While businesses await the resumption of operations and the recovery of COVID-19, Commerce is announcing a new Flex Fund, a public-private loan program for Washington DC small businesses and nonprofits.



The program works with and through reliable local lending institutions to support businesses that have historically been underserved.

OLYMPIA, Washington – Small business owners and not-for-profit organizations across Washington DC can start applying today for low-interest loans of up to $ 150,000 through the recently launched Flex Small Business Foundation… 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.

Governor Jay Inslee in November 2020 approved a fundamental investment of $ 30 million State Department of Commerce to create a loan recovery 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 COVID-19 pandemic has shed a bright light on the many historical injustices and obstacles faced by various communities. One of these barriers is access to working capital for small businesses and nonprofits that are trying to grow and grow, especially in low-income areas led by women and people of color, ”said Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “We designed the Small Business Flex Fund to provide more equitable access to growth capital for small local businesses and nonprofits, enabling faster economic recovery across Washington.”

The fund works with and through local community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that serve low-income communities and underbanked businesses that the Small Business Flex Fund seeks to help.

“Evergreen is proud to draw on our decades of experience serving small businesses in Washington DC. We believe this program will bring tremendous benefits to small businesses and non-profit organizations in Washington State, ”said Patti Kibbe, CEO of Evergreen Business Capital Community Finance, a Seattle-based CDFI.

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 pre-apply for Flex Fund online portal and, if they meet the requirements, they will be provided with a creditor. 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. This network of lenders has decades of experience serving indigenous, rural, and immigrant communities, as well as communities of color throughout Washington.

CDFIs will also be backed by leading technical assistance and business support organizations, including Washington Business Impact Northwest Women’s Business Center and Veterans Business Support Center, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE), Minority Business Development Agency – Tacoma Business Center, Sister Sky Inc. and Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP) Financial Access.

The Small Business Flex Fund is administered by the National Development Council with funding sponsored by Calvert Impact Capital. In addition to funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce, catalytic seed loans are provided by Heritage Bank and WaFed Bank. In a joint statement, they said, “As longtime supporters of Washington small businesses and their far-reaching influence in their communities, Heritage and WaFed Bank recognize the importance of supporting these vital businesses and are proud to promote unique public-private partnerships such as Small Business. Flex Fund, which contributes to the continued economic recovery after the impact of the pandemic. “

The Small Business Flex Fund’s online application and recruiting platform is hosted by Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, a national CDFI based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For more information and to apply, visit: www.SmallBusinessFlexFund.org


About Small Business Flex Fund
The Small Business Flex Fund provides access to low-interest, flexible loans and business support services to small businesses and non-profit organizations throughout Washington. Supported by the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Fund is a joint partnership of local and national public finance organizations designed to support Washington’s smallest businesses and meet the needs of communities that have historically lacked resources and banks. The foundation is made up of leaders from a variety of sectors, including local community lenders, national and state nonprofits, corporations, philanthropic donors and investors – all committed to a just recovery across the state.


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