Submitted by Comcast
Following the success of the Ready for Business Fund in 2020 and 2021, GSBA – Washington’s LGBTQ+ and allied chamber of commerce – and Comcast are renewing the Ready for Business Fund relief effort this year to provide more than $200,000 in grants to eligible small businesses throughout the state. Starting Monday, June 13, small business owners may find more information and apply for Ready for Business Fund grants at the GSBA website.
According to a 2022 survey, almost all small businesses (97%) are concerned about inflation, and rising costs are the most significant threats small businesses currently face. Boosting revenue from online sales has now become the No.1 priority for small businesses. To offer some relief and help small businesses continue to grow and adapt, the Ready for Business Fund will provide $2,500 cash grants to more than 80 small businesses throughout Washington. Emphasis will be placed on small business owners at greater risk, including people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Small businesses located in rural areas of Washington will also be considered.
“Runaway inflation and increased expenses are hitting our small businesses hard in Washington,” said Ilona Lohrey, GSBA Deputy Director. “Providing a cash grant with wrap-around services to promote visibility and support is critical as more small businesses use more digital technology to drive online revenue. $2,500 may not seem like much, but for these small business owners, a microgrant may be what is needed to invest in a website, help build online sales tools, launch a social media effort, or purchase new technology.”
“Small businesses play a critical role in our local economies. They provide jobs and serve our communities throughout Washington. They need our continued support to meet new economic challenges, and we want to help them,” said Diem Ly, Community Impact Director, Comcast Washington. “That is why we believe the Ready for Business Fund is so important. Small businesses across the state need the relief.”
The Ready for Business Fund was founded in the summer of 2020 with a $100,000 investment from Comcast and GSBA as the fund manager. Over the past two years, the fund has distributed $2,500 cash grants to more than 120 small businesses in Washington. The Ready for Business Fund was renewed this year with $75,000 in funding from Comcast and GSBA, reprising its role as the program and fund manager. Grants from the Ready for Business Fund will be made possible by more than $150,000 in additional donations from Pepsi, T-Mobile, US Bank, Meta, and Verity Credit Union and a $100,00 grant from King County.