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[Rick Braa] Working Washington Small Business Grants — Not first-come, first-serve!

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Washington Hospitality Advisory Network restaurant consultant Rick Braa hosted a quick webinar Friday morning to help dish out some details on how the upcoming business relief grants can be applied for and what rules there are.

The CARES act money must be distributed before Dec. 31 of this year. There are $70 million at play, prioritized to highly-impacted industries first — which primarily is targeting restaurants and food service. This money is divided into two pools: $50 million for new applications for this round, and $20 million available to businesses who have previously applied.

This process is NOT first-come,  first-serve. All of the applications are going to be considered together on Dec. 11. In other words, you should definitely apply, even if the deadline is fast approaching — don’t let the large number of applications discourage you.

These funds can only be used for specific purposes, such as covering expenses or costs incurred due to the coronavirus pandemic and that were necessary to continue operations. These grants can NOT be used on the same expenditures you’d have spent your PPP or EIDL dollars on.

The application process is extremely simple and should only take 10-15 minutes. You will want to make sure you have certain documents in hand:

  • A W-9 form.

  • A state issued ID or driver’s license

  • You’ll need to provide a dollar amount from any PPP or EIDL grant money. BE HONEST — this money is public, and you do not want to get in trouble for defrauding the government.

  • Number of employees laid off

  • Gross revenue for 2019 and 2020

  • A clear description of your business and how government mandates have impacted/hurt it.

  • UBI number

  • NAICS number

Note: you can look up your NAICS and your UBI number by visit the Department of Revenue website and clicking “look up a business” on the menu there.

Be aware the application website is being overloaded with requests and is rife with bugs. You should try to put your application in outside of standard hours — so very early in the morning or quite late at night.