Financial Opportunities

Growing your Business

Whether you are a startup, second-stage, family or legacy business, there are state and local options available for business loans, grants and business programs available to keep your business growing. Regional cluster grants, accelerator programs and other grants offered through the Washington State Department of Commerce may also be an option when available.

Washington State Department of Commerce

NextCycle Washington Renew Seed Grant

NextCycle Washington Renew Seed Grant
Grant Applications are open Sept. 21 through Nov. 16, 2022

NextCycle Washington will open the application period for the Renew Seed Grant Program on September 21. The grant program is designed to provide funding and technical assistance for early-stage projects focused on material waste prevention, reuse, repair, recovery, recycling, and composting that will help grow Washington state’s circular economy. Selected projects will receive grants up to $10,000 each to reimburse project expenses.

Who should attend? Entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, established corporations, social enterprises, community-based organizations, nonprofits, trade organizations, tribal governments and organizations, universities, research teams, or a collaboration of entities. Out-of-state organizations are eligible, but the proposed project or venture must be located in and directly address the circular economy in the state of Washington.

The application period is Sept. 21 to Nov. 16, 2022. The program is aiming to select over 35 projects to receive support. There are no application or participation fees and no equity exchange to participate.

The Department of Commerce provides a listing of open grants, loans and RFPs for businesses to access easily from this site. The lists are updated so check back often for new opportunities.

Also check the Small Business Flex Fund, which is a simple, low-interest loan. The Flex Fund offers flexible working capital in form of low-interest loans up to $150,000. Low-interest rates with 60-72-month payment terms. No fees and interest-only payment for the first year. Funds can be used for payroll, utilities, rent, marketing and advertising, supplies, building improvements or repairs or other qualifying business expenses. Visit the page for the qualifications.

Washington Economic Development Authority (WEDFA)

The Washington Economic Development Finance Authority (WEDFA) takes advantage of a special kind of federal income tax incentive, which allows it to pass on some of the benefits of state governmental financing to private enterprise and (in some cases) local governments. If your organization falls within any of the following categories, you should consider WEDFA as a possible financing source for your organization’s capital:

  • Manufacturing
  • Processing
  • Production of alternate energy
  • Waste
  • Disposal
  • Recycling
  • Water or sewage treatment
  • 501(c)(3) non-profit
  • Governmental

MyStartUp365

This Washington State Department of Commerce website offers a host of no-cost resources for small businesses. Small businesses are the primary driver of communities throughout Washington state. Finding the right resources to launch, grow and optimize your businesses can be challenging. This site offers various academies for starting, growing and rebuilding a business along with an academy for selling online. These are self-paced learning tools for busy business owners.

There is also a multitude of low or no-cost programs for business owners including a ScaleUp program to improve your overall business acumen, the Retirement Marketplace offers a simple way to provide a retirement plan as an employee benefit (great for recruitment and retention), and the Thrive! program for high-growth, second-stage companies that want to accelerate their growth even further.

Exporting Assistance for Washington Business

Washington State is one of the country’s most successful exporting states. The Department of Commerce offers businesses assistance for exporting contacts, advocacy, business matchmaking, risk mitigation and market research. The Export team at Commerce can also assist with consulting and travel. Qualifying companies who are new to exports or entering new markets can get up to $100,000 to offset expenses. Funded in part by the SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), the vouchers can be used to defray trade show or trade mission fees, airfare, interpreter and translation services, export training programs and more. Find more information about exporting assistance here.