Frequently Asked Questions

 

General FAQ

What is the purpose of this website?


  • SmallBizHelpWA.com is a c entralized digital hub that was created to help small businesses and nonprofit, and those organizations that are trying to assist in the resource mobilization effort during these challenging times.
  • This website will help you find financial relief resources and technical assistance providers that will walk you through the process of applying for a PPP loan or other relief. You can also find lenders that are willing to take new customers and process your application.




How often is the information on this website updated?


  • We are not the final authority on this material. The information is subject to change at any time with new resources, legislation and/or additional rules from the U.S. Treasury and/or the SBA.
  • Consult your CPA, Attorney or similar professional for tax and legal advice regarding how these programs may impact your specific organization.
  • The purpose of this website is to help small businesses and nonprofit leaders get connected with technical assistance providers and lenders. This site will be updated as new information becomes available. Please also check the SBA website and the U.S. Treasury website for information.





 

PPP FAQ

Where can small businesses learn how to apply for forgivable PPP assistance?


Join the Small Business Administration and the Washington Small Business Development Center every Friday at 10 AM for a virtual training about the PPP application process. This webinar is also viewable anytime through the Washington Small Business Development Center's (SBDC) on-demand online training center. View our calendar of trainings.




What can small business owners do to get ready to apply for forgivable PPP?


Here are a few things you’ll need to gather before applying for a forgivable PPP loan:

  • 2019 tax return
  • Updated 2019 and 2020 Business Profit and Loss statements
  • Amount of your highest average monthly payroll
  • Evidence of decreases in revenue from 2019 (pre-pandemic) to 2020




I still have questions and need help with my application. Who can provide me with direct assistance?


Contact a local technical assistance provider to walk you through the process and get you connected with a SBA approved, participating lender. For additional support contact the Washington State Small Business Development Center via email: washington@wsbdc.org or via phone: (833) 492-7232.




Where can I find a lender to process my forgivable PPP loan application?


View our list of lenders in Washington state [link to web page] that currently offer forgivable PPP lending or use the Small Business Administration’s Lender Match tool to find additional options.




I already took out a PPP loan. Can I apply for another forgivable PPP loan?


Existing PPP borrowers that did not receive loan forgiveness by December 27, 2020 can reapply for a First Draw PPP Loan if they previously returned some or all of their First Draw PPP Loan funds. A second PPP loan is only available to businesses that were in operation before February 15, 2020. They must have used up their initial PPP loan and have incurred a 25% or more reduction in revenue in 2020.




Who can apply for a forgivable PPP loan?


Eligible small entities that have 500 or fewer employees (300 or fewer for Second Draw loans) —including nonprofits, veterans' organizations, tribal organizations, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—can apply. For additional information, see sba.gov.




When is the last day I can apply for a forgivable PPP loan?


Borrowers can apply for an initial PPP Loand or a Second Draw PPP until March 31, 2021.




Where can I apply for PPP loan forgiveness?


You can apply for loan forgiveness by working through your PPP lender. They will require you to collect financial information and can offer information specific to your circumstances.




What is new about the second round of forgivable PPP loans?


Forgivable PPP loans proceeds will be able to be used to cover additional expenses, including those associated with operations, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection expenses. Also, the Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6) non-profit organizations, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations. In addition, Congress enacted better tax treatment for PPP and made the load forgiveness process easier for loans under $150,000.




How is the forgivable PPP loan program helping underserved communities?


At least $15 billion was set aside for First Draw PPP loans to eligible borrowers with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less to eligible borrowers in low- or moderate-income neighborhoods. To promote access for smaller lenders and their customers, the Small Business Association initially only accepted loan applications from community financial institutions. The PPP is now open to all participating lenders.





 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) FAQ

Who is eligible for an SVO Grant?


Eligible entities may be live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives, per the Economic Aid Act. Additionally, entities of these types owned by state or local governments (for example, museums or historic homes) are eligible to apply if the governmentally-owned entity also acts solely as a venue operator, museum, etc. and not also include other types of entities. Read the SBA's latest FAQ for SVO Grants.




