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State grant application portal opens Mar. 14, 2023 for hospitality and lodging businesses

$100 million available to support businesses affected by pandemic; information webinar March 13

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce announced a new grant opportunity for businesses in the hospitality and lodging industry that suffered business losses due to the pandemic. The application portal opens on March 14 at wahospitalitygrants.com.

An informational webinar is scheduled for Monday, March 13. To learn more and subscribe to email updates about the program visit wahospitalitygrants.com. For questions, email info@wahospitalitygrants.com.

Who can apply

The grants are open only to:

  • Restaurants; food stands, trucks and carts

  • Caterers, bars, saloons, lounges, and taverns

  • Snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars

  • Licensed alcohol producers where the public may taste, sample or purchase products

  • Hotels and motels (except casinos), and inns and bed and breakfast establishments that have a least five private lodging rooms or onsite sales of food and beverage that account for at least 25% of gross receipts or sales

  • Bakeries, brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, breweries, microbreweries, wineries and distilleries are also eligible to apply if onsite sales to the public comprise at least 25% of gross receipts or sales.

  • Bowling alleys and convention and visitors bureaus will also be considered for a grant, depending on the availability of funds.

Additional qualifications

  • Eligible business must have experienced a 25% or greater loss in gross receipts or sales between 2019 and 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health and safety measures.

  • Eligible businesses must generate minimum gross receipts or sales of $12,000 in 2019 (or 2020, if the business opened that year); generate at least 51% of revenue in the state, have not permanently closed or intend to close in 2023.

  • Eligible businesses must have expenses that are necessary to continue business operations, such as payroll and rent.

“While some of our small businesses are starting to recover and rebuild in the wake of a global pandemic, more continue to face historic challenges,” said Chris Green, Assistant Director of Commerce’s Office of Economic Development and Competiveness. “The hospitality and lodging industry is an essential part of our economy and these grants will help affected businesses across the state recover from public health concerns that disrupted their operations for the last three years.”

The $100 million in grants was provided to the Department of Commerce through the Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which was part of the federal American Rescue Plan. Of the amount provided, $15 million has been set aside expressly to reimburse qualifying lodging establishments that experienced economic losses during the state’s eviction moratorium under the governor’s proclamations.

The grants are targeted primarily for small businesses with $5 million or less in annual gross receipts or sales within designated NAICS codes. If Commerce is able to fund all the eligible applicants from the target pool, and funds remain, Commerce may be able to provide grants to additional businesses who have annual gross receipts or sales larger than $5 million.

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