owned business. The grantees are located in 8 different cities across Grays Harbor County.

These WWSBEG recipients employ a total of 108 individuals and it is estimated that this grant will prevent the loss of 90 jobs. In approving this WWSBEG, Washington State and Grays Harbor County will be able to support the potential preservation of these businesses and the economic security of both the company’s employees and local community.

Applications were initially reviewed by a committee consisting of representatives from Grays Harbor PUD, Grays Harbor County, the Port of Grays Harbor, and GGHI. Applications were evaluated based on criteria including the potential for job retention, access to other funding, and impact on business of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Per state guidance, 45 applications were then recommended to the Washington Department of Commerce for funding.

After the applications were submitted to the Washington Department of Commerce, they were evaluated based on criteria including the likelihood that grant proceeds will help retain jobs, prioritizing geographic diversity of final awards, and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion factors in final awards. Businesses were also screened for eligibility (in business for at least one year, total employees does not exceed 10, applicant does not have any Labor & Industries violations, and the proposed use of grant proceeds are allowable expenditures based on program rules).

We recognize that the economic need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is much greater than this program can fulfill, and that many businesses may have been counting on these funds to stay afloat. We encourage all businesses to check our COVID-19 Resources Page (www.graysharbor.org/business/covid-19-resources/) for other resources and future funding opportunities that may arise.