Submitted by the Washington State Department of Commerce.
Small business owners and not-for-profit organizations across Washington can start applying today for low-interest loans of up to $ 150,000 through the newly created Small Business Flex Fund. The foundation is a public-private partnership dedicated to helping small businesses and non-profit organizations, especially in low-income communities, recover and grow as communities across the state reopen to business.
Gov. Jay Inslee in November 2020 approved a $ 30 million fundamental investment for the State Department of Commerce to create a loan repayment program. Commerce partners with several financial institutions and community organizations to lend $ 100 million or more to small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees and less than $ 3 million in annual revenue.
Eligible companies and non-profit organizations can apply for a loan of up to USD 150,000. Loans are provided for a period of 60 or 72 months at an interest rate of 3-4.5%.
“The rebirth of our economy is an incredible milestone, and we want our smallest businesses and nonprofits to have equal access to flexible financial support to get back on their feet,” Inslee said. “The Small Business Flex Fund will not only help our businesses recover from the pandemic, but also enable them to plan ahead, grow and thrive. And it is a tool that will remain available for years to come to support our smallest businesses and nonprofits in times of economic hardship. ”
The fund works with and through local community development financial institutions that serve low-income communities and underbanked businesses that the Small Business Flex Fund seeks to help.
All small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and $ 3 million in annual income are eligible to apply, and culturally sensitive language assistance is available. Interested candidates will pre-apply on the Flex Fund online portal and, if they qualify, lenders will be matched. Once agreed, the participating lender will assist the business owner throughout the entire application process and provide additional advisory support. If the business is inadequate, it will be associated with a trusted community organization that can help find other resources.
Five CDFIs provide loans to the Fund, including Ascendus, Business Impact NW, Craft3, Evergreen Business Capital Community Finance, and the National Development Council Community Loans.
To apply, visit www.SmallBusinessFlexFund.org.