Three small businesses in Olympia receive micro grants from the Ready for Business Fund

Submitted by Comcast

TThe Ready for Business Fund — a utility created by GSBA, the Washington State LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce, and Comcast — is distributing $2,500 and $4,000 in cash grants to 76 small businesses across Washington state . The Ready for Business Fund was established in the summer of 2020 with an initial investment of $100,000 from Comcast and the appointment of GSBA as fund manager. To date, the fund has provided nearly $1 million in financial assistance and comprehensive services to more than 200 small businesses in Washington.

The Ready for Business Fund was renewed this year with an additional $75,000 in funding from Comcast and GSBA, reaffirming its role as program and fund manager. Ready for Business Fund grants are made possible by additional donations of more than $150,000 from Pepsi, T-Mobile, US Bank, Meta and Verity Credit Union, and a $100,000 grant from King County. These funds will now support small business owners across all industries, including local restaurants, bookstores, bistros, shops and stores, which are an important part of the social fabric in our communities.

“GSBA recognizes the importance of investing in small businesses, which are critical to a thriving community and economy,” said Ilona Lohrey, President and CEO of GSBA. “We are proud to once again partner with Comcast to expand our Ready for Business Fund to support a diverse group of business owners who need our help now more than ever.”

The Ready for Business Fund was created to support small businesses in Washington, particularly those owned by LGBTQ, Black, Indigenous and Colored (BIPOC) people and women, who are at greater risk in today’s uncertain economy. Grant recipients also include small businesses in rural Washington that lack proximity to resources.

“We are grateful for our continued partnership with GSBA to recognize so many resilient small businesses through the Ready for Business Fund,” said Diem Ly, Community Impact Director, Comcast Washington. “At Comcast, we believe and act on our shared value that ensuring equitable access to resources for BIPOC and LGBTQ businesses means that all of our communities and neighborhoods benefit over the long term.”

“Between the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about inflation, our small businesses have faced some of the toughest struggles in recent years, and it’s up to our community to get involved and support them. That’s why partnerships like the one between King County, GSBA and Comcast are so essential right now,” said King County Councilman Joe McDermott.

GSBA assembled a selection committee composed of diverse community and business leaders to evaluate the applications received. Notifications to applicants of the status of their applications have begun and awards will be delivered starting this week. All grantees also receive full-services, including GSBA membership and counseling.

Three small businesses in Olympia including Burial Grounds Coffee Collective, RUZICKA CPA, PLLC and SGT. Hart’s Barbeque Sauce, were selected to receive $2,500 in micro grants from the Ready for Business Fund.

Visit the GSBA website for more information.

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