Mason County Micro-business Relief Grants

Mason County Micro-businesses Relief Grants

Overview:

These forgivable loans (‘grants’) are provided thanks to the Washington State Department of Commerce CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) program. The Washington State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, administered by the state Department of Commerce (Commerce), receives an annual allocation of federal funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In addition, Commerce is receiving additional CDBG Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds through the federal CARES Act.

  • The purpose of these grants is to support micro-businesses with a physical location in Mason County who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and shut-down.
  • These grants are administered by Mason County and Enterprise for Equity (an Olympia, Washington based non-profit organization).
  • Grant awards will be decided by a five-member committee made up of Mason County economic development and business support professionals who were appointed by the County.

The information provided here in no way implies that any specific amount will be awarded to any specific individual business.

FAQs

Who is eligible to apply for these grants?

Applicants must:

  • Have been officially in business (licensed with the State of Washington) since August 1, 2019;
  • Be a federally-legal businesses;
  • Owned by low-to-moderate income earning individuals (the figures below are the income limits for your combined household income per the number of people in your household). Please refer to your 2019 income tax returns for your household income.

 

MASON 1 person 2 person 3 person 4 person 5 person 6 person 7 person 8 person
maximum income 36,150 41,300 46,450 51,600 55,750 59,900 64,000 68,150

 

  • Have a physical location (either physical store front for public to access or owner’s home address if working from their house for online, consulting, or landscape-type business) in Mason County;
  • Be micro-businesses (have five or fewer employees including the owner) prior to March 16, 2020. These five can be a combination of FT and PT employees as long as the total adds up to five full-time equivalent and can be documented.
  • Be able to demonstrate a loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic/shut down order which began 3/16/20;
  • Be sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, S-Corps, and contractors. Franchises, multi-level marketing businesses, and nonprofits (any 501 organization) of any kind are not eligible. 
  • Be willing to participate in a survey/evaluation if awarded funding.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer and does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

Can I apply if I own multiple businesses?

Yes. However, only one business per owner has the potential of being selected. 

How much are these grants for?

The total grant fund is $85,000. Individual awards will be made to selected qualifying businesses for up to a maximum of up to $10,000 per business. Businesses will need to be able to provide a detailed plan for the specific amount of funding they are requesting that falls under the eligible uses for the grant. 

What can I use a grant for?

Eligible uses include: operating expenses, rent, marketing, supplies, utility bills, inventory, consulting/training.

Ineligible uses include: payroll and capital expenses (e.g. computer equipment, machinery, office equipment, vehicles, and software.)

What do I need in order to apply?

If you meet all qualifying criteria, you will need to answer all questions on the application (through the application portal when it opens) and submit all required documentation including:

  • A copy of your 2019 balance sheet
  • A copy of your monthly 2019 profit and loss statements
  • A copy of your March/April 2020 profit and loss statement
  • Outstanding invoices (your accounts payable)

All financial statements must be complete, accurate, and easily comprehensible. Any documentation that does not meet these criteria will not be considered. File types that will be accepted include .pdf, .jpeg, and .png.

Documentation can only be submitted through the online portal. Any documentation that is mailed or emailed will not be considered. 

When can I apply:

  • The application will be online only through the portal once it opens. No applications submitted by email will be accepted.
  • The application portal will open to applicants starting at 9:00 AM PST on July 13th.
  • The deadline is 5:00 PM PST August 3rd at which time the portal will be closed
  • If there is money still available after all eligible applications have been reviewed and awarded, we will reopen the application portal upon announcement to the public.

What questions will be on the application?

  • Names/addresses/percentage of ownership of all owners;
  • Numbers of individuals in the household of each owner;
  • Whether the business is women/minority owned;
  • Total household income for each owner (Total Household Income is gross income (before deductions) from all sources of income (wages, child support, SSI, unemployment, pension, income from assets, etc.), from all adult family and non-family members in the household.);
  • Address of business location;
  • Business name;
  • What commisioner district within Mason County the business is in (link to map); https://www.co.mason.wa.us/gis/maps/Commissioner_Districts_36x36.pdf
  • Date business was licensed in the State of Washington;
  • Legal business structure (e.g. sole proprietor, partnership, S-Corps, LLC, Contractor, etc);
  • Description of what the business sells;
  • Explanation of how COVID-19 pandemic/shut down has impacted the business;
  • What is the business’s debt:income ratio? (debt:income ratio is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. For example, if your monthly gross income (your income before expenses) equals $5,000 and your monthly recurring debts are $1,000 you would figure your debt:income ratio this way: $1,000/$5,000 = .2 X 100 = 20%. Your debt:income ratio is 20%);
  • How much revenue was lost in March/April of 2020 as compared to March/April 2019;
  • How many employees the business had prior to the Stay-home/Stay-healthy order which started 3/16/20;
  • How much money are you asking for and how you intend to use it. You will need to be as specific and detailed as possible;
  • Whether you have applied for other CDBG emergency grants or forgivable loans and whether any were awarded to you;
  • You will need to indicate if the Applicant or any owner of the Applicant’s business is presently suspended, debarred, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, voluntarily excluded from participation in this transaction by any Federal department or agency, or presently involved in any bankruptcy;
  • Plans for sustaining the business if funding is not received;
  • Were you forced to shutter your business?
  • Were you able to keep your business open to some extent?
  • In what ways does your business support other businesses or contribute to the local community?

How are funding decisions made?

  1. Applications will be reviewed after the deadline to ensure applications are complete and applicant businesses are eligible.
  2. All eligible and complete applications will then be reviewed by the appointed five-member Committee composed of Mason economic development specialists. 
  3. Decisions will be communicated to all recipients. Those who applied but were not selected will also be notified.

Consideration will be given to equitable distribution throughout Mason County and the essential nature of the business to the Mason County community. 

When will funding decisions be announced?

Funding decisions will be announced as soon as possible. Due to the anticipated volume of applications, decisions may not be announced until August 30, 2020. Although we anticipate funding all $85,000 to eligible applicants as soon as possible, the contract pertaining to this program states that we have until March 31, 2022 to make awards. 

You will receive confirmation that your application has been received. Due to the anticipated volume of applications, we are asking applicants not to contact us via email regarding the status of their application. You will be notified whether or not you were awarded a grant.

How will I receive the funding if I am awarded?

  • Selected awardees will be notified and awarded checks will be issued by Enterprise for Equity.
  • Awardees will need to complete some documentation prior to receiving funds.
  • You will need to participate in a survey/evaluation if awarded funding. 

What if I need help with or have questions about the application process? 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Beth Henriquez: beth@enterpriseforequity.org

Where is the application?

The link to the application : This application is now CLOSED.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5PM August 3 2020

Until then, applicants are encouraged to review the application questions listed in the FAQs and prepare their financial reports (balance sheets and profit and loss statements).

The information submitted on the online application is secure and confidential.