The Washington State Department of Commerce announced last week it would allocate $2.6 million to businesses and nonprofits in counties affected by the closure of the U.S./Canada border in Washington.
The Border Business Relief grants will go to 206 businesses and nonprofits in 10 counties, including Okanogan.
“We’ve been fighting for all of our small businesses throughout the pandemic. This special funding for border relief gives communities hurt by the prolonged closure a chance to bounce back,” said Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement.
The Border Business Relief program is part of Commerce’s Working Washington grant program, which has awarded $360 million to more than 25,000 businesses in the state since its creation. Another $50 million in Working Washington grants is scheduled to be available next year.
“The border restrictions have severely challenged communities that are close to the Canadian border crossing, as well as ports that depend on an open border for commerce,” said Washington State Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “This round of Working Washington funding was targeted to help these specific businesses and nonprofits reopen and recover with cross-border visitor traffic still slow.”
Priority was given to businesses located within a 20-mile radius of a Canadian border crossing or port in Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan, Island, Skagit, Whatcom, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.