Small Business Grants In Washington

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Lori Pace

Are you a small business owner in Washington State looking for financial assistance to grow your business? Look no further! Washington State offers many grant programs specifically designed to support small businesses like yours.

The Department of Commerce and other state agencies offer these grants, aiming to promote entrepreneurship, foster economic growth, and provide funding for various business needs.

In this article, we will provide you with an overview of the available small business grants in Washington, including the Washington Small Business Credit Initiative, the Export Voucher Program, the Amber Grant for Women, and more. We will also discuss the eligibility requirements for these grants and why checking your eligibility before applying is crucial.

Additionally, we will share success stories of businesses that have benefited from these grants and provide valuable tips for successfully applying for small business grants. Whether you need funding for equipment purchase, facility renovation, or international expansion, these grants can be a game-changer for your business.

So, let’s dive in and explore the opportunities that await you! 

Washington Small Business Credit Initiative

The Washington Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) aims to promote entrepreneurship, support small business ownership, and increase capital flow in underserved communities, with programs launching in the summer of 2023 after completing regulatory reviews.

As a small business owner in Washington, you can benefit from the SSBCI by accessing various funding opportunities and resources. The initiative offers loan programs that can help you start or expand your business, and these programs can be used for purchasing equipment, renovating or expanding facilities, and even supporting early-stage product development.

In addition to loans, the SSBCI provides technical assistance to help you develop strong business plans and navigate the application process. The initiative is committed to supporting qualified businesses, including women-owned, and works closely with government agencies to ensure all eligible businesses can access the funding they need. 

Export Voucher Program

Explore the Export Voucher Program, where you can receive up to $10,000 in reimbursement for your international sales expansion expenses.

This program is a valuable resource for small businesses looking to expand their reach and increase their export sales.

The program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). It has a dedicated International Trade Specialist available to provide assistance and guidance.

By participating in the Export Voucher Program, you can tap into a wealth of resources and expertise to help you navigate the complexities of international trade. 

Export Voucher Program

Amber Grant for Women

The Amber Grant is a business grant program specifically designed to support women-owned small businesses in Washington, including rural businesses, nonprofit organizations, minority businesses, and disadvantaged businesses.

With the grant, women entrepreneurs can receive funding to support various aspects of their business, such as developing and creating a long-term business strategic plan.

These grants are aimed at helping women overcome financial barriers and provide them with the resources they need to succeed.

By applying for the Amber Grant, women entrepreneurs can take a significant step towards achieving their business goals and positively impacting their communities. 

Grant Watch

Grant Watch is a comprehensive platform that provides information on various business grants available, including those offered by the federal government.

Whether you’re a small business owner, a rural cooperative, or a black-owned business, Grant Watch can help you navigate the grant landscape and find the funding you need to support your long-term business strategic plan. The platform also offers resources and support for businesses, including business assistance and counseling.

To take advantage of these opportunities, visit Grant Watch’s website and explore the available grants.  This platform can be a valuable tool in your entrepreneurial journey to secure the funding you need to grow and succeed. 

Entrepreneur Ready Program

The Entrepreneur Ready Program is designed to equip you with the skills and resources necessary to succeed in the competitive business world.

As a participant in the program, you’ll have access to small business grants specifically tailored for entrepreneurs in Washington. These grants will provide the necessary funding for your business development and growth.

In addition to financial support, the Entrepreneur Ready Program offers entrepreneurial training and assistance in creating a long-term business strategic plan.

The program aims to support all entrepreneurs, including women and minority-owned businesses, and help them build their business capacity in various sectors.

With the Entrepreneur Ready Program, you’ll have the tools and support you need to thrive in the business world and achieve your entrepreneurial goals. 

Washington SBDC Programs

The Washington SBDC Programs offer a wide range of resources and support to small businesses in Washington. One of the key benefits is the availability of grants to small businesses, which can provide essential funding for growth and development.

Additionally, the SBDC programs offer long-term business strategic planning, helping entrepreneurs create a roadmap for success. They also provide guidance and advice on creating a solid business plan, which is crucial for securing funding and attracting investors.

Another valuable aspect of the SBDC programs is their focus on rural business incubators, which foster entrepreneurship in underserved areas. By offering specialized support and resources to rural businesses, the SBDC programs contribute to the overall growth and success of the Washington business sector.

Furthermore, the programs facilitate networking opportunities with other business leaders and organizations, allowing entrepreneurs to connect and learn from each other. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your existing business, the Washington SBDC Programs are an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs in all business sectors. 

Tacoma-Pierce County Financing Programs

One exciting aspect of the Tacoma-Pierce County Financing Programs is the availability of various resources and support for entrepreneurs in the area. These programs offer small business grants and various financing options to help entrepreneurs, including BIPOC and veterans, secure the capital they need to start or expand their businesses.

Through these programs, entrepreneurs can access capital from loans provided by community lenders and federal funds specifically allocated to support small businesses in the Tacoma-Pierce County area. This access to capital is crucial for entrepreneurs investing in clean technologies or recovering from COVID-related damages.

