Despite the recent PPP and SBA loans and grants, many of our local businesses have not been able to access any of those funds. Those programs were almost entirely based around the number of employees a business had, was tied to them staying at work, and in many cases were completely inaccessible for many of our small, local businesses.

But in working with the Wa State Emergency Grant program, we realized that a simple application, combined with a small group of local volunteers to score those applications, and a donation funding account from our local community, could create a LOCAL, SELF-FUNDED and EQUITABLE way for us to help keep our communities alive, and help make sure we can thrive again soon!

We are at risk of losing small businesses that have been dedicated community partners for years and years. Many of these businesses are owned by people who support our schools, community activities and donate to our youth sports, fairs, rodeos and livestock sales. These are establishments that our families and friends have long patronized. They need our help and support now, more than ever.

**Regions – North County (Tonasket to Oroville), Central County (Riverside to Malott), South County (Brewster and Pateros), Methow Valley, East County (Grand Coulee, Nespelem, & Colville Nation).

***Each Application will be scored by a Regional Panel of local volunteers, each of whom will sign an NDA and promise to keep all information confidential.

Example of the need:
Washington State launched the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant two weeks ago. Okanogan County’s share of that grant was $79,295. The governor’s office and the Department of Commerce will decide who gets funded. By state rules, the Economic Alliance can only submit 32 applications for funding consideration. We received 118 applications in four days, seeking more than $1,020,000 in emergency support. These funds will not be dispersed for up to 3 more weeks.

These small businesses contribute to their communities and the county:
Sales Tax
Property Tax
Donations/contributions to community organizations
Raise their families here = children in schools, shopping in other stores.

What is the Economic Alliance already doing to help?
Our Economic Development Disaster Recovery and Resiliency efforts include assisting business owners and employees with access to state Unemployment information and the self- employed, independent contractors and laid off part-time to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.
Business retention efforts aim to prevent permanent closures, including helping business owners complete their applications for:

  • Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant.
  • Federal SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan/Loan Advance.
  • Federal SBA Payroll Protection Program 75% must be used for payroll.
  • Assistance will be accessing lender support regarding mortgage payments, existing business loans and balances due on credit lines.
  • Fraud and Scam alerts
  • Hosting weekly Virtual Small Business RoundTable meetings sharing local/state and federal resources.
  • Referrals to our Small Business Development Center.
  • Moral support.

Next Step:
If you want to partner with us and support the Okanogan County Small Business Emergency Grant, please contact us as soon as possible. Our goal is to begin distributing these funds by May 21st.

Thank you for your consideration!

Now is the time to help.