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) 778-1762 or email us at sbdc@wwu.edu and start your journey towards reaching your goals.

Loans, Grants and Other Resources

RESOURCE LISTS UPDATED SEPTEMBER 22nd, 2021

Coming October 4th: Working Washington grants for businesses impacted by U.S.-Canadian border closure

The Working Washington Grants: Border Business Relief Program

The Washington State Department of Commerce grant will focus on customer-facing businesses that have experienced hardship specifically as a result of the COVID-19 border restrictions.

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.

Information and a preview of the application is available now at: https://commercegrants.com/working-washington-grants-border-business-relief/

  • The application portal will be open Oct. 4 - 18. Customer support will be available in English and Spanish beginning Sept. 29
  • 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)

Another round of grants is expected early next spring, so stay tuned...

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.

Deadline Approaching - Apply NOW: The USDA announces Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers – PATHH. Timber businesses can apply for PATHH relief to receive $2,000 immediate assistance with a potential second payment, based on lost revenue and funds available. Applications will be accepted through October 15th. Visit the USDA PATHH Program Announcement to learn more and visit the USDA PATHH home page to apply.

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

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 - Scheduled to end 12/31/2021

EIDL 2.0 (September 20, 2021)

This week, the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration announced major enhancements to the COVID EIDL program to better support small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Key changes include the following:

  • Increasing the COVID EIDL Cap. The SBA will lift 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 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 so that they can get through the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
  • Establishment of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window. To ensure Main Street businesses have additional time to access these funds, the SBA will implement a 30-day exclusivity window of approving and disbursing funds for loans of $500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 will begin after the 30-day period.
  • Expansion of Eligible Use of Funds. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
  • Simplification of affiliation requirements. To ease the COVID EIDL application process for small businesses, the SBA has established more simplified affiliation requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

More than $150 billion in COVID EIDL funding is still available through the end of the year.

Visit www.sba.gov/eidl for more information about all COVID EIDL programs. 

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 https://sbaeidl.policymap.com/newmaps#/ and input your address to find out if your business is located in a qualifying neighborhood.

Visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/eidl/targeted-eidl-advance-supplemental-targeted-advance 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.

Paycheck Protection Loan Program

(Notice: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

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 sbdc@wwu.edu 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.

Unemployment Options

State Resources

Unless Congress acts, CARES Act and other federal programs that expanded and extended unemployment benefits expire the week ending Sept. 4, 2021. 

You can get more information at: https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19

Washington State Paid Family & Medical Leave

Financial relief for workers who are themselves sick, subject to quarantine or caring for family members.

You can find out more at https://paidleave.wa.gov/coronavirus.

Labor and Industries also has a great FAQ summary.

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

and

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 ComplyRight.com, expert solutions to help businesses comply with employee-related laws. Vaccinations, masks, remote work, employee reviews and more, all at the ComplyRight Covid HR Resources site.