$250,000 in COVID-19 Grants to Support South Seattle Small Business Owners

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RVCDF Announces $250,000 in COVID-19 Grants to Support Southeast Seattle Small Business Owners

April 29, 2020—Rainier Valley Community Development Fund (RVCDF)—a local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)—has announced $250,000 in COVID-19 grants specifically targeted to southeast Seattle small businesses to address the immediate economic challenges from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase—a leading global financial services firm—will help RVCDF provide liquidity and technical support services to vulnerable small businesses, including those that are minority-owned. Many of these businesses are either unlikely to qualify for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, or need a short-term bridge until SBA funds are available.

With more than 1,000 such businesses in southeast Seattle serving residents from all over the Puget Sound, and research indicating that 50 percent of small businesses have less than 15 cash buffer days, the small business economy could be devastated by the COVID-19 crisis.

“We are all in this together,” said Bob Luciano, RVCDF’s director of community development. “Partnerships such as this one with JPMorgan Chase helps us respond quickly to provide our small, local and family-owned businesses with the emergency funds they need to survive during this crisis.”

Grant funds are intended to support existing businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to address basic operational needs, including:

  • Rent and utilities
  • Supplies and inventory
  • Working capital
  • Business planning and consulting

Eligible businesses:

Are located in southeast Seattle (east of I-5, south of I-90)

  • Are minority-owned (greater than 50% ownership)
  • Have a family income of business owner(s) that falls within the limits for the Area Median Income (AMI) established by HUD (see application for details)
  • Businesses employ 10 or fewer full-time (or FTE) employees
  • Businesses must have a physical storefront (no home-based businesses)
  • Businesses must demonstrate a loss of income due to COVID-19

Please direct any questions about the COVID-19 small business support grant program to Jennifer Crandall at jcrandall@rvcdf.org.

Applications can be downloaded via RVCDF’s website at rvcdf.org and be submitted via email to grants@rvcdf.org no later than 9:00 PM on May 8.

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