Small Business Stabilization Fund

The City of Seattle is no longer accepting applications for the Small Business Stabilization Fund. Visit this resource page for additional support.

 

The Office of Economic Development is investing an additional $4 million to stabilize micro and small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 by providing cash grants through the Small Business Stabilization Fund. Funded by the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFR) established under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Stabilization Fund will provide $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 grants to be used on operational expenses such as rent, wages, equipment and more.

For this new round, the Small Business Stabilization Fund will support small businesses with up to 50 full-time equivalent employees and accept applications from those who received a Stabilization Fund grant in past rounds. All eligible applicants will need to submit an online application, including past awardees and businesses who previously applied.

To date, the Office of Economic Development awarded over $10 million in direct funding through the Small Business Stabilization Fund to nearly 1,500 small businesses who were impacted by the economic downturn of the pandemic throughout Seattle.

Beginning October 25, people ages 12 and older are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter certain indoor and outdoor events and establishments in King County. To help offset the additional economic impacts this regulation will have on businesses and organizations required to enforce this policy, small businesses and organizations that apply for the Small Business Stabilization Fund and are within the following sectors will be eligible for additional funding of up to $1,000. Businesses will not be required to submit a separate application.

Eligible sectors for this additional funding include: restaurants, performing arts and cultural institutions, nightlife spaces, and extracurricular/recreational indoor activity spaces (such as bowling alleys, gyms, gaming facilities, etc.).

Note: Stabilization Fund grants may only be used for the operating expenses of the awarded businesses, not for capital improvements like new equipment or remodeling current buildings. The operating expenses are defined as the day-to-day trading operations of the business such as rent, employee salaries and other business operations. Vaccine verification grants can cover the direct implementation costs of Public Health – Seattle and King County’s vaccination verification order, which may include equipment necessary for verifying vaccination status. The funds cannot be used on unrelated expenses like security personnel or any construction or real estate activity.

To qualify for the Small Business Stabilization Fund, eligible businesses must:

  • Have been impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions, such as business interruptions or closures incurred because of the pandemic.
  • Have an active City of Seattle Business License.
  • Have filed City Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes and paid taxes in full if owed.
  • Be in compliance with all federal, state and city laws and regulations.
  • Submit one application per business, address, household, Employee Identification Number (EIN), Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number and/or City Business License number.

Location:

  • Be located in Seattle city limits.
  • Have a physical address and operate in Seattle, which will be validated through submitted Business and Occupation (B&O) tax returns. If your business tax returns do not mention a Seattle address, you will be deemed ineligible.
    • Exception: Creative workers, food trucks and Farmers Market vendors. These businesses must currently do business in the City of Seattle and provide their most frequent Seattle address.
  • Have no more than two locations.

Size:

  • Have up to 50 full-time equivalent employees.
  • Be a sole proprietor, C-corporation, S-corporation, cooperative, limited liability company, partnership or limited partnership, with an annual net revenue of up to two million dollars ($2,000,000), but at least one thousand dollars ($1,000).
    • Seattle’s Finance and Administrative Services department will determine this loss through reported revenue in the business' 2019 and 2020 Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes.

Operations:

  • Be currently open and active for business.
  • Began operating prior to October 19, 2019.
  • Be an independently owned, non-franchise and non-chain business.

Revenue loss:

  • Have an annual net loss totaling or exceeding the grant amount applied for according to City Business and Occupation (B&O) data.

Additional criteria for nonprofit entities:

  • Be a performing arts, cultural institution or business technical assistance nonprofit organization.
  • Have active nonprofit status with Washington Secretary of State.

Businesses NOT eligible to apply for the Small Business Stabilization Fund include:

  • Businesses located in unincorporated King County.
  • The following 1099 independent contractors:
    • Short- or long-term rental owners or investment property (including Airbnb, Vrbo, etc.).
    • Personal real estate (independent realtors).
    • Ride shares, taxis, food delivery service and car services (such as Uber, Lyft, Yellow Cab, Door Dash, Uber Eats, etc.).
  • 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19) nonprofit entities, except performing arts, cultural institutions and business technical assistance nonprofit organizations.

