Small Business Flex Fund
2021 COVID-19 Business Info.
5 Steps the SBA Will Implement to Further Promote Equitable Relief for Main Street Small Businesses
Yesterday the Biden-Harris Administration and the SBA announced steps the agency is taking with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further promote equitable relief for America’s mom-and-pop businesses. With the exception of the first item, the following will start next week:
- Starting tomorrow, Feb. 24, the SBA will establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees.
- The SBA will allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants.
The agency will eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal.
- Also, the SBA will eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP.
- Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.
Now What? Steps You Can Take to Access PPP Funding
- Keep in communication with your PPP lender – regardless the size of your small business, continue to work with your lender to keep the application process moving.
- Find a PPP lender if you don’t already have one – use the PPP Lender Map or Lender Match tools to find a lender accepting PPP lenders.
- Work with an SBA Resource Partner – connect with local mentors and advisers to help you prepare your application and devise the best financial and strategic plan to move your business forward.
- Attend an informational webinar – local SBA staff and SBA Resource Partners are providing webinars that share program information, updates and resources to help you prepare for the PPP application process. View upcoming webinars in the Seattle District, Portland District, Boise District or Alaska District.
City of Spokane
COVID-19 Business Assistance
Free Legal Resources through Communities Rise
AHANA has formed a partnership with Communities Rise a capacity building organization providing services statewide. Communities Rise has expanded their capacity to serve small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 through their COVID-19 virtual Legal Clinics.
Covid-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Legal Clinic: Small businesses and nonprofits will get to meet with a lawyer for a free 60-minute legal consultation by phone or video conference (client preference). After a client applies for services, they are match them with a lawyer, and the lawyer will call them to schedule your appointment. We have created this new and expanded clinic system to handle a high volume of COVID-19 related requests. Interpretation is available in a variety of languages.
Details of the Community Rise Covid-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Legal Clinic can be found at this link: https://communities-rise.org/news/free-covid-19-legal-clinic-launch-announcement/
In addition, there are a number of tools on their website that might be helpful:
- Short instructional videos that walk through the PPP and EIDL loan applications with accompanying updates and supplemental materials.
- Lease Amendment Toolkit and video. We are creating a Lease Amendment Toolkit for small businesses and nonprofits to navigate renegotiating their leases. (Coming soon to our website)
- Legal Alerts to let the community know about the changing laws and federal and state resources.
- Free grant writing and fundraising clinics
To request capacity building support visit this link: https://communities-rise.org/covid-19-resources/covid-support/
- Business incorporated in Washington State
- 50 employees or less
- Business has experienced distress due to Covid-19
- WA state nonprofits
- 50 employees or less
- 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations or fiscally sponsored organizations
DSHA Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP)
DSHS to provide disaster cash assistance for some Washingtonians beginning April 17.
Release Date: Apr 17 2020 DSHS Office of Communications Norah West firstname.lastname@example.org (360) 902-7833
OLYMPIA – Beginning Friday, April 17, some Washington residents can apply through the Department of Social and Health Services for emergency cash assistance to help meet their immediate needs. As a result of Governor Inslee’s emergency declaration in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has approved implementing the Disaster Cash Assistance Program, or DCAP, in Washington state.
The Governor’s declaration of a statewide emergency and subsequent proclamation on March 18 enables DSHS to offer DCAP benefits to people who are not eligible for other cash assistance programs. The assistance is available to all Washington families and people without children who meet the income and resource limits of the program. DSHS estimates more than 175,000 households may be eligible for this assistance.
“Having access to this emergency aid is critically important to helping people meet their immediate, basic needs, like shelter costs, utilities, clothing, minor medical care, household supplies and transportation costs for work,” explained Babs Roberts, director of DSHS’ Community Services Division. “We’re pleased Governor Inslee made these funds available so that we can extend the benefits to Washingtonians who are most in need during this unprecedented time.”
This cash assistance is available to Washington residents regardless of citizenship status, and does not require applicants to provide a Social Security number. Eligible households will receive their DCAP benefits for one month in a 12-month period during an emergency. The benefit amount depends on household size, income and need, ranging from a maximum of $363 for a single person to a maximum of $1,121 for a household of eight or more people. Once approved, people will receive their DCAP benefits on an existing Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, card or a new EBT card will be sent via U.S. Mail.
