Access to Capital for Small Businesses

Seattle small businesses face massive historical challenges, such as unprecedented levels of construction, skyrocketing rents, and crime. Businesses owned by communities of color, immigrants and refugees are most likely to be affected negatively by these challenges. Among the most prominent of these barriers is access to capital, which limits the establishment, expansion, and survival of small businesses. In fact, half of Seattle small businesses hold a cash buffer of less than 1 month. Learn how we are addressing these disparities through our pilot funding programs.

Graph showing the median number of cash buffer days among small businesses: 27.

Image source: "Cash is King: Flows, Balances, and Buffer Days" by JP Morgan Chase & Co Institute

OED Capital Programs

Small Business Stabilization Fund Pilot

Two Asian American cafe owners stand behind the counter smiling and flashing "peace signs" with their fingers

Low income microenterprises with five employees or less can apply for grants of up to $25,000.

Learn more

Small Business Tenant Improvement Fund Pilot

A bicycle shop owner stands in her workshop with her tools, smiling.

Low income small business owners can apply for grants of up to $50,000 to cover improvements to their commercial space.

Learn more

Resources from Our Partners

Business Impact Northwest Logo

BINW provides entrepreneurs access to capital and business assistance. As a Preferred Lender for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), BINW can work with businesses towards achieving their lending goals from $2,500 to $250,000. BINW also provides free one-on-one business coaching as well as various workshops, courses, and seminars.

Contact Joe Sky-Tucker at 206-324-4330 x140.



Craft 3 Logo

Craft3 is a non-profit community development financial institution that provides loans to individuals, organizations, and businesses that promote the Craft3 triple bottom line mission and commitment to economic, ecological, and family resilience. The organization offers an array of capital products, including small business start-up, working capital, acquisition and expansion loans, commercial real estate and tenant improvement loans, loans to non-profits providing essential services, land conservation, and energy efficiency loans. They provide a wide variety of term loans ranging in size from $26,000 to $10 million.

Contact Joan Broughton - 888.231.2170 x116.


Mercy Corps Northwest Logo

Mercy Corps Northwest is the U.S. economic development office of Mercy Corps, an international relief and development agency. Mercy Corps Northwest is an SBA Intermediary Microlender. They provide financing to small business owners who may not qualify for traditional loans. Loans range from $500 to $20,000 for startups, and up to $50,000 for existing businesses.

Contact Edwin Rios - 206.547.5212 x103.

Rainier Valley Community Development Fund logo

The RVCDF assists business along the MLK corridor in southeast Seattle. The non-profit organization's loan criteria are not the same as those at traditional lending agencies. They look at factors including character, business capacity, and projected cash flow, as well as the impact a business will have on the Rainier Valley community. They additionally have payment terms and interest rates that are very flexible. Loans range from $50,000 - $2,000,000.

Contact Wayne Lau - 206.722.5280 x101, or Charleete Black - 206.722.5280 x105.