Many nonprofits need financial help to shore up budget deficits and cover increasing costs. It can be confusing to know where to apply and how to do it. If you’re located on the Puget Sound’s Eastside, (re)STARTUP425 can help!
(re)STARTUP425 is a collaboration by the cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond, and Renton to connect Eastside nonprofit leaders, small business owners, and sole proprietors with available business support resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cities have contracted with Business Impact NW to provide free, one-on-one, technical consultations to:
- Help businesses understand resources available to them;
- Prepare businesses to qualify for and access eligible grants and loans;
- Help businesses complete grant and loan applications
Recognizing that business owners may experience language barriers in the existing processes, the Team is available to assist in multiple languages through a phone interpretation service.
In addition to technical help, the website offers a calendar of relevant webinars and other resources, and a map that identifies which Eastside businesses are operating and how.
Technical Assistance from Trusted Community Messengers
Commerce is partnering with 31 trusted community organizations across Washington state to provide culturally and linguistically relevant assistance to historically underserved small nonprofits and businesses managing the impacts of COVID-19.
The pandemic has exposed numerous disparities and inequities that affect the ability of many communities to access everything from health care to worker protections to broadband.
As part of its effort to promote an equitable economic recovery, the Washington State Department of Commerce established the Small Business Resiliency Network last April.
The network’s trusted community organizations provide culturally appropriate outreach, translation, assistance and education to ensure nonprofits and business owners can find the information they need from people they trust.
It has now grown to 31 organizations serving communities in nearly 40 languages. Find an overview sheet here.
Legal Advice and Capacity Building
Communities RISE helps meet urgent organizational needs and provides tools and trainings that build skills and support an organization’s long-term health. During the COVID-19 crisis, Communities Rise is providing a range of resources and support for nonprofits and small businesses. Here is a sampling:
Legal Advice: Nonprofits and small businesses who have suffered adversely from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis can request free legal advice during a 60-minute remote consultation with a volunteer attorney.
Capacity Building Support: Nonprofits can request additional support for capacity-building needs such as grant writing or fundraising.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) provides economic relief to nonprofits and small businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation of health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments. SBA is currently accepting new COVID-19 EIDL applications from all qualified private nonprofits and small businesses.
SBA Debt Relief offers debt relief to existing SBA loan borrowers whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19.
Paycheck Protection Program – Direct Forgiveness Portal: The SBA launched a streamlined “Direct Borrower Forgiveness Portal.” Borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program loans of $150,000 or less through participating lenders can apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA. This forgiveness application has been taking an average of only 6 minutes to complete, and applicants can expect an average of 5 business days to receive a decision.Read more here.
Craft3 provides low-interest loans to provides low-interest loans to established nonprofits and growing and start-up businesses – including those that don’t qualify for traditional loans.
The Small Business Flex Fund provides low-interest recovery loans of up to $150,000 to nonprofits and small businesses trying to develop and grow, especially those in low-income areas and led by women and people of color. To be eligible, small nonprofits and businesses must employ 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, have annual revenues of less than $3 million a year and experience a direct economic impact as a result of COVID-19.
WAFdBank provides small businesses with help applying for PPP loans and help with PPP loan forgiveness.
CARES Act Employee Retention Credits. The ERC is a refundable payroll tax credit for wages paid and health coverage provided by an employer whose operations were either fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19-related governmental order or that experienced a significant reduction in gross receipts. The ERC can be claimed quarterly to help offset the cost of retaining employees.
Employers may use ERCs to offset federal payroll tax deposits, including the employee FICA and income tax withholding components of the employer’s federal payroll tax deposits. Unlike the PPP, which was on a first-come first-serve basis, the ERC can be claimed up to three years from the date in which your quarterly payroll return was filed. Read more here and here.
COVID Vaccine Tax Credits. Under the American Rescue Plan, small and midsize nonprofits and other employers are entitled to tax credits for providing paid leave to employees who take time off related to COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from 4/1/21 through 9/20/21. Read more here.
All In Seattle raises money and distributes it to organizations in the greater Puget Sound region impacted by the virus. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about getting your organization listed.
All in Washington, managed by the Seattle Foundation, provides grants in three categories: Cause Funds focus on specific areas of need around hunger, youth homelessness, small businesses, undocumented workers and families, and economic recovery. Community Funds, including a new East King County Community Fund, support relief and recovery efforts in specific cities and counties as well as Indigenous and Native, Latinx, and LGBTQ communities. The All In WA Fund is an aggregated fund to address funding gaps across the state.
GoFundMe.org Small Business Relief Fund provides $500 grants to businesses that raise $500 or more in matching contributions on its platform.
LISC Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund provides grants and flexible loan capital for community organizations and small businesses in historically under-invested communities.
COVID-19 Response Fund provides grants to nonprofits that work with communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and its consequences.
Small Business Recovery Fund from OneEastside offers financial support plus business tools.
WA Dept. of Commerce Resources for Homeless Services Grantees provides information about emergency funding and resources for local governments and organizations to fight housing instability and homelessness.
Financial or In-Kind Assistance
WeLoveMI promotes an organization’s GoFundMe page where community members can directly support organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19.
Eastside Nonprofit COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
The Alliance of Eastside Agencies, Eastside Executive Forum, Eastside Human Services Forum and Eastside Pathways Backbone have joined together for the first time to provide the Eastside Nonprofit COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit to help nonprofit agencies in supporting their staff, volunteers and clients.
This toolkit is intended to ensure that agencies are equipped with information from trusted sources to make decisions about vaccinations.
The toolkit content has been grounded in equity considerations by ensuring that all information recognizes the unique needs of staff, volunteers, and clients who are BIPOC, low or no income, with limited technology access, are English language learners, immigrants, refugees, or are part of populations who may not have access to current vaccine information.
The toolkit can be found here and includes:
- help determining approaches to providing vaccine information
- a list of vaccine resources
- how to request a vaccination pop-up clinic at an agency
- related workplace policies and templates for nonprofits to use.
Just as the pandemic and vaccine distribution are evolving activities, this site too remains a living site and will be updated as information becomes available.