A small business owners cleans the glass in her shop before opening for the day.

Round 4: Recipient FAQs

While the Washington State Department of Commerce is able to provide general guidance around the use of Working Washington Grant: Round 4 program funding, we recommend that business owners speak to a licensed financial advisor or accountant if they have specific questions or concerns around how to legally allocate and spend the funds awarded as part of this or any other state or federal grant program.

AWARD UPDATES

If you received an email notice of award from commercegrants@submittable.com, it is not a scam. Submittable is our portal partner and Payoneer is Commerce’s payment processor. Once you receive your award notification, follow the steps as instructed.

Once you have completed the one-time registration process with Payoneer and provided the requested bank routing information, the one-time payment in the amount of your award will automatically be deposited in your bank account that you registered with within 3 business days. You can call toll-free at +1 800 251 2521 or visit Payoneer’s support page for additional options.

Broken Link: If you are having trouble activating the link, try copying and pasting the entire provided link directly into your website browser (Example would be https://payouts.payoneer.com/partners/lp.aspx?token=3c66660fssddgheglHGs fddff05) . We are working on a fix for this so that you can click on it directly in the email reminder you should be receiving. 

GENERAL

Q: What criteria did Commerce use to assess eligibility and scoring of applications?

A: The pandemic has resulted in lost revenue, increased costs or a combination of both for most businesses. Knowing that there are not enough funds available to help every business that needs it, Commerce assessed applications on the following priority criteria:

  • Program eligibility
  • Complete applications that included required documentation
  • A physical “brick and mortar” business with a permanent location separate from the owner’s residence and where the business serves customers face-to-face.
  • Industries/sectors that were required to close or reduce capacity as a result of safety and public health measures, such as restaurants/bars, nail salons, fitness centers, bowling alleys, breweries and venues.
  • Size of the business (measured by 2019 revenue)
  • Lost revenue between 2019 and 2020 as well as added expenses to maintain safe operations.

Q: Why is there such a variation in grant award amounts?

A: Nearly all Working Washington Grants: Round 4 awards ranged between $2,500 and $30,000. The reason for the range is based on the abovementioned criteria as well as whether or not a business already received a prior Working Washington grant. Per statutory requirement in HB 1368, these awards were required to be adjusted by taking the new total award amount and subtracting the prior amount of Working Washington grants.

Q: This grant requires that the funds be used on expenditures directly or indirectly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. What kind of expenses are eligible?

A: Expenses connected to the COVID-19 pandemic and related national and state declarations, incurred between March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, are eligible to be covered by this grant funding. To be eligible, such expenses must be necessary to continue business operations or to assist in reopening the business.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Upgrading physical work places to adhere to new safety or sanitation standards;
(b) Procuring required personal protective supplies for employees and business patrons and clients;
(c) Updating business plans;
(d) Employee costs including payroll, training, and onboarding;
(e) Rent, lease, mortgage, insurance, and utilities payments; and
(f) Securing inventory, supplies, and services for operations.

Q: What might a grantee be prohibited from spending this grant funding on?

A: Grant funding cannot be used to fill a shortfall in taxes, licenses, state, county, federal or municipal fees, or any other government revenues and obligations. Costs that have been previously reimbursed by other funders, including prior state, federal or private grant programs, are not eligible to be reimbursed by this program’s grant funding. Other ineligible expenses include lobbying, salary increases and bonuses, personal expenses, and alcohol (except in the case of inventory for a bar or restaurant).

Q: Are these grant funds considered taxable income?

A: These grants are not subject to Washington state’s business and occupation (B&O) tax, public utility tax, or retail sales tax. Grants are considered taxable income at this point in time; however, businesses should contact an accountant or tax attorney to be advised on any federal tax obligations.

Q: Does this grant need to be repaid?

A: No, but all taxes associated with the acceptance and use of the cash awards are the sole responsibility of the grantee.

Q: Are there any reporting requirements for how I choose to spend this grant funding?

A: There will be no reporting requirement to the Washington State Department of Commerce (or Submittable) for these grants, and grantees will not be asked to provide any proof of receipts or accounting decisions to the department — except in the case of an audit. State or federal audits are a possibility. It is important that grantees retain records of how this grant funding was allocated for at least six years documenting how this grant funding was allocated.

Q: How can an applicant access their signed Working Washington Grants: Round 4 application?

A: To access one’s signed application via Submittable and view or download as a PDF, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Sign in to your Submittable account: https://manager.submittable.com/login
  2. Click “Submissions” from the navigation bar
  3. Open your submission by clicking the submission number
  4. Navigate to the “Forms” tab and click “download” in the upper right corner

Q: Where is a copy of the certifications in which each applicant attested to when applying to the Working Washington Grants: Round 4 program?

A: You can view and download the certifications here.

 

PAYMENTS

Q: Who is Payoneer and how should I expect to receive my payment?

A: Payoneer is Commerce’s payment processor. Once you receive your award notification, follow the information in the email where you will input your bank account information. As soon as you have completed the one-time registration process with Payoneer, the one-time payment in the amount of your award will automatically be sent to your bank account that you registered with within 3 business days.

Q: Are there any costs to use Payoneer?

A: There are no fees or obligations for Commerce grant awardees to use Payoneer. This is the only service that Commerce is using to distribute payments for the Working Washington Grants: Round 4 program.

Q: Where is my payment?

A: Missing a payment? A few things to take into consideration:

  • Was the payment already issued? If not – please contact our customer support center directly for further clarification.
  • Keep in mind that it takes three business days to issue payments.
  • If the time has passed and you are still missing a payment? Please contact Payoneer customer care to ensure your banking details are correct. Be prepared to provide them with a bank statement or voided check dated less than three months back.

Q: How can I contact Payoneer Support?

A: You can call toll free at +1 800 251 2521 or visit their support page for additional options.