New money for state’s small business grant program

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced there will be millions more in funding for the program that offers COVID-19 relief grants to small businesses in the state.

In downtown Puyallup, Kalynn Ramos owns Misha, a boutique. She was asked how her business is doing as the pandemic is easing for the moment in Pierce County.

“Really well, surprisingly. It’s a lot of working trying to figure out patterns and customers,” she said.

Ramos opened the store just eight months before the coronavirus pandemic hit. “Since COVID hit, that’s a whole new thing that you’ve got to figure out. What do people want right now, and what are people buying?”

These days, that’s comfortable clothing for working at home and aromatic candles to ease quarantine anxiety.

Ramos applied to various state and federal programs for help but never heard back.

“At least everyone I know who owns business or vendors — it doesn’t seem like anyone I ever know has ever gotten or even heard back,” she said.

Today, Inslee announced small businesses will get another chance at the Working Washington Grant program for small businesses.

“Good news is we’re also distributing an additional 15 million dollars to have another round of small-business assistance,” he said.

The state’s Commerce Department reported at least two dozen businesses got grants from the first round.