OLYMPIA — The state Department of Commerce has announced $100 million dollars is available for grants to hospitality and lodging businesses that suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The application portal opens Tuesday, March 14 and Commerce will host an informational webinar about the grants and the application process on Monday, March 13.
The grants are funded through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which was part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
“The hospitality and lodging industry is an essential part of our economy and these grants will help affected businesses across the state recover from public health concerns that disrupted their operations for the last three years,” said Chris Green, assistant director of Commerce’s Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness.
The grants are open only to:
• Restaurants; food stands, trucks and carts
• Caterers, bars, saloons, lounges, and taverns
• Snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars
• Licensed alcohol producers where the public may taste, sample or purchase products
• Hotels and motels (except casinos), and inns and bed and breakfast establishments that have a least five private lodging rooms or onsite sales of food and beverage that account for at least 25 percent of gross receipts or sales
• Bakeries, brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, breweries, microbreweries, wineries and distilleries are also eligible to apply if onsite sales to the public comprise at least 25 percent of gross receipts or sales.
• Bowling alleys and convention and visitors bureaus will also be considered for a grant, depending on the availability of funds.
Additional qualifications include:
• Eligible business must have experienced a 25 percent or greater loss in gross receipts or sales between 2019 and 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health and safety measures.
• Eligible businesses must generate minimum gross receipts or sales of $12,000 in 2019 (or 2020, if the business opened that year); generate at least 51 percent of revenue in the state, have not permanently closed or intend to close in 2023.
• Eligible businesses must have expenses that are necessary to continue business operations, such as payroll and rent.
The grants are targeted primarily for small businesses with $5 million or less in annual gross receipts or sales within designated NAICS codes.
$15 million has been set aside expressly to reimburse qualifying lodging establishments that experienced economic losses during the state’s eviction moratorium under the governor’s proclamations.