Business Continuity Resources

Western Washington University's Small Business Development Center is closely monitoring the impacts to our local businesses caused by the pandemic and its aftermath. We update this page as resources and information become available. We are here to help our small business community thrive during challenging times. 

As we move forward, it’s more important than ever to connect with your Western SBDC team of certified business advisors. Your SBDC team can help you plan your responses to business challenges and help you grow. Call your SBDC at (360) 650 7232 or email us at and start your journey towards reaching your goals.

Loans, Grants and Additional Resources



Through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) programs, America’s Seed Fund awards non-dilutive funding to develop your technology and chart a path toward commercialization. To qualify your company must operate as a for-profit and go through multiple phases. The primary difference from SBIR is that for STTR, the small business must formally partner with a research institution. Learn how the program works.

U.S Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program assists small businesses looking to start or expand their global customer reach through resources offered by state entities that have received STEP funding. Small businesses that meet criteria by each state can use the financial assistance to participate in foreign trade missions and shows, obtain entry to foreign market, develop websites, and design international marketing products or campaigns. Washington State businesses can apply for export expenses up to $10,000.

U.S Economic Development Administration as a part of the U.S Department of Commerce offers ongoing funding opportunities for projects that support regional and national economic development. Applicants can apply for a variety of rolling-basis EDA investments that fund projects in construction, non-construction, planning, technical assistance, research and evaluation, higher education, and more. For more information visit the EDA website

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program along with the federal government seeks to award at least 3% of all federal contracting dollars to such businesses annually. This federal contracting program offers assistance to small business owners who are service-disabled veterans. Eligible small businesses must be over 50% owned/ controlled by one of more service-disabled veterans, have day-to-day operations, and long-goals managed by at least one-service disabled veteran and have a service-connected disability. Check out SBA Veteran Contracting Assistance Page for more information. 

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program along with the federal government seeks to award at least 5% of federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses annually. Through this SBA program, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership provides support to women entrepreneurs by offering business training, counseling, federal contracts and access to credit and capital. Their goal is to offer equal opportunities for all women in business.

National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants has distributed over $1,000,000 in grants to its members. Businesses who have been members for 90 days or more are eligible to receive up to $4,000 to support the growth of their business. Four winners are chosen each quarter and may use the funds to assist with training, marketing, and more. To apply visit the NASE website

Black Founder Startup Grant from the SoGal Foundation and other sponsors provides grants up to $10,000 to Black and multiracial women and nonbinary entrepreneurs. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis and is open to entrepreneurs with a legally registered business who plan to seek investor financing to scale. Visit the SoGal Foundation website for more information. 

IFundWomen Universal Grant has a variety of grants available to members from various partners. Their site offers numerous various grants throughout the year as well as a Universal Grant Application where IFundWomen will match partner’s grant criteria to businesses in the database. If you’re a match for one of their sponsored grants, the organization will notify your business. Apply on IFundWomen's website

HUBZone program aids businesses in underutilized business zones by making them more competitive in regard to some government contracts. Businesses that join the HUBZone program can compete for set-aside contracts as well as receive preference on others, including a 10% price evaluation preference in open contract competitions. Apply before July 1, 2023.


Additional Resources

Washington State Department of Commerce is offering an array of business assistance to support recovery and growth. Please visit the department's COVID-19 Tools and Resources page for details.

The National Development Council (NDC) and the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA) host a collection of small business resources at

Comcast RISE: Comcast RISE (second phase) offers help to small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) across Washington state. Today’s announcement opens the program to all business owners in the BIPOC community in Washington state to apply for grants and other forms of assistance. For more details, check our the Comcast RISE website.

Port Revolving Loan Fund: The Port of Bellingham has business loans available for local companies impacted by Covid-19. Check out the Port of Bellingham's website for more info.

GoFundMe and YELP! have created a Small Business Relief Initiative, more details can be found on their Small Business Relief Initiative and Fund FAQs.

Hello Alice with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay, and others is offering a variety of tools and resources. Visit the Hello Alice website for more information.

