Sixty-five LGBTQ, BIPOC, and women-owned small businesses receive first Ready for Business grants

by GSBA Staff
| Oct 12, 2020

Sixty-five LGBTQ, BIPOC, and women-owned small businesses across the Seattle Metropolitan Area have been selected out of a pool of over 500 applicants to be the first recipients of Ready for Business Fund grants. Co-founded by GSBA and Comcast Washington this August to address mounting financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ready for Business Fund has provided recipients with $2,500 grants in addition to marketing and administrative wrap-around services, courtesy Comcast’s Effectv program. The grant application closed on Sept. 4, and the recipients were selected by a committee consisting of business, government, and community leaders throughout the area. 

The recipients include:

- Alchemists & Architects, LLC
- Amano Seattle
- BeUnique Agency
- BLKBRY, LLC
- Boujee Food & Things
- Cafe Pettirosso
- Cake House, LLC
- Century Ballroom, LLC
- Chloe Collyer Photo
- Choice Produce
- Communion Restaurant & Bar
- Dirty Dog Hot Dogs
- Downtown House Cleaning 
- El Mercado Latino
- Elliana Pauline Lewis
- Emazing Photography
- Emerson Salon
- Epiphanies of Equity, LLC
- Ethio Mini Market
- Fit Bar Superfood Cafe
- Fruitsuper
- Fuji Sushi Seattle
- Get It Done Hair Salon & Spa
- Hahu Abissina Restaurant, LLC
- Hot Chicks Dog Walking Co.
- Idman Childcare
- Jackson General Store/Rimna’s Market
- Juice Emporium
- Khongkaew, Inc.
- Koplin Del Rio Gallery
- Los Agaves
- Meekong Bar
- Mi La Cay Restaurant
- Mountainfoxgoods
- Namasgay, Inc.
- Nile’s Edge Healing Arts
- Northwest Polite Society
- Nue
- Oma Bap
- Perfect Pronouns
- Perri Rhoden
- The London Plane
- Queer Bar
- Ramseur
- Reggie’s Computer Repair
- Resistencia Coffee
- Retail Therapy
- Seeking Kombucha
- Simone Shaw Style Studio
- Sleaq S and S
- Smith Law, LLC
- Stock & Pantry
- SUSU Dessert Bar
- Tai Tung, Inc.
- Taurus Ox
- Temple Pastries
- Thai Star
- The Art Sob
- The Wildrose
- Trap Vinyasa
- Two Doors Down
- Virago Gallery
- We Free Hearts
- Yolo West Coast

Over $200,000 was raised within one month for the first round of recipients, with Comcast Washington seeding the Fund with a $50,000 gift in early August, which was followed by an additional $50,000 investment from Comcast in September. T-Mobile contributed $25,000, while AT&T, BECU, Grace Church Seattle, Harborstone Credit Union, Microsoft, Puget Sound Energy, Sanctuary Church Seattle, Seattle Storm, US Bank, Verity Credit Union, and several more generous community members also donated to the Fund.

With well over 100 Seattle businesses permanently shuttering their doors since the pandemic began earlier this spring, the Ready for Business Fund seeks to help small businesses owned by marginalized community members survive the economic downturn. Fund applicants reported devastating impact, including up to 85 percent loss of annual revenue, being forced to lay off their entire staff, and significant loss of business due to demonstrations in Seattle. Businesses surveyed about the grants said the funding will be used on necessities such as paying for rent, bills, payroll, and groceries.

A second round of funding and grant distribution will soon be announced. The 435 applicants who weren’t selected during the first round of funding will remain in the pool to be considered as new grants are issued.