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Take a look at the sidebar on the right side of this page (or scroll down on your phone). Look for NEWS BY CATEGORY. You can select a category in the pull down menu or in the category cloud. If you’re looking for something more specific, there’s a search box above the cloud. If you still can’t find what you need, scroll up in the sidebar and CONTACT US by phone or email. Of course, you can always request a face-to-face meeting with a mentor. We’re here to help.


Business & Worker Newsletter

What you should know about

Business Grants

April 9 deadline for Working Washington Grants: Round 4

The application portal is still open! This program is administered by the state Department of Commerce and focuses on brick-and-mortar for-profit small businesses, especially those that were required to close due to public health and safety measures. Grant awards will be up to $25,000. Visit commercegrants.com for information. Materials are available in multiple languages and technical assistance teams are ready to help with questions.

WSDA COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Grants for ag-related sectors

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is offering grants to small agriculture-related businesses in sectors that have suffered economically due to the coronavirus pandemic, but have been left out of earlier relief programs.

The WSDA Relief and Recovery grants, funded through a partnership with the state Department of Commerce, are intended to assist small businesses in four agriculture sectors, which include:

  • Shellfish growers
  • Farmers market organizations
  • Agritourism farms
  • Small breweries, cideries, wineries, and distilleries that depend on tap and tasting room sales

The application period for the WSDA grants will be open for two weeks, beginning as soon as Friday, April 9. Visit agr.wa.gov/grants to learn more.

Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program launches this week

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The application portal is scheduled to open Thursday, April 8.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives

More information about eligibility and the application process are available here.


What you should know about…

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 vaccine distribution update

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with their COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts.

As of March 29, more than 3,325,998 doses of vaccine have been given across the state, which is 83% of the 4,006,330 doses that have been delivered to Washington state providers and long-term care programs. Washington is currently averaging 55,894 vaccine doses given each day. This information can be found on the DOH data dashboard under the vaccines tab, which is updated three times per week.

Inslee announces vaccine eligibility expansion to all adults April 15

Gov. Jay Inslee recently announced that effective April 15, all Washingtonians age 16 and up will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. 

Over the past four months since Washington began administering doses of the vaccination, the state has followed a tiered eligibility system, beginning with those most at risk of hospitalization and death.

The governor and the state Department of Health (DOH) have also prioritized equity issues in each phase to ensure vaccine access to populations disproportionately affected by the virus, including communities of color and low-income communities. 

The expansion of eligibility comes, in part, in response to a recent uptick in COVID cases in the state. 

Find more information on the COVID-19 vaccine here

Use the Vaccine Locator tool to register for a vaccination appointment here

For DOH’s COVID-19 Information Hotline, dial 1.800.525.0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.


What you should know about…

Resources for small businesses

Washington Requirements and Resources Webinars

Start a Business in Washington,” is a free, one hour webinar which includes information about business registration and licensing, other regulatory requirements, and resources for further assistance. The webinar is scheduled for April 14 at 2 p.m. Click here for more information and to register online or call 800-917-0043.

Additionally, the free, 90-minute “COVID-19 Impact Webinar” includes the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance and the state departments’ of Employment Security, Labor and Industries, and Revenue. These partners provide an overview of resources, updates, emergency rule changes, and other impacts affecting small businesses to create a new successful path forward. Subject matter experts are available online answering questions throughout the webinar.  The webinar is scheduled for April 22 at 2 p.m. Click here for more information and to register online or call 800-917-0043 and the Spanish webinar is at 9:00 a.m. Click here for more information and to register online or call 360-515-6101.

Keep Your Business Secure in the Pandemic Era

Date:  Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Time:  3 – 4 p.m.
Via: Zoom (link to be provided)
Register Here

Ever wonder if your company’s information is on the dark web? 

Credential hacking, email phishing, the dark web–all are increasing threats to businesses these days. The global pandemic brought business a slew of challenges, not the least of which is fast-changing security issues. With many companies turning to remote ways of working, they’re increasingly relying on virtual activities like email, meetings, and remote access to systems. And each hold a unique set of security risks. This presentation will outline those risks as well as provide tips on how to mitigate them (and some even remove altogether). Continue reading

How can a non-tech savvy small businesses improve its marketing?

by Ken Sethney, Kitsap SCORE

Trying to understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts without access to measurable results means your business is flying blind.

Marketing data gives you the insight you need to make well-informed decisions about your marketing efforts and know how to adopt the right marketing efforts to drive the biggest return on your investment.

Reliable analytics will empower you to make data-driven decisions that improve the effectiveness of your marketing.

Just about every business needs an online presence regardless of what they sell. And, bringing customers and prospects to your website should always be one of your primary marketing goals.

Google Analytics is the website analysis platform most used by businesses to get real- time data for insight into how many people visit their website, who those people are, which products or services they’re most interested in, and much more.

