The governor was also joined by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown and small business owner Rob Owen from Newport to announce the first wave of grants from the Working Washington Small Business Grant Program.
Earlier this year, $10 million in strategic reserve funds was allocated to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to be distributed by the Department of Commerce.
The first round of grant recipients consists of 501 small businesses from 20 counties around the state.
Businesses may use this money to pay for rent, utilities, supplies and inventory, and other non-payroll related expenses.

“Businesses can use this money to pay for rent, utilities, supplies, and inventory and other non-payroll operating expenses. For many of them, this could be the bridge that keeps them going until federal financial support arrives,” Inslee said.
“We know this is not enough to meet the need. We are focusing where we know funds will immediately recirculate and strengthen communities, and we continue seeking more resources to help small businesses survive and innovate as we all prepare for a ‘new normal’ in the aftermath of coronavirus,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said.
“Unfortunately, this is pandemic hit and we don’t necessarily have the reserves to make it through this. So it’s greatly appreciated that these grants are here to help us because we’ve seen our sales decrease probably 50 percent or more. My employees and this community mean so much to myself and my family that we’re committed and we’re very for thankful for these small business grants,” Rob Owen said.
The next wave of Working Washington Small Business Grants will be announced in the coming weeks.