People can apply for DCAP online at WashingtonConnection.org and then call the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 to complete the required interview. People can also call 877-501-2233 to complete the entire application process over the phone. Due to much higher than normal call volumes, people are asked to call before 11 a.m. and to keep in mind that the busiest call times are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This news release is also available in Spanish.
Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants
Businesses can apply for up to $10,000 in emergency funding
Up to $5 million in funds are provided through Governor Inslee’s Strategic Reserve Fund and administered by the State Department of Commerce to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The grant program will provide a limited number of businesses in Washington’s 39 counties with a grant up to $10,000.
- Grant funds can used for operational expenses including rent, supplies/inventory, utility bills, etc. as well as consulting, marketing, and training.
- Applications must include a list of proposed expenses grants will be spent on. Applications without a list of proposed expenses will be considered incomplete. This reimbursement-based grant can assist with outstanding invoices dated March 1 and beyond.
- The following expenses are not eligible: capitalized equipment, travel, office equipment, and computer software.
- Applicants should have been in business for at least one year.
- Businesses with up to 10 full-time employees (FTEs) may apply for a one-time grant of up to $10,000.
- Funding is not meant to help launch a business, but to support existing businesses who are specifically affected by the COVID-19 crisis and are vital members of their local community.
- Applicants are eligible to receive one Working Washington Grant award during the current budget cycle, which ends on 06/30/2021.
- Small businesses that qualify for the grant program will submit applications through AHANA. Completed applications are sent to: email@example.com
- County/regional economic development organizations will prioritize applications based on the severity of the impact the business is facing due to COVID-19, including from being forced to close by the government-mandated closures, social distancing measures or illness.
- Recommended awards will be sent to the Department of Commerce for review and vetting.
- Qualifying applications will be forwarded to the Governor for review and signature.
- Your local ADO will administer approved awards to the successful company.
- Awards will be approved on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on the availability of funds. The objective is to support businesses through the crisis and enable them to retain as many employees as possible.
Due to anticipated volumes, please allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing and disbursement of grants.
- Applications are due April 16th, end of day
- To apply, download the application by clicking here.
- Complete as much of the information as you can.
- Email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you have a question about the grant program, please use the corresponding email for your county to submit it.
Additional State Resources
Washington State Resources
OpenTogether Small Business Grants
Application period runs from July 27 – August 10
ALL eligible applications will be reviewed at the end of this two week application period.
This application is NOT on a first come, first serve basis.
(You will be directed to Innovia Foundation’s online grant portal.)
Chinese: 有关此应用程序的帮助，请联系 珍妮 刘（Jenny Liu），提供尽快翻译，请致电 (509) 747-5121 Maria@asap-translations.com
Vietnamese: Để được hỗ trợ bằng tiếng Việt khi điền đơn này, xin vui lòng liên lạc với Nam Thái, ASAP Translations tại số điện thoại (509) 747-5121 Maria@asap-translations.com
Spanish: Para obtener ayuda con esta aplicación en ESPAÑOL, comuníquese con Maria Lucia Gutierrez, en ASAP Translations: (509) 747-5121 Maria@asap-translations.com
Grant Parameters (Pre-qualifications & Documents/Information Needed)
Webinar Grant Overview from July 27: View the recorded webinar here (password: %*j@7d^! ).
Non-Profit Q&A: Friday, July 31 from 8:30 – 9:00 AM
Open Together GRANT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Questions & Answers
Q: What qualifies as a closed business due to government mandate?
A: If government mandate required you to suspend operations at your location of business, even if you can operate remotely, you are considered closed.
Q: What is the EIDL advance?
A: The amount of the EIDL Advance was determined by the number of employees indicated on the EIDL application at $1,000 per employee, up to a maximum of $10,000. The EIDL Advance does not have to be repaid.
Q: Do we qualify if we’ve received federal assistance through PPP or other grant?
A: Yes. While priority consideration will be given to businesses not eligible for other funding, those who did receive funding are still eligible to apply.
Q: Do we qualify if our business was established before 3/1/19, but did not officially open until later in the year?
A: Yes. If your business was established before 3/1/19, you are eligible.
Q: What does NAICS mean?
A: The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.
Q: Where does the funding come from for the OPENTogether Non-Profit Grant Program?
