On Monday, July 27, Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the County’s designated Associate Development Organization (ADO), will launch the OPENTogether Small Business and Non-profit Grant program to help small businesses and non-profits offset safety and operating costs, rent and other allowable expenses with $10 million of Spokane County-allocated CARES Act dollars.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 FTE (full-time equivalent) employees and non-profits (with any number of employees) can apply beginning Monday, July 27 at 9 a.m. for a grant of up to $10,000. These funds are to assist small businesses and non-profits with costs related to business interruption caused by related closures and compliance with COVID-19 public health emergency mandates.
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.
There is a priority to assist multi-cultural, multi-ethnic businesses and non-profits!
(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 Register Here
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 firstname.lastname@example.org