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Now Fundraising for Ready For Business Fund, Round Two

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Invest in Small Business Recovery

Small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy, the backbone of our communities, and they are facing a severe crisis. With small businesses being America's largest employer, this unprecedented hardship puts millions of employees at risk, directly impacting the livelihood of families and communities across the country. 
 
GSBA and Comcast Washington co-created the Ready for Business Fund in 2020 to support small businesses. This spring, the second round of the Ready for Business Fund kicked off with a $150,000 fundraising goal to support small businesses with a focus on LGBTQ-, BIPOC-, and women-owned businesses. This goal was increased to $200,000 following another contribution from Comcast and additional investments from BECUT-MobileSymetra, Harborstone Credit Union, Verity Credit Union, 1st Security Bank, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle Foundation, DoorDash, and several generous community members. We successfully met this goal at the end of April, allowing us to provide support to 66 small businesses across Washington.

With increased support, we are extending eligibility to these small businesses across Washington State, and also focusing on supporting small businesses located in rural areas of Washington who often have less access to resources. 

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Thank you to everyone who helped us reach our goal!

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By making a donation to the Ready for Business Fund, you are directly empowering small business owners and strengthening your community. Donations of any size can make a difference for small business owners in addressing fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, and other working capital expenses that could have been remedied sooner if that COVID-19 pandemic not occurred.

Join the challenge and become a Ready for Business donor to strengthen the economic recovery for small and minority-owned businesses. Twenty percent of funds raised will be used for wrap-around services from GSBA including consulting, advertising, and membership for recipients, as well as administration of the grants.

For more information contact Ilona Lohrey (She/her), VP of Membership & Programs or call the office at 206-363-9188.


Apply for Small Business Relief

Applications for the second round of the Ready for Business Fund closed on April 9. Stay tuned for another round of funding soon!

Has your business experienced financial loss and hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, the Ready for Business Fund is here to help your business bounce back.  
 
A $2,500 cash grant will be awarded to selected small businesses. 
 
Additionally, awardees will receive wrap-around support services including GSBA membership, technical support, marketing, and consulting. This grant does not have to be repaid, and it can be used for any purpose to help the business recover from the economic crisis. 

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The grant is open to any small business in Washington State established prior to March 2, 2020. Priority will be given to small businesses within the communities most impacted by COVID-19, including LGBTQ-, *BIPOC-, and women-owned businesses, as well as businesses located in rural areas.

(BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)

Watch the video below to hear more about Ready for Business

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Meet the Recipients of Ready for Business's First Round of Funding

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 proximity 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.