These financing programs also offer debt relief options, allowing entrepreneurs to alleviate financial burdens and focus on growing their businesses.

Overall, the Tacoma-Pierce County Financing Programs provide entrepreneurs with a comprehensive and supportive environment, empowering them to thrive and contribute to the local economy. 

ULMS Small Business Advocacy & Mutual Aid Roundtable

Enhance your small business in Washington by participating in the Small Business Advocacy & Mutual Aid Roundtable Program administered by the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS). In this program, small business owners can engage in meaningful discussions and collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs to address common challenges and advocate for mutual support.

Although this does not offer direct cash grants, this roundtable instead provides a platform for black, indigenous, and people of color-owned small businesses to come together and share their experiences, insights, and strategies for success. Participating in this event can gain valuable knowledge and resources to help grow your business.

The ULMS Small Business Advocacy & Mutual Aid Roundtable also offers opportunities to connect with potential partners and mentors who can provide guidance and support. Don’t miss out on this chance to strengthen your business and tap into a network of like-minded entrepreneurs. 

Eligibility Requirements for Small Business Grants in Washington

Reviewing the eligibility requirements is essential to determine if you qualify for small business grants in Washington. Understanding these requirements can save you valuable time and ensure you meet the necessary criteria.

Small business grants in Washington cover various purposes, including funding for capital expenditures, research projects, and cultural initiatives. Eligibility criteria may vary depending on the specific grant program. Still, typically, businesses must be registered in Washington State, have a certain number of employees, and meet specific industry size standards.

It’s also important to note that grant programs may have a deadline for applications, so staying informed about the latest opportunities is crucial. By researching and understanding the eligibility requirements, you can position your company for success and potentially access funding to support your business over time. 

Tips for Successful Application of Small Business Grants

Ensure your application stands out by incorporating innovative strategies and highlighting your unique value proposition. One effective way to do this is by developing a long-term business strategic plan demonstrating your vision for growth and sustainability.

Additionally, emphasize your business’s impact on the local community by showcasing the number of employees you have hired and your positive contributions to areas such as Pierce County, King County, Yakima County, and Clark County. It is also crucial to outline any capital expenditures you plan to make in the future, as this shows your commitment to investing in your company over time.

Lastly, if you are a minority-owned business, particularly an early-stage women-owned enterprise, highlight this in your application, as specific grants may be available for you. Remember to clearly articulate how the grant will help your business and how you will utilize the funds to make a meaningful impact.

Following these tips can increase your chances of securing a small business grant to support your company’s growth and success. 

Other Resources for Small Businesses in Washington

Looking for additional support and resources to grow your business in Washington State? Check out the wide range of assistance programs and resources available to entrepreneurs like you.

The Washington State Department of Commerce offers various programs to support small businesses, including loan programs for equipment purchases, renovations, and expansions. They also provide funding for early-stage product development and repurposing of underutilized properties.

Additionally, the Community Economic Revitalization Board funds infrastructure projects to create economic growth, and the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund provides critical infrastructure for economic growth.

The Department of Commerce offers funding opportunities for community and economic development, and you can find a complete list of opportunities on its website.

Take advantage of these resources and programs to support the growth and success of your small business in Washington State. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can small businesses apply for funding through the Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) in Washington?

You can contact fund administrators and participating lenders to apply for funding through the Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) in Washington. Remember that SSBCI offers loans or equity investments, not grants or forgivable loans.

Can non-profit organizations apply for small business grants in Washington?

Yes, non-profit organizations can apply for small business grants in Washington. These grants provide funding for a variety of business needs, helping non-profits grow and make a positive impact in their communities.

Are specific industries or sectors prioritized for small business grants in Washington?

Certain industries or sectors may receive priority for small business grants in Washington. This prioritization is determined by various factors such as economic development goals, job creation potential, and the overall impact on the local community.

Are there any limitations on using funds from small business grants in Washington?

There are limitations to using funds received through small business grants in Washington. These restrictions ensure the funds are used for legitimate business purposes, not personal expenses. 


In conclusion, if you’re a small business owner in Washington, several grants are available to help you grow and succeed. The Washington Small Business Credit Initiative provides funding for businesses needing capital. The Export Voucher Program assists businesses looking to expand their market internationally. The Amber Grant specifically supports women entrepreneurs. Grant Watch is a valuable resource for finding other grant opportunities. The Entrepreneur Ready Program can also help you enhance your skills and knowledge, making you more eligible for grants and other resources.

Meeting all the eligibility requirements and thoroughly understanding the application process is important to increase your chances of being awarded a grant. Take the time to research and gather all necessary documents, and consider seeking professional assistance if needed. Craft a compelling and persuasive application that clearly outlines how the grant will benefit your business and contribute to the local economy.

Remember, other resources, such as mentorship programs, business development centers, and networking events, are also available for small businesses in Washington. Take advantage of these opportunities to further support your business growth. You can make your small business thrive in Washington with determination and the right resources.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!