Small businesses interested in applying for the Small Business Stabilization Fund will need to comply with City Business License and Business and Occupation (B&O) tax requirements to be eligible for the grant. Eligible applicants will need the following documentation to submit their application:

  • Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number (nine digits).
    • Businesses will receive a Unified Business Identifier number when they apply for their Washington state Business License. This can be done through the Department of Revenue online or by mail. Applicants can search for their Unified Business Identifier number online at dor.wa.gov/businesses.
  • City Business License number (six digits).
    • Anyone doing business in Seattle must have a Seattle Business License tax certificate, also known as a City Business License number, City Customer number or general business license. Business owners must renew this certificate each year by Dec. 31.
    • This City Business License number is separate from the Washington state business license. If businesses cannot find their number on the City Business License Find a Business search tool, they may only have a Washington state license. See below for images of what each license looks like for reference.
    • Businesses can apply for a City Business License and renew online at filelocal-wa.gov or by mail.
  • Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes.
    • Every business must file and report to the city, even if there was no activity or do not owe any tax. The Seattle business tax is not the same as the Washington state business tax; businesses must file Seattle taxes separately from state taxes.
    • Businesses do not owe general Business and Occupation (B&O) tax if their annual taxable gross revenue is less than $100,000, but businesses still need to file.
    • Businesses can file and report online at filelocal-wa.gov or by mail. For additional questions about these taxes, businesses can reach out to Seattle Finance at tax@seattle.gov.

The Office of Economic Development provides technical assistance, language access services, disability accommodations, materials in alternate formats and accessibility information to support eligible applicants in completing this application. Businesses can access support by calling (206) 684-8090 or emailing oed@seattle.gov.

The application is available in eight languages. Bilingual assistance is available in Amharic, Chinese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. To request translation or interpretation services, businesses can call (206) 684-8090 and note the following information in their voicemail: name, phone number, preferred language and the type of support needed. A staff member will return your call as soon as possible.

All applications must be submitted through the online application portal by the application deadline. Emailed or mailed applications will not be considered. If you do not have access to a computer or reliable internet, please contact Office of Economic Development three business days before applications close for a staff member to assist you. You can also visit any Seattle Public Library branch location for computer and internet access.

The Small Business Development Team hosted a virtual information session on how to apply for the Stabilization Fund on October 21 at 2 p.m.

Missed the Stabilization Fund Round Six Information Session? You can watch the recording of the online information session and view the presentation slide deck (also available in Amharic, Chinese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese).

For accommodations, accessibility information or interpretation questions, please contact the Seattle Office of Economic Development at (206) 684-8090 or oed@seattle.gov.

  • October 19, 2021: The Small Business Stabilization Fund opens for new applications.
  • November 9, 2021: Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • November 10, 2021-January 31, 2022: Review applications and process grants; applicants may be contacted during this time.
  • January 31, 2022: All applicants will be notified of their status by this date.

After the Small Business Stabilization Fund closes, the Office of Economic Development will begin reviewing applications and selecting grantees on November 10, 2021. All applicants will be notified of their status by January 31, 2022.

Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet minimum eligibility requirements upon initial review will be deemed ineligible and eliminated from further consideration. Office of Economic Development staff members may contact you to verify your City Business License and Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes compliance. At this time, you will have 48 hours to confirm compliance to be considered for funding.

Note: Small Business Stabilization Fund staff may contact applicants via phone with an area code of 206 or email ending in @seattle.gov. Businesses can verify the identity of the staff by calling our office at (206) 684-8090 or visiting our team directory page on our website.

The Seattle Office of Economic Development is committed to building an equitable and inclusive economy that benefits the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities. The Small Business Development Team helps small business owners stabilize and grow through direct investment strategies such as the Small Business Stabilization Fund, technical assistance programs, and by connecting them to additional resources.

Questions? For additional questions, please contact Office of Economic Development at (206) 684-8090 or oed@seattle.gov.

 

Review Past Small Business Stabilization Fund Awardees