During the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit organizations (Microenterprise Development Organizations MDOs) that support the very smallest companies with business technical assistance and microloans have been working overtime serving more businesses with more services than they ever had under the best of conditions. These nonprofits have stretched their services to the limit, have lost staff, donations, rental income, funding for operations, grants and other sources of revenue. In so many cases, these nonprofits continue to operate and provide vital services with compassion to business owners that suffered under the pressure of government closures.
Thanks to the support from the Washington State Department of Commerce, WSMA is opening short term grant opportunities to strengthen Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs), Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) serving organizations, and others that provide businesses with technical assistance, training, and/or microloans to businesses with 5 or fewer employees in urban and rural parts of Washington State.
These grants are intended to provide immediate funds to stabilize these nonprofit organizations so that they can help the smallest businesses right now to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, steady their enterprises, prepare for economic recovery, and ensure they are ready to grow once the economy gets moving again.
Funding for eligible organizations adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be applied in two areas: 1) expenses incurred due to the pandemic between March 1, 2020-April 30, 2021 that were not covered by other public or private funding; and, 2) funding that is needed now for support to businesses that the organization has been inhibited from providing because of the COVID pandemic.