A: The funding for this program comes from $90 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds awarded to Spokane County as part of the federal CARES Act. Spokane County Commissioners recently dedicated $10 million of these funds to small business and nonprofit relief and contracted with Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) to administer the awards in cooperation with Innovia Foundation, Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and other partners.
Q: Where do I apply?
A: The application link will be live on our website https://greaterspokane.org/ on Monday, July 27th.
Q: How long will the application period be live?
A: The application period will be open for two weeks and close at 11:59pm, Monday, August 10.
Q: When will recipients know if they have been selected for an award?
A: Awards will be announced between Tuesday, September 1 and Friday, September 4
Q: How long will it take to receive the funds?
A: Selected recipients can expect to receive the funds within 4-5 weeks of the application close date.
Q: Does the business owner need to submit the application?
A: The business owner must certify the submission of the application and complete the attestation.
Q: Are marijuana-based businesses eligible?
A: No, marijuana-licensed businesses in the state of Washington are not eligible for these federally funded grants (Note: CBD is not the same as marijuana)
Q: Does the 49 or fewer employees include part-time employees?
A: If your business has part-time employees, please calculate the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees based on total part-time work activity. Business eligibility is based on number of full-time equivalents employed.
Q: What expenses are classified as eligible expenses?
A: Grants are intended to reimburse the cost of business interruption caused by mandated closures or requirements resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Eligible expenses may include:
- Rent/Mortgage payments
- Vendor payments
- Debt Services
- Expenses related to shifts in operations to retain existing business or comply with safety requirements
Q: What expenses are classified as ineligible expenses?
A: Salary increases, bonuses, and dividends to owner(s) or investor(s)
Additionally, costs already reimbursed previously by federal programs (e.g. SBA Paycheck Protection Program) are ineligible for reimbursement through this grant award.
Q: Is this a first-come-first-served program?
A: No, the application will be open through August 10, 2020 and all eligible applicants will be considered equally.
Q: Who will decide which organizations receive funding?
A: A Grants Committee comprised of a diverse group of community representatives will select grant recipients based on application criteria as well as extent of business interruptions and financial impacts due to the COVID public health emergency.
Q: What kind of reporting will be required as a recipient of these funds?
A: There are no narrative reports required for recipients as part of this grant program. However, supporting receipts, invoices, bills and other similar documents or accounting records may be requested as part of a potential future audit. If information provided is found to be inaccurate or awarded grant amount exceeds eligible expenses or estimated losses, a grantee may be required to return funds.
Q: What are the maximum and minimum grant award amounts?
A: Grant awards will be prorated according to demonstrated financial impacts related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Grant awards will range between $2,500 and $10,000 for eligible small businesses. Sole Proprietorships and Contract Workers who rely on that job as their primary source of income can receive up to $2,500.
Q: What are the pre-qualifications to be eligible for the grant?
A: Please refer to our website at greaterspokane.org for eligibility requirements
Q: What types of businesses will be prioritized in the award selection process?
- Businesses that were forced to close or demonstrated business interruptions or losses due to government mandate
- Businesses that were mandated to reduce service capacity when they were permitted to open
- Businesses that are multiethnic, woman, veteran or tribal-member majority owned
- Business whose primary customer base are from one of the following communities:
Q: What documents will be required with the application?
A: First page of your business tax return (2019 or 2018 if your 2019 return has been extended). If your business was filed with your personal tax return, then the first page of your personal tax return will be required.
Q: What counts as a COVID-19 related expenditure?
A: A variety of expenditures related to the COVID public health emergency may be eligible for this funding. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Expenses for acquiring or distributing medical and protective supplies, including sanitizing products and personal protective equipment
- Expenses for cleaning and disinfection of workplace or facilities
- Expenses for quarantining individuals
- Emergency financial assistance provided to individuals and families directly impacted by loss of income due to the public health emergency
- Expenses for food delivery to vulnerable residents to enable compliance with public health precautions
- Costs for additional staff hours to address new or enhanced direct care needs, or to replace volunteers rendered unavailable due to the public health emergency
- Expenses for telework-related equipment or technology
- Capital improvement projects incurred specifically to mitigate spread of the virus during this public health emergency (i.e. workplace re-configuration)
Q: How do I calculate FTE employees?
A: Full Time Equivalent employees can be calculated by summing your total paid hours in a work week and dividing by 40.
Q: How do I know if my business or contractor license is in good standing with the WA State Department of Labor & Industries?
