COVID-19 Grants and Business Resources

The Port of Columbia continues to facilitate grant programs for Columbia County businesses that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working Washington 4.0 Small Business Grant Program

The Washington State Department of Commerce sent out a press release today announcing the new Working Washington 4.0 small business grant program. The application portal will be open for 12 days starting Monday, March 29 and closing Friday, April 9th. Applications will be handled by the Department of Commerce through an online portal.
Port staff will be available to help answer questions regarding eligibility, the grant process, information needed for the application form, etc. Please call Melody at 509-382-2577 or email her at for assistance. We have a direct line to the Department of Commerce that we can use to seek answers to your questions.
Grant Summary
  • Link to grant application portal:
  • The application portal opens Monday, March 29th, and closes Friday, April 9th.
  • Applications can be saved and edited in the online portal until you officially submit it.
  • Working Washington 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 grant dollars received by your business will be subtracted from this grant award.
  • Information will be asked regarding PPP and EIDL loan receipts, but these funds will not be subtracted from the grant award. It is for informational purposes only.
  • You must know your UBI number, the NAICS code for your industry, and have 2019 and 2020 revenue numbers.
  • Award funds have to be distributed by the end of June, 2021, and they are hoping to have them out by the end of May.
  • Find eligibility info here
Award priority will be given in this order:
  • Industries that had to close as a result of safety and public health measures.
  • Size of the business (measured by 2019 revenue).
  • Lost revenue between 2019 and 2020 as well as added expenses to maintain safe operations
A Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal will open on April 8th. This grant program will be targeted to live venue operators and promoters, theatrical producers, performing arts organization operators, motion picture theater operators, museum operators and talent representatives who were impacted by COVID-19. Qualifying applicants who applied for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, can also apply for this grant, with the eligible award being reduced by the amount of the PPP loan.


Special PPP Funding Window for Small Businesses

The federal government announced a special 14-day window open strictly for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees to apply for the new round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This exclusive application period starts February 24, 2021 at 9 am Eastern time. There have also been changes made to the program to allow sole proprietors and independent contractors to receive more financial support. Remember – the portion of the PPP loan funding used to pay for staff, rent, and utilities can be forgiven (turned into grant funds) as long as the program requirements are followed.
Improvements have already been made to the program as shown by a nearly 60% increase in funding going to small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, and an increase of 30% of funding going to rural communities. If you need assistance, now’s the time to apply.
Contact your local bank to start the application process.

Other Resources:


  • Working Washington 4.0 small business grant program go to WA State Dept of Commerce for more information.  Click for the link to grant application portal and eligibility info is here.
  • For specific information for both businesses and workers go to Washington State Coronavirus Response (COVID-19)
  • Unemployment Information: Not only can laid off employees apply, but so can self-employed business
    owners. You can apply online and as of now it should go through without an issue, however if it isn’t
    working or it shows you as denied, call again! Persistence will be important as these programs sort
    themselves out. Apply here: ESD link.
  • If you have 150 or fewer employees and one of your employees takes approved Paid Family and Medical Leave, you may be eligible for a grant.  Click for more information.
  • The Governor’s Office has a COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers impacted, as well as guidelines organized by business sector.
  • Washington State Department of Revenue is offering tax collection relief information.
  • WA State Department of Financial Institutions has a page dedicated to financial resources for
    Washington residents impacted by COVID-19.
  • Washington Retail Association has a dedicated COVID-19 resource page that includes information for
    employers and retailers.
  • Washington State Department of Commerce has StartUp Washington, a page dedicated to resources for small businesses
    impacted by COVID-19.
  • Washington State Small Business Guidance, has a dedicated resource page for small
    businesses that have been effected by COVID-19.
  • Washington State Arts Commission has provided an entire page of resources for those running small
    businesses all the way to self-employed artists and Washington State residents.
  • Washington State Department of Agriculture offers COVID-19 resources to those in the
    agricultural field.
  • The Secretary of State website contains a multitude of useful information and aid in relation to COVID-19.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers information for veterans affected during this time due to
  • The Emergency Management Division of the State of Washington has a Business Re-entry Program for
    businesses that need to access an area that has been declared a disaster. This is a voluntary program
    that allows a business to sign up or register to be listed on a state database that can then be accessed
    by local emergency management organizations making decision on granting access to impacted areas.
    Visit Washington State Emergency Management Division website for detailed information and to


Columbia County Public Health is providing free masks to anyone who asks for them via either a
phone call or a walk-in. Additionally, they have provided several links to some great information and
resources on COVID-19 in our community and beyond:

Help for Individuals:

  • Project Timothy provides assistance with rent, utilities, and food. Do not hesitate
    to call and ask for help and share with anyone you know who may need help right now. The number is 509-382-2943.
  • Columbia County Food Bank: Drive thru pick up at the old AgLink building at 207 N 3rd St, Tuesdays from 2 – 4 pm.
  • Housing & Utility Relief in the Walla Walla Valley info PDF


  • IDEAS FOR MAIN STREET: Dayton is part of the Main Street America/Main Street Forward which shared these resources for business owners.
  • The Institute for Sustainable Development shared this document with resources for
    businesses and for those of us trying to help our communities.
  • JOURNALIST RHONDA ABRAMS offers 10 a.m. daily (M-F) live small business updates on her Facebook

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