Submitted by Comcast
The Ready for Business Fund – a relief program launched by GSBA, Washington State’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce, and Comcast, will begin distributing $2,500 cash grants this week to 66 small businesses throughout Washington. Grant recipients in Pierce County include:
|Business Name||Type of Business||Location|
|Blue Cactus Press||Publishing/Media/Press||Tacoma|
|The Barber Lounge||Health & Beauty||Fife|
|Compass Acupuncture Tacoma||Health & Beauty||Tacoma|
|Family 1st Counseling Services, PLLC||Counseling||Tacoma|
|Taste of Peru||Restaurant/Catering||Gig Harbor|
|Savi PLLC, DBA NW Relationships||Medical||Tacoma|
|Pink Moon Farm||Farming||Eatonville|
|Fabulous Nails Spa||Health & Beauty||Tacoma|
Originally launched in 2020, the Ready for Business Fund was expanded to support small businesses statewide this year with a $100,000 investment from Comcast and GSBA continuing its role as the fund and program manager. The Ready for Business Fund was created to support small businesses in Washington, especially those owned by LGBTQ people, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and women, who are at greater risk in today’s uncertain economy.
In addition to supporting small businesses that are owned by diverse entrepreneurs, this year’s statewide expansion also focused on providing support for qualifying small businesses located in rural areas of Washington who have been particularly impacted by the pandemic and lack of proximity to resources.
Grants from the fund were made possible by securing additional contributions from companies and individuals. Including Comcast’s investment, GSBA has received $200,000 in contributions from T-Mobile, BECU, DoorDash, 1st Security Bank, Harborstone Credit Union, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle Foundation, Symetra, Verity Credit Union and other generous community members. These funds will now support small business owners across all industries, such as local restaurants, bookstores, bistros, shops and stores – all which are an important part of the social fabric in our communities.
“Over half of Washington’s workforce is employed by small businesses, and we know that especially within marginalized communities, these businesses serve as important gathering spaces,” said Ilona Lohrey, GSBA VP of Membership & Programs. “For example, Washington’s gay bars have served as safe-havens for the LGBTQ community for decades. Immigrant-owned businesses often serve as little slices of their own countries of origin, where employees and patrons often speak their native languages, can come together in community, and share histories. These small businesses are not only a critical part of Washington’s economy, but essential components of the American experience. When these businesses are forced to close because of this pandemic, it hurts all of us. That’s why the Ready for Business Fund exists.”
GSBA assembled a selection committee consisting of diverse community and business leaders to evaluate the applications received. Notifications to grant applicants about the status of their application have begun and awards will be delivered beginning this week. All grant recipients will also receive wrap-around services, including GSBA membership and consulting services.
“GSBA is a fantastic partner that is absolutely dedicated to supporting our small business communities and neighborhoods throughout Washington and it was an honor to work with their team again this year to expand the fund to applicants throughout the state,” said Diem Ly, Community Impact Director, Comcast Washington. Our participation in the Ready for Business Fund compliments additional efforts, like Comcast RISE, which seek to strengthen and empower small businesses hard hit by the economic downturn.”
More information is available at theGSBA.org/ready-for-business.
Established in 1981, GSBA is Washington State’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce and is the largest of its kind in North America. The chamber represents over 1,400 small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share the values of promoting diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace. GSBA proudly serves as a connector across the region, bringing communities together through business while advocating for civil rights and small business. GSBA also promotes LGBTQ tourism through Travel Out Seattle, advocates for small businesses in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood through the Capitol Hill Business Alliance (CHBA) and invests in the next generation of LGBTQ and allied leaders through the GSBA Scholarship & Education Fund.
About Comcast Corporation
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