A: Search your business name here: https://secure.lni.wa.gov/verify/
Q: Where can I direct my additional questions?
A: All questions can be directed to email@example.com
Business Resilience Loan Program
The City of Spokane’s Community, Housing, and Human Services (CHHS) Board is investing $100,000 to help small businesses stay resilient in the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Business Resilience Loan Fund Program, provided by federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars, will provide eligible Spokane businesses with access to affordable Business Resilience Loans through a partnership with non-bank community lender Craft3. Eligible businesses will work with Craft3 on a full application and underwriting to determine creditworthiness. Due to credit requirements, not every business will receive a loan. Loans can be between $10,000 and $50,000.
Interested applicants must meet these minimum qualifications in order to be eligible:
- Located in the City of Spokane
- Credit Score of 640 or higher
- Reported a profit in 2019
- Minimum of 24 months in business
If your business meets these qualifications, please call the Financial Helpline: (509) 625-6650
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ask for the Business Resilience Loan Program
You will then be asked additional questions that include:
- Business Establishment Date
- DUNS/TIN #
- Number of Employees (Full and Part Time)
- Other sources of COVID-19 received
Please be prepared with this information. Helpline staff will collect the above information with interested applicants, which will be submitted to the CHHS department for basic screening review before being provided to Craft3.
Craft3 will complete an in-depth review and connect with the point of contact provided on the initial screening form to have applicants complete a more detailed loan application. Applicants will have 48 hours to complete the loan application from Craft3.
5-18-2020: PPP Loan Forgiveness application (PDF)
5-4-2020: Second round of PPP applications are now available
6-30-2020: $130 billion in PPP left unspent as of 6-30 application deadline. Senate passes legislation to extend PPP to August 8. House needs to approve and President Trump needs to sign.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
The SBA is working directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
The CARES Act, provides additional assistance for small business owners, including the opportunity to receive up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for emergency capital.
- For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
- Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are currently eligible to apply for a long-term, low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here to apply.
Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.
Here’s how the loan forgiveness works:
- Your company’s expenses for the eight-week period after the origination of the loan will be analyzed.
- Every dollar your company spent on payroll, utilities, rent, or interest on mortgage debt will be added together. That amount will be forgiven, up to the total amount your company borrowed through the program.
There is one caveat, however. The amount that is forgiven will be reduced for businesses that lay off employees during the first eight weeks following the loan. Companies that reduce wages of employees who make less than $100,000 per year by 25 percent or more will also have the forgivable amount reduced.
The good news is that businesses that have already let employees go before accepting the loan will not be subject to such penalties. And if those businesses rehire employees after accepting the loan, they’ll receive additional credit to cover their wages.
Emergency grant of $10,000 to SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan applicants: Even if your business is denied a loan, you can still access this grant, which can be used to provide employee sick leave, maintain payroll or meet other needs like paying rent.
Paycheck Protection Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will guarantee loans with terms of up to 10 years and interest rates of up to 4% to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Businesses can qualify for loans of up to $10 million, and the loans will be provided by lenders including banks and credit unions. Eligible businesses can get loan deferment for six months to a year, and the loan may be forgiven if the businesses maintains its payroll for eight weeks at employees’ normal salary levels.
The SBA’s paycheck protection loan program is “really more of a loan that converts to a grant,” Bradley said. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees qualify, as will some larger companies. The program is aimed at helping businesses maintain their payroll during the significant business disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program
The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. 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 SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
- Up to $25,000
- Fast turnaround
- Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan
Federal Assistance FAQs
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Program
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
If your business existed on Jan. 31 and you are a small-business owner with fewer than 500 employees, or if you’re an independent contractor, sole proprietor or any other eligible entity, you can get a loan for up to $2 million. Through Dec. 31, you are also eligible for an emergency grant of up to $10,000 that the SBA says you’ll receive within three days of applying. You don’t have to repay the emergency grant, but you do have to pay back the rest of any loan you’re awarded. You can get both a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and an Economic Injury Disaster Loan ( EIDL ), but you can’t double-dip and use both loans for the same purpose, the guidance states. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “if you are able to secure a PPP loan, the $10,000 grant will be subtracted from the forgiveness amount.”
Who can apply for this program?
