Yakima County small businesses could get up to $5,000 each through a new grant program

Plus, resources available for businesses needing face masks

YAKIMA, Wash. —  Small businesses operating out of Yakima County could receive up to $5,000 in grant funding through a new program seeking to alleviate financial burden on local business owners during the pandemic.

The Yakima County Development Association is managing the relief grants, the applications for which opened Wednesday morning and will be accepted on a rolling basis.

“We’re gonna leave the process open until we run out of money, but we’re not gonna start ranking up locations until the 19th of June,” said Jonathan Smith, YCDA Executive Director. “That way, we give everybody a lot of time to be able to get an application in.”

Smith said there’s about $187,000 in grant funding available for businesses within county limits, but that are not located within the City of Yakima. Those businesses in the city will receive funds through a separate program using the same application and eligibility guidelines.

While YCDA is accepting applications for both county and city businesses, the city program is still in development and should provide about $480,000 for business owners.

To be eligible to receive money through the Small Business Coronavirus Assistance Fund, businesses must:

  • Be a for-profit business located in Yakima County
  • Have five or fewer employees, including the owner
  • Have been operating for at least one year
  • Provide documents to prove loss of income of 25% or more due to the coronavirus pandemic

The business owner must also meet the low to moderate household income criteria, meaning they less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income for Yakima County, which ranges from $37,700 for a one-person household to $74,100 for an eight-person household.

To apply, owners will need to show their driver’s license, social security number, last two personal tax returns, any documentation regarding SSI income and, if needed, their last two pay stubs.

For their business, they’ll need to show their Washington state business license, DUNS number and documents showing the number of employees, monthly operating expenses and proof of loss of revenue.

The funds can be used to cover operating expenses, such as payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities and inventory.

In addition to financial concerns, with a new masking directive from the Yakima Health District, many businesses are looking to supply their employees with face masks. The Yakima County Emergency Operations Center has disposable masks available to distribute to local businesses that apply here. 

The Small Business Coronavirus Assistance Fund program is funded through federal Community Development Block Grants already awarded to state, county and municipal governments to help fund micro-enterprises.

Applications will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness and applicants will be contacted if they need to provide additional information or documentation.

The YCDA anticipates receiving more than 500 applications, but may only be able to choose about 40 businesses. Applications will be prioritized on:

  • Owners’ income level: Applications filed by business owners with lower income levels will be given more weight
  • Risk of permanent closure: Applications by businesses that are more likely to permanently close if they don’t receive funds will be given more wight
  • Temporary closure: If the business has been closed due to a government order, more weight will be given to their application
  • Employees: More weight will be given to the applications of businesses with fewer employees
  • Owners’ minority status: Applications will be given more weight based on owners’ minority status as it relates to ethnicity and gender, as well as those who are veterans or are enrolled tribal members
  • Amount requested: Priority will be given to businesses that request fewer dollars

To help out with the process, YCDA volunteers will be providing one-on-one assistance to businesses looking to apply during community outreach sessions:

  • Monday, June 8
    • Wapato: 10 a.m. to noon at 119 E. Third St.
    • Zillah: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 109 Seventh St.
  • Tuesday, June 9
    • Naches: 10 a.m. to noon at 303 Naches Ave.
    • Tieton: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 608 Wisconsin Rd.
  • Wednesday, June 10
    • Selah: 10 a.m. to noon at 106 S. Second St.
    • Moxee: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 255 W. Seattle Ave.
  • Thursday, June 11
    • Granger: 10 a.m. to noon at 508 Sunnyside Ave.
    • Buena: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 801 Buena Rd.
  • Friday, June 12
    • Sunnyside: 10 a.m. to noon & 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 621 Grant Ave.
  • Monday, June 15
    • Grandview: 10 a.m. to noon & 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 500 W. Main St.
  • Tuesday, June 16
    • White Swan: 10 a.m. to noon at 621 Signal Peak Rd.
    • Harrah: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 3852 Harrah Rd.
  • Wednesday, June 17
    • Toppenish: 10 a.m. to noon at 1 S. Elm St.
    • Union Gap: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 102 W. Ahtanum Rd.
  • Thursday, June 18
    • Mabton: 10 a.m. to noon at 415 B St.
    • Grandview: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 500 W. Main St.
  • Friday, June 19
    • Sunnyside: 10 a.m. to noon & 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 621 Grant Ave.