NW Washington
Disaster Grant

Program Overview

In partnership with FORWARD, the Washington State Department of Commerce is awarding and distributing individual grants to eligible businesses (including non-profits) in Northwest Washington that have sustained physical damage or economic loss due to the flooding that occurred between October 2021 and April 2022. 

Counties and Tribes included

  • Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe and Quileute Tribe
  • Clallam, Skagit and Whatcom Counties

Grant awards must be used for the following: payroll, utilities and rent, marketing and advertising, building improvements or repairs, replacing damaged inventory and equipment, and other operations and business expenses.

Limited to one application per business owner.

NEED SUPPORT?

If you need help with this online application, please email us at WAdisaster-support@livestories.zendesk.com or call us at 1-855-582-3973.

If you need additional support or have specific questions on how this grant may impact your business, please feel free to reach out to one of
our local community partners.

  • Phone: 360-650-7232
  • Email: SBDC@wwu.edu
  • Address: 1932 E College Way, Suite BMount Vernon, WA, 98273
  • Phone: 360-336-6114
  • Email: office@skagit.org 
  • Address: 338 W First St, Suite 105, Port Angeles, WA 98362
  • Phone: 360-457-7793
  • Email: info@clallam.org

Eligibility Requirements

Businesses must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Are an active for-profit or non-profit business (identified by UBI).
  • You must have a business license with State of Washington (which generates a UBI) if your business meets any of the following criteria. Click here for more information. 
    • Your business requires city and state endorsements.
    • You are doing business using a name other than your full name legal name.
    • You plan to hire employees within the next 90 days.
    • You sell a product or provide a service that requires the collection of sales tax.
    • Your gross income is $12,000 per year or more.
    • Your business is required to pay taxes or fees to the Department of Revenue.
    • You are a buyer or processor of specialty wood products.
  • Are an active for-profit or non-profit business (identified by EIN/ITIN/SSN). If a tribal business, individuals can use their Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to apply.
  • A Unique Entity ID is the official identifier for doing business with the U.S. Government as of April 4th, 2022 (formally DUNS number).
  • A UEI number OR attestation that an application is in process must be provided to APPLY for this program. A UEI can be obtained through SAM.gov. Detailed instructions listed below. 
  • A UEI number must be provided to receive award payment after application is reviewed and approved. 
  • Tribal Businesses please see Tribal Business Documents
  • Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe and Quileute Tribe
  • Clallam, Skagit and Whatcom Counties
  • Businesses must attest (subject to penalty of perjury) to a reduction in business income or activity as a result of the Northwest Washington flooding that occurred between Oct 2021 and April 2022. Reduction in business income and activity will be captured during the application process. The only financial document that needs to be uploaded is businesses 2021 Tax Return described below. 
  • The applicant must selfattest that they are not going to use this funding to pay for any other costs already covered by a different government or privately funded grant or loan. This is also known as “doubledipping”, which is prohibited by the federal government.

Required Documents

Businesses must submit the following documentation:

  • Proof of UEI or attest to a UEI application in process
    • At time of application either a UEI number or attestation that a UEI application is in process must be submitted.
    • After application is reviewed and approved applicant will have 75 days from application submission date to provide an active UEI number with signed award agreement. 
    • Tribal Businesses please see Tribal Business Documentation
  • Proof of operation in geographic area
    • Examples: current lease; utility bill; current business bank statement; current business mortgage statement; business credit card statement; professional insurance bill; etc.
  • Present a demonstrated reduction in business income or activity as a result of the northwest Washington flooding that occurred between Oct 2021 and April 2022. Businesses must attest (subject to penalty of perjury) to a reduction in business income or activity as a result of the Northwest Washington flooding that occurred between Oct 2021 and April 2022. Reduction in business income and activity will be captured during the application process. The only financial document that needs to be uploaded is businesses 2021 Tax Return.
  • Completed W9. Form found here.

You can store documents in your profile so that you can easily find them to include in your applications. These file formats are supported: .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .xls, and .xlsx

Tribal Business Documents

  • Any tribal member business that operates OFF tribal land within Whatcom, Skagit or Clallam county must submit all required documentation stated above
  • If your business falls within this category you will complete the (Tribal Businesses ONLY) NW Washington Disaster Grant application when you log in.
  • Any tribal member business that operates on tribal land that HAS a UBI and EIN needs to submit all documentation stated above.
  • If your business falls within this category you will complete the (Tribal Businesses ONLY) NW Washington Disaster Grant application when you log in.
  • If your business operates on tribal land and DOES NOT have a UBI and EIN you will be required to submit alternative business validation such as a license or registration with a federally recognized tribal nation in Washington state. You will not be required to submit a UEI or 2021 Tax Returns.
  • If your business falls within this category you will complete the (Tribal Businesses ONLY) NW Washington Disaster Grant application when you log in.
  • Businesses who fall into the category are required to upload:
    • Business Validation Document (license or registration with a federally recognized tribal nation in Washington State).
    • Completed W9. Form found here.
    • Proof of Address
      • Examples: current lease; utility bill; current business bank statement; current business mortgage statement; business credit card statement; professional insurance bill; etc.

