EVERETT, Wash. – The City of Everett, GSBA – Washington’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce – and Comcast Washington are now accepting applications from small businesses throughout the city of Everett that may be seeking financial assistance.
Selected Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-, LGBTQ- and women-owned small businesses will receive $2,500 grants from the Ready for Business Fund. Funding will also focus on providing support to qualifying small businesses located in rural areas of Washington and Snohomish County that have been particularly impacted by economic challenges and a lack of proximity to resources.
Applications are open to eligible small businesses from Monday, March 15 through Friday, April 9, 2021 at theGSBA.org/ready-for-business. All grant applicants will be notified of grant awards the week of April 26.
The grant application is short and easy to complete. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee made up of a diverse group of volunteers from the GSBA and at-large community members. All grant recipients will receive wrap-around services from GSBA, including membership and consulting.
The Ready for Business Fund was expanded to specifically support small businesses in Everett and Snohomish County this year with promotional support by City of Everett, a $50,000 investment from Comcast, and GSBA as the fund and program manager. Grants from the fund are made possible by securing contributions from companies and individuals. As of today, GSBA has received $61,000 in contributions from BECU, T-Mobile, Symetra, Microsoft, Harborstone Credit Union and more.
The Ready for Business Fund was originally established in the summer of 2020 with a $100,000 investment from Comcast and GSBA as the fund and program manager. The fund distributed $2,500 cash grants to more than 60 BIPOC-, LGBTQ-, and women-owned small businesses last year.
Within a month of the Ready for Business Fund application being open last summer, GSBA received nearly 500 applications from local businesses owned by marginalized community members. Business owners who applied to the fund last year reported a devastating impact, including up to 85 percent annual revenue loss, laying off employees, and significant loss of business. The GSBA survey information from previous applicants underscores the economic challenges of 2020 and how the small business community in Washington continues to struggle.
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
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless, security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content and has exclusive content rights. Visit comcastcorporation.com for more information.