When does a business have to have been established to be eligible to apply for an SVO Grant?


The business must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020.




My business received a Paycheck Protection Program loan in July 2020. Am I eligible to apply for an SVO Grant?


Yes, if an entity applied and was approved for a PPP loan prior to Dec. 27, 2020, it is eligible to apply for an SVO Grant.




If a business applied for a First Draw or Second Draw PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020, is it eligible to apply for an SVO Grant?


No. Both examples would not be eligible to apply for an SVOG unless and until the PPP loan application (whether First Draw or Second Draw) is declined. When the newest round of PPP funding opened in 2021, per the First Draw and Second Draw PPP loan applications, the PPP applicant initials/sign offs on this line: “The Applicant has not and will not receive a Shuttered Venue Operator grant from SBA” upon submitting the PPP loan application to the lender.




Can a business apply for a PPP forgivable loan now and decide later on the loan if it did not receive an SVO Grant? At what stage is a PPP loan considered “received”?


No. Per the Economic Aid Act, as well as how the PPP loan system operates, businesses cannot apply for a PPP loan and SVO Grant at the same time. Entities must make an informed business decision as to which program will most benefit them and apply accordingly. If an applicant is rejected by one program, it will then be eligible to apply for the other. If a PPP loan applicant applies and is approved for a PPP loan, the applicant cannot then cancel a PPP loan once applied for/in process or decline to accept an approved PPP loan to become eligible to apply for an SVOG.




Is a mobile business with no fixed performance space eligible to apply?


No. Among other requirements, the Economic Aid Act requires a venue to have defined performance and audience spaces. If a particular venue cannot meet this requirement, it is not eligible to apply for an SVO Grant.




What disqualifies an entity from SVO Grant eligibility?


The following types of circumstances would preclude an otherwise eligible firm from an SVO Grant: • It does not have a place of business located in the United States, does not operate primarily within the U.S., and does not make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor. • It was not in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020. • It applied and/or received for a PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020. • It is a publicly traded corporation, or is majority owned and controlled by a publicly traded corporation. • It presents live performances or sells products or services of a prurient sexual nature. • More than 10% of its 2019 gross revenue came from the federal government (not counting disaster assistance) • It owns or operates venues, theatres, museums or talent agencies in more than one country, 3 | Page owns or operates venues, theatres, museums or talent agencies in more than ten states, AND it had more than 500 employees as of Feb. 29, 2020.




What can my business do to get ready to apply?


As the SBA works on building the application platform, it would be in your best interest to register for a DUNS number so you can then register in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). SVOG applicants need to register with the federal government’s SAM at www.SAM.gov to apply and cannot use an ITIN, EIN, or other means of identification or registration. Also, gather documents that demonstrate your number of employees and monthly revenues so you can calculate the average number of qualifying employees you had over the prior 12 months. Lastly, determine the extent of gross earned revenue loss you experienced between 2019 and 2020. This and additional information such as floor plans, contract copies and other evidence will be needed to apply for an SVOG.




When will SVO Grant applications open?


The SBA is working expeditiously to open SVOG applications and encourages you to stay up to date by frequently visiting www.sba.gov/coronavirusrelief for information.




If my business received a grant, loan or other funding from state or local governement, is it still eligible to receive an SVO Grant?


Yes. Receipt of pandemic-related or other assistance from state or local governments does not disqualify an eligible entity from the SVOG program, though an eligible entity must ensure that it does not claim any costs or expenses under its SVOG that it has already received reimbursement or other payment for under another award or program.




How do I know that my business has been declined for a PPP loan?


A participating PPP lender would notify the business it has been declined for a PPP loan per the SBA’s notification to the lender.




Are eligible entities currently involved in bankruptcy proceedings eligible to apply for an SVO Grant?


Eligible entities undergoing a reorganization form of bankruptcy (such as Chapter 11 or Chapter 13) may apply for an SVOG. However, entities undergoing a liquidation form of bankruptcy (such as Chapter 7) are not eligible. In addition, SVOGs made to entities undergoing reorganization bankruptcy may, in SBA’s discretion, be subject to special restrictions or requirements designed to reduce the risk of loss of taxpayer funds.