How to Obtain a UEI

The federal government recently changed its requirements for businesses and organizations receiving federal funds in the form of grants. As of April 2022, recipients of grants using federal funds are required to have a UEI number issued by the federal government through SAM.gov. 

  • To obtain a UEI or look up an existing UEI click HERE
  • TIP: This VIDEO shows you how to get your Unique Entity ID without needing to complete an entity registration on SAM.gov. This may speed up your timeline to receive a UEI. 
    • For more info on this topic click HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions

FORWARD has extensive experience administering grant programs across the nation and can process applications at scale, prevent fraud, securely process payments, and provide reporting that meets Treasury requirements.

General

  • This program focuses on NW Washington and only includes Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, Quileute Tribe, Clallam County, Skagit County, and Whatcom County.
  • The Washington State legislature approved $10 million for the program to be distributed proportionally to the impacted areas.
  • The application portal will open on January 4th, 2023 and run until all funds are exhausted. Applications will be collected, reviewed and paid as they are received. The portal will close when total funding for this program is exhausted. All applications received within the first 3 weeks of portal opening will experience a 3-week review period to ensure equitable distribution and maximum impact of funds. 
  • We encourage all applicants to apply as soon as possible once the portal opens to ensure consideration for grant awards. Application review and award will occur after each application is received. Once all funds are exhausted the portal will close. All applications received within the first 3 weeks of portal opening will experience a 3-week review period to ensure equitable distribution and maximum impact of funds. 
  • All successful applicants will receive an award agreement after application has been approved to sign and enter UEI number. A valid UEI number must be entered to receive payment. 
  • An award agreement will be sent to each applicant after their application is approved. The award agreement is a signed agreement between applicant and the Washington Department of Commerce that funds will be used as the program intended them to be used. 
  • If you didn’t experience physical flood damage you are still eligible for this grant if you have experienced any loss of income or business activity caused by the flooding that occurred between Oct 2021 and April 2022. 
  • To ensure equitable distribution, FORWARD and Commerce will prioritize businesses operating in the distressed area and consideration may be given to businesses owned by someone from a historically disadvantaged or underserved populations.
  • The applicant must selfattest that they are not going to use this funding to pay for any other costs already covered by a different government or privately funded grant or loan. This is also known as “doubledipping”, which is prohibited by the federal government.
  • Only one application per UBI number is allowed. If you own more than one business, please follow these directions to apply for additional businesses. Adding businesses to FORWARD account
  • For the purposes of this program, farms ARE NOT considered a home-based business. 
  • You may submit your 2020 tax returns, however you must provide an explanation during the document upload process why you do not have 2021 Tax Returns. 
  • Any business operating within a home dwelling. This does not include businesses operating out of separate permeant structures located on the same property as a home dwelling. Farms are not considered a home-based business. In home daycares and home care businesses are home based businesses however they DO qualify for the grant. All other home based business do not qualify for the grant. 