SBA Lending Options

EIDL Loan & EIDL Advance

Updated November 19th, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced updated guidance for COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program applicants to better serve small business owners in need, while funding remains available.

EIDL loan and Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until December 31 and will continue to be processed after this date until funds are exhausted.

Supplemental Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until December 31, eligible small businesses should apply by December 10 to ensure adequate processing time.

Borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest.

The SBA will accept and review reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL applications received on or before December 31 

COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs still have billions of dollars available to help small businesses hard hit by the pandemic.

Major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program include:

Increased COVID EIDL Cap. The SBA lifted the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying off debt.

Implementation of a Deferred Payment Period. The SBA will ensure small business owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination.

Expansion of Eligible Use of Funds. COVID EIDL funds are now eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.

How to apply

Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply. Visit to learn more about eligibility and application requirements. For additional information on COVID EIDL and other recovery programs, please visit

Small business owners may call SBA’s Customer Service Center 1-833-853-5638 (855-440-4960 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or email for additional assistance. T

Small business owners may also contact SBA’s Resource Partners by visiting

Targeted EIDL Advances (grants)

Eligible Whatcom County businesses in low-income areas can apply for up to $14,000 in grant funding through the COVID EIDL Targeted Advance and Supplemental Advance programs.

Interested businesses that already applied for the EIDL advance in 2020 can apply for all three programs at once through one streamlined application.

Businesses located in the certain parts of the Downtown Core, Lettered Streets, York, Sehome, Rosevelt and Cordata neighborhoods, as well as parts of Ferndale and Birch Bay qualify, as do certain other specific areas of the County.

Visit and input your address to find out if your business is located in a qualifying neighborhood.

Visit to learn more about these programs.

The SBA EIDL program offers long-term (up to 30 years), low-interest assistance for a small business or nonprofit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. Applications are quick and easy to submit.

If an applicant accepted a loan for less than the full amount originally offered, the applicant will have up to two years after the date of the loan promissory note to request additional funds. Applicants may continue to request additional funds even after the application deadline of December 31, 2021.

Visit the COVID-19 Relief page for more information.

SBA PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal

Register and Apply for PPP Forgiveness

This portal is made available by the US Small Business Administration to streamline forgiveness processing for PPP Borrowers. After registration, you may use this streamlined process to automatically submit your forgiveness request to your lender. Visit the SBA PPP Portal for more information  and to register.

The SBA also offers live customer service to borrowers at 877-552-2692.

If you have questions or concerns about your PPP loan, send us an email at or call us at (360) 778-1762.

SBA-Backed Express Bridge Loan

These loans allow small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Visit the SBA Pilot loan programs page for more information

Alternative Lending Platforms

Following are some alternative sources of funding but borrowers should use care when working with online lenders.

Working with an SBDC Certified Business Advisor is highly recommended (and free of charge) when considering a business loan.

Inclusion in this list is not an endorsement or a recommendation:

  • Prosper (Personal loans up to $40K)
  • Lending Club (Personal and business loans)
  • OnDeck (Business loans up to $500K, also taking PPP applications)
  • Kabbage (Up to $250,000 lines of credit)
  • Square (if using Square Point-of-Sale)
  • Amazon (for Amazon sellers)
  • BoeFly (FinTech platform connecting borrowers to commercial lenders)

Tax Relief Options

Both Federal and State taxing authorities are developing programs to offer deferral of the payment of taxes which can help businesses retain cash to meet operating expenses. 

  • Washington State assistance programs are summarized on the Governor's Office
  • The Federal Government tax relief programs will be updated on the IRS website.

Employer Paid Leave Requirements and Tax Credit Provisions

The IRS offers two guides to tax credits for Federal paid leave:

Tax Credits for Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for Leave Prior to April 1, 2021


Tax Credits for Paid Leave Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for Leave After March 31, 2021

The IRS recently published new information on the generous Employee Retention Credit.

This ERC is one of the most overlooked pandemic financial relief options out there - get some soon!

Small Business Guides

Federal Resources for U.S. Small Businesses:

From the State of Washington:

More Guides and Resources

  • Pandemic human resources help from, expert solutions to help businesses comply with employee-related laws.