 

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVO)

Who is eligible for an SVO Grant?


Eligible entities may be live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives, per the Economic Aid Act. Additionally, entities of these types owned by state or local governments (for example, museums or historic homes) are eligible to apply if the governmentally-owned entity also acts solely as a venue operator, museum, etc. and not also include other types of entities. Read the SBA's latest FAQ for SVO Grants.




When does a business have to have been established to be eligible to apply for an SVO Grant?


The business must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020.




My business received a Paycheck Protection Program loan in July 2020. Am I eligible to apply for an SVO Grant?


Yes, if an entity applied and was approved for a PPP loan prior to Dec. 27, 2020, it is eligible to apply for an SVO Grant.




If a business applied for a First Draw or Second Draw PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020, is it eligible to apply for an SVO Grant?


No. Both examples would not be eligible to apply for an SVOG unless and until the PPP loan application (whether First Draw or Second Draw) is declined. When the newest round of PPP funding opened in 2021, per the First Draw and Second Draw PPP loan applications, the PPP applicant initials/sign offs on this line: “The Applicant has not and will not receive a Shuttered Venue Operator grant from SBA” upon submitting the PPP loan application to the lender.




Can a business apply for a PPP forgivable loan now and decide later on the loan if it did not receive an SVO Grant? At what stage is a PPP loan considered “received”?


No. Per the Economic Aid Act, as well as how the PPP loan system operates, businesses cannot apply for a PPP loan and SVO Grant at the same time. Entities must make an informed business decision as to which program will most benefit them and apply accordingly. If an applicant is rejected by one program, it will then be eligible to apply for the other. If a PPP loan applicant applies and is approved for a PPP loan, the applicant cannot then cancel a PPP loan once applied for/in process or decline to accept an approved PPP loan to become eligible to apply for an SVOG.




Is a mobile business with no fixed performance space eligible to apply?


No. Among other requirements, the Economic Aid Act requires a venue to have defined performance and audience spaces. If a particular venue cannot meet this requirement, it is not eligible to apply for an SVO Grant.




What disqualifies an entity from SVO Grant eligibility?


The following types of circumstances would preclude an otherwise eligible firm from an SVO Grant: • It does not have a place of business located in the United States, does not operate primarily within the U.S., and does not make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor. • It was not in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020. • It applied and/or received for a PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020. • It is a publicly traded corporation, or is majority owned and controlled by a publicly traded corporation. • It presents live performances or sells products or services of a prurient sexual nature. • More than 10% of its 2019 gross revenue came from the federal government (not counting disaster assistance) • It owns or operates venues, theatres, museums or talent agencies in more than one country, 3 | Page owns or operates venues, theatres, museums or talent agencies in more than ten states, AND it had more than 500 employees as of Feb. 29, 2020.




What can my business do to get ready to apply?


As the SBA works on building the application platform, it would be in your best interest to register for a DUNS number so you can then register in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). SVOG applicants need to register with the federal government’s SAM at www.SAM.gov to apply and cannot use an ITIN, EIN, or other means of identification or registration. Also, gather documents that demonstrate your number of employees and monthly revenues so you can calculate the average number of qualifying employees you had over the prior 12 months. Lastly, determine the extent of gross earned revenue loss you experienced between 2019 and 2020. This and additional information such as floor plans, contract copies and other evidence will be needed to apply for an SVOG.




When will SVO Grant applications open?


The SBA is working expeditiously to open SVOG applications and encourages you to stay up to date by frequently visiting www.sba.gov/coronavirusrelief for information.




If my business received a grant, loan or other funding from state or local governement, is it still eligible to receive an SVO Grant?


Yes. Receipt of pandemic-related or other assistance from state or local governments does not disqualify an eligible entity from the SVOG program, though an eligible entity must ensure that it does not claim any costs or expenses under its SVOG that it has already received reimbursement or other payment for under another award or program.




How do I know that my business has been declined for a PPP loan?


