OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is offering grants to small agriculture-related businesses in sectors that have suffered economically due to the coronavirus pandemic, but have been left out of earlier relief programs. The WSDA Relief and Recovery grants, funded through a partnership with the Washington State Department of Commerce (Commerce), are intended to assist small businesses in four agriculture sectors, which include:
- Shellfish growers
- Farmers market organizations
- Agritourism farms
- Small breweries, cideries, wineries, and distilleries that depend on tap and tasting room sales
The WSDA grants are a way to bolster the health and diversity of the entire state economy by supporting disproportionately affected and previously underserved agricultural sectors. These four sectors were selected because they did not qualify for other small business and agriculture COVID-19 relief programs. The application period for the WSDA grants will be open for two weeks, beginning as soon as Friday, April 9. Visit agr.wa.gov/grants to learn more about each of the grants and whether your business qualifies. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created economic hardships for many businesses, including many in the food and agriculture industry. Our goal with this grant program is to find a way to help some of these businesses that have had difficulty accessing assistance for their particular operations,” WSDA Director Derek Sandison said. “We truly appreciate the state’s allocation of funding for this effort and our partnership with the Washington State Department of Commerce that has made this possible.” “Commerce is very appreciative of the opportunity to partner with WSDA to support these hard-hit sectors,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “These businesses contribute significantly to our economy, and they also contribute to the cultural vibrancy of our local communities and state.” Businesses who do not qualify for the WSDA grants can visit www.commercegrants.com for information on other assistance available to Washington businesses.