The Washington State Department of Commerce recently announced a new grant opportunity specifically for businesses working in the hospitality and lodging industry.
The grant program has a total fund of $100 million to help businesses that suffered losses due to the pandemic, although there is some strict eligibility criteria. For example, the program is restricted to businesses that experienced a 25% or greater loss in gross receipts or sales between 2019 and 2020 because of COVID-19 and the subsequent public health and safety measures.
Additional Eligibility Criteria
As well as the 25% threshold, eligible businesses must have generated minimum gross receipts or sales of $12,000 in 2019, or 2020 if the business opened that year. Each eligible business must generate at least 51% of its revenue in the state of Washington, and must not have permanently closed nor have the intention to close in 2023. Eligible businesses must also have expenses that are necessary to continue business operations, which include the likes of payroll and rent.
The types of business the grants will help include restaurants, food stands and caterers, as well as bars, saloons, lounges and taverns, including snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars. Also included are certain licensed alcohol producers, as well as hotels and motels excluding casinos.
Bakeries, breweries and bowling alleys are also eligible, as are numerous other hospitality and lodging businesses.
Recover and Rebuild
The Assistant Director of Commerce’s Office of Economic Development and Competiveness, Chris Green, issued a statement via the Washington State Department of Commerce website, which read: “While some of our small businesses are starting to recover and rebuild in the wake of a global pandemic, more continue to face historic challenges.
“The hospitality and lodging industry is an essential part of our economy and these grants will help affected businesses across the state recover from public health concerns that disrupted their operations for the last three years.”
Apply for Hospitality Grant
The application portal opens on March 14 at the WA Hospitality Grants website, plus there is an informational webinar scheduled for March 13.
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