A participating PPP lender would notify the business it has been declined for a PPP loan per the SBA’s notification to the lender.




Are eligible entities currently involved in bankruptcy proceedings eligible to apply for an SVO Grant?


Eligible entities undergoing a reorganization form of bankruptcy (such as Chapter 11 or Chapter 13) may apply for an SVOG. However, entities undergoing a liquidation form of bankruptcy (such as Chapter 7) are not eligible. In addition, SVOGs made to entities undergoing reorganization bankruptcy may, in SBA’s discretion, be subject to special restrictions or requirements designed to reduce the risk of loss of taxpayer funds.





 

Working Washington Grants: Round 4 FAQ

What is the Working Washington Grants: Round 4 program?


The Department of Commerce’s Working Washington Small Business Grant Program provides funds to help small businesses that have struggled due to COVID-19. Commerce ran three rounds of grants in 2020. Commerce is now opening a fourth round. The state legislature approved $240 million for this fourth round of grants (HB 1368, signed into law on Feb. 19, 2021). Some of the criteria outlined in this legislation include:

  • Businesses must receive their grant award by June 30, 2021.
  • Commerce must take into account previous Working Washington awards distributed by the agency or affiliated partners. This means grant awards will vary. The maximum grant award will be $25,000.
  • Grants must be equitably distributed statewide and to historically underserved populations.
View all Working Washington Grant FAQs.




How are the applications prioritized?


Eligible applications will be reviewed based on the following priority criteria:

  • Industries that had to close as a result of safety and public health measures.
  • Size of the business (measured by 2019 revenue).
  • Lost revenue between 2019 and 2020 as well as added expenses to maintain safe operations.
  • To ensure equitable distribution, Commerce will also consider businesses operating in a rural or low-income community or that is owned by someone from a historically underserved population (minority, veteran, LGBTQ+ or women-owned).




How long will I have to apply once the portal opens?


The portal will be open for 12 days. It will open the morning of March 29 and close on April 9 at 5:00 p.m. PDT.




Is this grant program first come, first served?


No. All applicants who meet eligibility requirements and apply between March 29 and April 9 at 5:00 p.m. PDT, will be considered.




What hours will the Technical Support Centers be open?


The Technical Support Centers will provide support by phone and/or email to any applicants with questions related to the Working Washington Grants: Round 4 program. There will be two support centers: One offers email and phone support in English and is managed by our partner, Submittable. The hours are as follows: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday-Friday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday Email & Voicemails: Response provided within 8 business hours We also plan to offer phone support in eight different languages (Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Russian, Amharic, Arabic, Somali and Tagalog). The hours are expected to be: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Monday-Friday 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday




Can I view the application in a language other than English?


The application portal offers a feature so you can change the language for buttons, menus, static text, and dialog boxes throughout the site. However, applications must be submitted in English. The application portal will be supported by the following languages: Arabic, Amharic, Bosnian, German, English, Spanish, Canadian French, French, Hindi, Hmong, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Chinese – Mandarin, Traditional Chinese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Punjabi, Tagalog, Ukrainian, and Russian.




If I applied in a previous round with Commerce, do I have to apply again or will my application roll over?


Yes, you will need to apply again if you applied in any round as this program requires different criteria than prior rounds.




What can my business do to get ready to apply?


As the SBA works on building the application platform, it would be in your best interest to register for a DUNS number so you can then register in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). SVOG applicants need to register with the federal government’s SAM at www.SAM.gov to apply and cannot use an ITIN, EIN, or other means of identification or registration. Also, gather documents that demonstrate your number of employees and monthly revenues so you can calculate the average number of qualifying employees you had over the prior 12 months. Lastly, determine the extent of gross earned revenue loss you experienced between 2019 and 2020. This and additional information such as floor plans, contract copies and other evidence will be needed to apply for an SVOG. View all Working Washington Grant FAQs.




Who is Round 4 intended for?


