We deliver programs quickly, securely, and equitably
From outreach to financial management and program administration, FORWARD helps you connect with and support businesses that need your help.
Small business assistance programs
Many small businesses, microenterprises, and small nonprofits have difficulty applying to assistance programs because of complex documentation requirements or language and technological barriers. As a result, the most vulnerable businesses, oftentimes minority-owned, are left without resources.
- FORWARD distributed $11.5M to support relief and recovery across several Long Beach, CA industries that were impacted by COVID: Personal Services and Fitness Relief; Restaurant, Brewery and Bar Relief; Non Profit Relief; and General Business Relief.
- FORWARD distributed $1.5M to over 340 small businesses and microenterprises in the City of Milpitas, CA who were impacted by COVID and also conducted research and made recommendations to ensure that home-based childcare businesses, which were initially underrepresented in the applicant pool, had an equitable opportunity to receive funding.
- FORWARD helped the City of Kirkland, WA administer over $330K to 51 small businesses and microenterprises. FORWARD provided extensive multilingual outreach and partnered with local community organizations with trusted relationships in the community to provide additional outreach and support. Due to the increased need and general enthusiasm for the program, the program was expanded by $200,000.
Many legacy licensing systems are challenging for businesses to navigate. FORWARD provides profile-based application portal that is available in 68 languages so any business can easily apply and renew their licenses.
“Thanks to FORWARD, the City of Spokane was the first in Washington state to successfully distribute 100% of its ERA1 funds. The FORWARD platform was indispensable in administering the Spokane Rental Assistance Program, streamlining all aspects of the program process so households can easily apply for critical funding.”
Former COVID-19 Program Manager, City of Spokane
“The FORWARD team is client-focused and community-minded. Those qualities blended with their solution mindset make tackling challenges together a fruitful pleasure, even under trying circumstances like disaster relief. They’re true collaborators.”
President & CEO, Whatcom Community Foundation
"By partnering with FORWARD, we helped more struggling small craft beverage producers including wineries receive funding through the Washington State Department of Agriculture Relief and Recovery Grant program. Their easy-to-use application process and focus on community partnerships amplify program reach getting more resources to the most affected small business owners. Thanks to our combined efforts, many struggling small wineries were able to survive the pandemic shutdowns."
Executive Director, Washington Wine Institute
“At every stage, FORWARD has worked with and supported us to ensure that the application process for the program was accessible to the immigrant communities we serve.”
Executive Director, Skagit Legal Aid
"The FORWARD Platform is a conduit that supercharges community engagement. Through our partnership with FORWARD, we were able to connect the most vulnerable small businesses and microenterprises in the City of Milpitas with critical resources."
Christian D. Malesic
President, Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce
“FORWARD as a back office superpower has been invaluable, especially when it comes to assistance programs.”
Special Projects, Economic Development, City of Kirkland, WA
Partners already moving FORWARD with us
CASE STUDY: Yakima Rental Assistance Program
FORWARD Impact in Yakima County, WA
- Distributing $22M in rent and utility assistance to more than 3,700 households
- Households received an average grant of $3,274
- Prevented 388 instances of fraud, resulting in significant savings of more than $6.3 million
- Managed a coalition of local community-based organizations that provided in-person application support
- Held three in-person rental assistance events to target underserved populations in Yakima County
- Increased application volume by 33%, ensuring the County fully obligated funds before Treasury deadlines
Case Study: Paramount Small Business Assistance Program
FORWARD Impact in Paramount City, CA
- Awarded $672,500 to 40 small businesses in Paramount City
- Businesses were awarded an average grant amount of $16,813
- Expanded program by $212,000 due to programmatic support from FORWARD and community enthusiasm for the program
- 98% of awardees were BIPOC-owned businesses
- 60% of awardees were women-owned businesses
Case Study: Spokane Rental Assistance Program
FORWARD Impact in Spokane, WA
- Awarded over $22M in rent relief
- More than 1,500 tenants and landlords supported
- Distributed 100% of ERA1 funding
Case Study: WSDA COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Grants
FORWARD Impact in Washington State
- Awarded over $14M in grants to 838 small businesses across Washington state
- Businesses were awarded an average grant amount of $16,955
- Four niche sectors supported – craft beverage, shellfish, agritourism, and farmers’ markets
- 36% of grant recipients were minority, women or LGBTQ+ owned businesses
Case Study: Long Beach Recovery Act Grant Program
FORWARD Impact in Long Beach, CA
- $10,352,600 awarded to Long Beach small businesses
- 894 local businesses supported
- $11,580 average award amount
Case Study: City of Milpitas Small Business Assistance Grant Program
FORWARD Impact in Milpitas, CA
- Distributed $1,498,800 in ARPA funding to 343 small businesses in the City of Milpitas
- Most Milpitas businesses were awarded a grant amount of $5,000
Case Study: City of Kirkland ARPA Small Business Relief Program
FORWARD Impact in Kirkland, WA
- $330,233 in ARPA funding to 51 small businesses in the City of Kirkland, WA
- Kirkland businesses were awarded an average grant amount of $6,475
- Expanded program by $200,000 due to increased need and general enthusiasm for the program
- Launched, implemented and completed the program in 4 months
See how FORWARD can help
What challenges are you facing in reaching individuals in your community? Let’s work together to build an effective, secure, and equitable program.