Because of its ability to dig into the weeds of your web traffic, Google Analytics is one of the best tools for determining the effectiveness of your marketing and learning how to improve it. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a technology expert or SEO professional to use the platform.

By familiarizing yourself with how to pull some basic information, you can gain an understanding of how well your website is performing for your business. Even at its most basic level, Google Analytics is a tool that the non-tech savvy business owner can operate and benefit from exploring.

  1. Visitor Volume
    See daily and monthly web visitor volume, monitor trends, watch ebbs and flows during
    your marketing campaigns and compare traffic performance as time passes by.
  2. Average Time on Site
    Track how long visitors stay on your website as well as which pages they view.
  3. Bounce Rate
    Measure how many of your visitors quickly left your website after landing on just one
    page. Visitors who leave quickly likely did not read your content and are not interested.
  4. New vs. Returning Visitors
    Measure the ratio of new vs. returning visitors. This is useful data when measuring the impact of your marketing efforts on prospects vs. existing customers.
  5. Traffic Sources
    Determine where your audience is coming from – from different websites and different
    geographic locations.
  6. Conversions
    Set-up conversion tracking and measure the percentage of your website visitors who make a purchase, fill out a contact form, or take some other desired action.

    There are so many tracking capabilities available to small businesses through Google Analytics and these just scratch the surface. One of the best is its comparison tool that allows you to compare data year-over-year to identify trends. This can be hugely helpful in planning your long-term marketing efforts. Google Analytics has the ability to give you better insight into your web visitors’ behavior so you can use make more strategic marketing decisions.

    Fire up your analytics and start making more strategic, data-driven marketing decisions.

    Even if you’re a non-tech savvy business owner, you can still easily make Google Analytics work for your business with the right support. There are many resources available to help small businesses navigate this tool and make sense of the data. One of those resources is your SCORE mentor.

    For help with starting, growing or successfully exiting your business venture, contact SCORE — Mentors to America’s Small Business. SCORE is a nonprofit organization with more than 11,000 volunteers who provide free, confidential business mentoring and training workshops to small business owners. To contact Kitsap SCORE, email kitsap@scorevolunteer.org or call 360-328-1380.

Working Washington Grants Round 4: March 29th thru April 9th

Working Washington Round 4 offers grant relief funds to small for-profit businesses, especially those that were required to close due to public health and safety measures.
These grants are NOT first-come, first-served, so please do not rush in submitting your application. You will want to make sure all of your documents and application are correct because there are no opportunities to edit or amend applications with this go-around.

Continue reading

Working Washington Grants Open Round 4 Next Week

These grants of up to $25,000 are focused on small businesses, especially those that were required to close due to public health and safety measures.
Priorities for funding are:
  • Businesses with lost revenue as a result of closure.
  • Businesses with added expenses to maintain safe operations.
  • Equitable distribution of grant funds across the state and to businesses owned and operated by historically disadvantaged individuals.
Online applications open March 29.

The Importance of Proofreading

Eats Shoots and Leaves vs. Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

What a difference one comma can make in terms of readability and even meaning.

The above is the title of Lynne Truss’ book about grammar. Like many people, I am on social media, and notice misspellings and typographical errors. I don’t actually correct these errors, as I understand that people often dictate posts and messages into their phones. It does seem to me, though, that proofreading has fallen on hard times. Using my own skills, I attempt to help when appropriate.

Naturally, I proofread my own papers when in school, and even other classmates’ writing occasionally. The first time I remember realizing this is my particular skill is in college. If only I’d been on the college yearbook staff!

In my current nostalgia, brought about by remembering happy times before COVID-19 lockdowns, I’ve revisited college yearbooks and unfortunately noticed many errors. I even took to marking corrections in my old yearbooks. After so many years, it wouldn’t hurt anyone, right? Continue reading

Time is running out! Apply for PPP by Mar 31.

PPP loan borrowers including schedule C filers have until March 31st to submit 1st Draw or 2nd Draw PPP applications unless funds run out or congress extends the deadline.

Contact your local business lender. Visit smallbizhelpwa for additional info. Or call the new PPP Assistance Line 833.562.1078

As a always Jaime Forsyth, MBA , Certified Business Advisor is a great source for assistance WWU Small Business Development Center(360) 447-8788

View the latest SBA webinar presentation slide deck

Business Recovery Assistance in Washington

Your Go-To Resource for Small Business Recovery

Small businesses are the backbone of Washington’s economy and many have been devastated during the pandemic. Many have closed, others are barely hanging on. Small businesses owned by people of color have been particularly impacted. In response, Congress has passed several aid packages and the State of Washington has provided relief, along with many local communities. But resources can be difficult to find, and the applications can be challenging to navigate.

On this website you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions, information on how to find individual technical assistance, how to find a lender, training opportunities and where to find more detailed program information.

Our goal is to help as many Washington small businesses and non-profits as possible access the help they need. 

Click here… https://www.smallbizhelpwa.com