These grants are aimed at for-profit small businesses in industries that have hard costs associated with their operations, and faced the most significant challenges to paying those hard costs due to mandated closures. Hard costs include things like rent, utilities or payroll. We encourage all eligible brick and mortar businesses that were required to close or significantly reduce operations due to public health and safety measures to apply. View all Working Washington Grant FAQs.




What can I use this money for and when does it have to be spent by?


Successful grantees must use the funding for costs incurred between March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021, as required by HB 1368. Awardees are able to expend grant funding for any eligible expenses due to the impact of COViD-19 as long as they have not been previously funded. If all responses for the particular incurred cost are “true” for all five statements below, then the applicant can feel confident the cost is eligible:

  • The expense is connected to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • The expense is “necessary” to continue business operations.
  • The expense is not filling a shortfall in government revenues. (i.e. taxes, licenses, state, county, federal, and/or city fees)
  • The Business will self–attest that the expense is not funded by any other funder, whether private, State or Federal.
  • The business wouldn’t be requesting assistance with expenses if they had not been impacted COVID-19.
Any expenses outside of the March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 timeframe would not be considered reimbursable. Commerce is not requesting receipts as a part of the grant award, but, in the event of an audit, the business must show proof of expenditures.




Can the funds be used for future expenses (next year) or just current expenses?


Due to HB 1368 as set by the state legislature, the funds must be spent on expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.




What expenses are classified as ineligible expenses?


Ineligible expenses include:

  • Lobbying
  • Alcohol (other than for inventory needs of their business)
  • Salary increases, bonuses and dividends to owner(s) or investor(s)
  • Costs already reimbursed previously by federal programs (e.g. SBA Paycheck Protection Program) or expenses previously reimbursed by any of grant or loan program (double-dipping)
  • Personal expenses




Why do only brick and mortar businesses qualify for this grant program?


Businesses that operate out of a location that is not their home face higher costs and were more likely to be required by public health measures to completely close or significantly reduce or modify operations. The intent is to assist businesses struggling with those costs. Examples include paying rent and utilities for a business location despite being closed or paying for costly modifications such as plastic barriers/partitions, outdoor tents and frequent sanitation. We know home-based businesses have also endured hardships. Every Commerce grant program has had different requirements, whether set by the legislature or because of the most apparent economic impacts. This program is a combination of both, abiding by HB 1368 while also focusing on businesses that have faced particular hardship due to Proclamations 20-25.8-20-25.12.




Do I still qualify for this grant if I received a PPP and/or EIDL loan from the federal government?


Yes. Though we ask applicants to provide this information, it will not change your eligibility or affect the review of your application.




I own multiple businesses. Can I apply for each business?


Only one grant is allowed per UBI. If a business owner has multiple businesses with unique UBI numbers for each, they may qualify for more than one Working Washington Round 4 grant.




Do religious organizations qualify?


No, religious organizations do not qualify for this grant program. However, if their primary function (source of revenue) is within a sector that is eligible, they may apply. Examples include overnight camps, music venues or a restaurant.




What are the eligibility requirements for this grant program?


To be considered for this grant, an applicant must be:

  • Active for-profit business or individual DBA located in Washington state (“does business as”.) Businesses can only apply for one location per business (identified by UBI or EIN).
  • Has been in business before January 1, 2020 and filed a 2019 tax return.
  • Generates at least 51% of revenue in Washington State.
  • Operates from a physical brick and mortar location in Washington state (separate from owner’s home).
  • Reported gross annual revenue between $25,000 – $5 million in 2019.
  • Experienced a decrease in revenue and/or additional costs incurred between 2019 and 2020 due to COVID-19 public health and safety measures.
View all Working Washington Grant FAQs.




What documentation is required for this application?


Applicants will need:

  • WA State Unified Business Identifier (UBI)* number (check this website to make sure your business license is active and in good standing).

  • *Tribal owned businesses may provide alternative business validation
  • Copy of filed 2019 tax return
  • 2020 tax return, if filed. If 2020 documents are not available, the business owner must attest and estimate amount of annual gross revenues.
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), if applicable
  • Valid Government-issued photo ID
  • Completed W-9 form (digital copy accepted)
View all Working Washington Grant FAQs.