As small business owners continue to grapple with the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercy Corps Northwest has partnered with Clark County and the City of Vancouver to distribute grants to entrepreneurs facing financial hardship through a new small business relief grant program.
Applications for grants between $2,500 to $10,000 will be accepted on Mercy Corps Northwest’s website; the deadline to apply has been extended to September 25, 2020. Eligible businesses are those with low to moderate income that have five or fewer employees. The program encourages minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses to apply. Visit the website to apply or see a full list of grant requirements. Mercy Corps Northwest plans to distribute the grants before the end of October.
“Mercy Corps Northwest has a long history supporting underserved business owners. We’re excited for an opportunity to partner with them to efficiently distribute funds into the hands of community members who need extra help right now,” says Samantha Whitley, program coordinator with Clark County Community Services.
Funding for the grants was approved by the city and county councils and is provided through their Community Development Block Grant programs and the U.S. Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund through the Washington State Department of Commerce.
“The City of Vancouver is pleased to partner with Clark County and Mercy Corps so that businesses can access a one-stop location at Mercy Corps for assistance,” says Teresa Brum, economic development manager for the City of Vancouver.
“With the help of the City of Vancouver and Clark County, we are able to provide a lifeline to struggling entrepreneurs,” says Edwin A. Rios, Mercy Corps Northwest’s Washington program manager. “These grants will enable business owners to pay themselves and their employees, provide for their families, and keep up with bills and other operational costs.”
In addition to grants, Mercy Corps Northwest will also give small businesses access to online business courses that cover topics ranging from marketing and adapting business practices during the pandemic to building credit and mentorship opportunities through MicroMentor.
To find out more about the City of Vancouver’s business assistance programs, the City of Vancouver Covid-19 Business and Worker Assistance online. For business and employer resources, visit the county’s COVID-19 website.