A small business with fewer than 500 employees that was in business on or before February 15, 2020. This can be an S Corp, C Corp, LLC, sole proprietorship or independent contractor. It also includes certain nonprofits, tribal groups, veteran groups. When obtaining the PPP loan, you need to certify that your business has been economically affected or that economic uncertainty make the loan necessary.
How much money can I get from this loan?
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): You can get up to $2 million. Actual loan amounts are based on the amount of economic injury. The EIDL Advance emergency grant is only for $10,000.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The loan can equal up to two months of your business’s average monthly payroll costs from the last year, plus an additional 25%. Loans are capped at a maximum of $10 million or an amount that will be calculated using a payroll-based formula.
What can this loan be used for?
For EIDL: You can use this for your fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the COVID-19 pandemic not occurred.
For PPP: The core purpose of this loan is to keep your small business staff paid and employed. The majority of this loan is meant to be used on paying your employees. You don’t have to pay back the loan so long as you use at least 75% of the money you get on payroll costs. Payroll costs include employee benefits like medical and sick leave, salary, wages, commissions, tips and state and local taxes.
You can also use the loan for interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities that were incurred before Feb. 15.
What’s the interest rate?
For EIDL: It’s 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits.
For PPP: The interest rate was originally 0.5%, but the Treasury Department issued new guidance that the interest rate will be doubled to 1%.
When is my loan due?
For EIDL: 30 years.
For PPP: 2 years.
How do I apply for this loan?
For EIDL: You can apply for an EIDL through https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. The SBA estimates that it will take you two hours and 10 minutes to apply. Be prepared to show your operating expenses. The EIDL application asks for your gross revenue for the 12 months prior to Jan. 31, 2020, for example.
For PPP: Lenders will ask you to fill out an application form that you can get a cope at : https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf Fact sheet about PPP. https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP–Fact-Sheet.pdf
Be prepared to provide information like payroll processing records, payroll tax filings, or income and expenses from a sole proprietorship. “For borrowers that do not have any such documentation, the borrower must provide other supporting documentation, such as bank records, sufficient to demonstrate the qualifying payroll amount,” the Treasury Department’s guidelines state.
For the PPP, I already laid off my staff. Can I still get a loan?
Yes, you are still eligible to get full loan forgiveness if you rehire your staff and restore salary levels for any changes made between Feb. 15 and April 26, before the end of June, according to the SBA.
Fact sheet about PPP from Treasury.gov: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP–Fact-Sheet.pdf
LISC Small Business Relief Grants Due 06-17-2020
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
LISC Small Business Relief Grants
Small businesses across the country, the backbone of our nation’s economy, are facing potentially devastating economic pressure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have already been forced to shut temporarily, and even those operating remotely still face major revenue shortfalls. With few or no reserves to pay their expenses, many will have no choice but to lay off workers and close their doors forever.
Financial assistance at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income and jobs and economic instability.
Thanks to support from funders like Verizon, Sam’s Club, Truist and Lowe’s, we are providing grants to small businesses, to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period.
Apply for a Grant
Round 4 application period is now open. All applications must be submitted by Wednesday, June 17th at 11:59 PM ET.
For questions, please review our grant information and FAQ.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Save Small Business Grants
This grant is now closed
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation opens new grants for small businesses -starts Monday, April 20
State of Washington continues to advocate for additional federal support and funding for small business loans and The grants. On Monday, April 20, 2020, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation will open their Save Small Business Grant program offering a $5,000 grant for each qualifying applicant. Businesses harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and employing between 3 and 20 people are eligible in specific economically vulnerable zip codes. Visit this website for more information: https://savesmallbusiness.com/#apply HOW TO APPLY? Starting April 20, 2020, you can submit a short application that will be linked to this page https://savesmallbusiness.com/#apply. If you’d like a reminder when the application process opens, please sign up with your email address at the link above. The application will take about 10 minutes to complete and will only require your business’s W-9 form and basic supporting information about your business. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY? To apply, you must run a small business or chamber of commerce with between 3-20 employees (including yourself and not including independent contractors). The business must be located in an economically vulnerable community. This is defined as the bottom 80% of the most economically distressed zip codes in the United States, as ranked by the Distressed Communities Index. Before starting the application, you will be asked for the zip code where you are registered by the IRS as doing business, which will confirm your eligibility. HOW MUCH IS THE GRANT? Each grant is for $5,000 and must be applied toward business expenses. We will send a follow-up survey to all grantees to learn how it was spent and the impact that it made.