Applying

  • Any qualified active for-profit or non-profit business (identified by UBI and EIN/ITIN/SSN) whose business income and activity were negatively impacted by the flooding that occurred in Northwest Washington between Oct 2021 and April 2022. Applicants must meet the (above) eligibility requirements to receive grant. Tribal member-owned businesses operating within a Tribal Nation without a UBI, or EIN/ITIN/SSN may provide alternative business validation such as a license or registration with a federally recognized tribal nation in Washington state
    • The following businesses do not qualify:
      • Short term vacation rentals (VRBO, Airbnb, etc.) 
      • Multinational corporations
      • Public Schools (Pre-K, K-12 and higher education)
      • Private Schools
      • Public Libraries
      • Licensed marijuana/cannabis operation (this does not include CBD retailers)
      • Drivers of shared ride companies e.g., Lyft or Uber (independent taxi and limo ARE eligible)
      • Third-party delivery drivers e.g., Amazon or Door Dash
      • Home-based businesses (except daycare/homecare)
      • Government entities or elected official offices
      • Passive business, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns (except long term rental businesses, long term rental businesses do qualify)
      • Financial business primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance company and factoring company
      • Businesses that have permanently closed in 2022
      • Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature (such as rent-to-own businesses and check
      • cashing businesses)
      • Businesses of a prurient sexual nature (“adult” businesses)
      • Speculative businesses
      • Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities
      • Businesses without a physical location in Washington state
  • All businesses will complete the NW Washington Disaster Grant application, EXCEPT tribal businesses located on tribal lands will need to complete (Tribal Businesses ONLY) NW Washington Disaster Grant 
  • A UBI number is a nine-digit number that registers you with several state agencies and allows you to do business in Washington State. A state issued UBI number is sometimes called a tax registration number, a business registration number, or a business license number. You are required to enter a UBI number unless you are a tribal-member-owned business operating on a reservation and licensed or registered with a federally recognized tribe in Washington State. 
  • An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. Like a Social Security number, the EIN is nine digits long and assigned by the federal government. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers who must file various business tax returns. 
  • Yes. You will receive an email confirmation from the forward-support@livestories.com once your application is received. Check your spam/junk folder if you are still waiting to receive an email shortly after submitting your application.
  • We ask that all answers be in English. Please consider using a translation tool (like Google Translate) to help translate the response into English before submitting the final application.
  • FORWARD is a Washington state technology company that powers the application portal. FORWARD offers application services for programs such as this nationwide. Washington Department of Commerce has partnered with FORWARD to manage the application process and distribute awards.
  • If your application is approved, you will receive an award agreement. You are required to enter a valid UEI number when signing and completing your award agreement. 
  • Each application is reviewed soon after submission. Each application will be reviewed to ensure applicant meets eligibility requirements and scored based on equal and fair distribution parameters to determine award amount. 
  • We encourage all eligible businesses to apply as soon as possible to ensure consideration for grant funding. The portal will stay open until all funds are exhausted. 
  • Yes. However, your profile has already been created and any information previously included in your profile will carry over. If you need to update your profile, you can. Any relevant documents previously uploaded will be used or need to be updated. 
  • Yes, this application is mobile friendly.
  • Yes, however you may need to re-answer some questions as they may not save. 
  • Businesses must attest (subject to penalty of perjury) to a reduction in business income or activity as a result of the Northwest Washington flooding that occurred between Oct 2021 and April 2022. Reduction in business income and activity will be captured during the application process through a series of questions. The only financial document that needs to be uploaded is businesses 2021 Tax Return described below. 
  • You may still qualify for the grant, so we encourage you to apply. The amount of funding you have already received will impact your grant fund award amount. 
  • If you have more than one company under a parent company, you can submit one application. Only one application is allowed per parent company. 

Grant Awards

  • Award amounts based on multiple factors such as essential business, property ownership, low-income census tract and degree of damage to ensure fair and equitable distribution. 
  • FORWARD will email you to request additional information if you are awarded a grant. You will need to provide a completed and signed ACH form that includes your bank account and routing number. You will also need to acknowledge the amount of funding and that you agree to be bound by the terms outlined in the application.
  • Generally, yes, this would be considered taxable income. All awardees will receive a 1099 at the end of the tax year. However, qualifying grants are not subject to state business and occupation (B&O) tax, public utility tax, or retail sales tax (per HB 1095(https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1095&Year=2021&Initiative=false) which exempts the receipt of “qualifying grant” funds from certain taxes).
  • No. These grants do not need to be repaid. However, all taxes associated with the acceptance and/or uses of cash awarded are the sole responsibility of the individual grantee. Please contact your financial advisor or the Department of Revenue for questions related to your own
    situation.
  • Approved applicants will receive payment within 90 days of application submission. Payments can be received as a direct deposit or mailed check. 
  • Payroll, utilities and rent, marketing and advertising, building improvements or repairs, replacing damaged inventory and equipment, and other operations and business expenses.

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

3 Videos

Program Partners

The Washington Department of Commerce and FORWARD are partnering with the following local community organizations to help you apply to the NW Washington Disaster Grant. Connect with any of our partners below to receive assistance: 

Port of Bellingham
(360) 676-2500
1801 Roeder Avenue Bellingham, WA 98225

WWU SBDC - Whatcom
(360) 650-7232
SBDC@wwu.edu
2219 Rimland Drive, STE 319 Bellingham, WA 98226

Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County
(360) 336-6114
Office@skagit.org
1932 E College Way, Suite B Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Clallam County Economic Development Council
(360)-457-7793
info@clallam.org
338 W First St, Suite 105, Port Angeles, WA 98362

Lummi Nation_Treaty of 1855 logo

Lummi Indian Business Council
(360)-312-2000
BusinessLicense@lummi-nsn.gov
Office of Economic Policy 2665 Kwina Rd. Bellingham, WA 98226

FORWARD is administering the NW Washington Disaster Grant on behalf of the Washington State Department of Commerce. 

ABOUT FORWARD
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