In support of the state’s Safe Start efforts, the Washington State Department of Commerce has spearheaded a collaboration among public, private, and philanthropic organizations to help keep small businesses open and protect and create jobs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The projects recently received a $15 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration — one of the largest such grants awarded nationwide.

The grant funds will support a number of initiatives. Restart projects include technical assistance for businesses and entrepreneurs in underrepresented and underserved communities, as well as a first-of-its-kind early detection COVID-19 modeling project that will help prevent outbreaks so that essential, high-risk businesses such as fisheries, food processors, and meatpackers can reopen and stay open safely.

Rebuild projects provide businesses an array of training and coaching services to help retool or rethink operations.

Under the grant, the department and its partners will develop and provide a broad range of support to help small businesses address key areas of need, such as prevention of COVID-19 infection and transmission, connections to financial resources, and technical assistance to help manufacturers adapt for safe yet efficient operations.

For more information on small business resources click here.