TwispWorks has been awarded a grant in the amount of $30,000 by the Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA) to support small businesses in the Methow Valley. The WSMA has approved more than $2.3 million in small grants for 68 nonprofit organizations that help support small businesses. The purpose of the grants is to extend training programs, provide technical assistance, and facilitate financing for small businesses throughout Washington state.
TwispWorks will use this grant to organize a series of social engagement events for business owners and four technical assistance classes. The classes will be open to all Methow Valley businesses, while the social engagement events will be targeted towards a specific part of the local economy. This grant will also be used to translate business support resources into Spanish, and provide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training for the TwispWorks staff and board of directors.
“Our goal is to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Methow Valley, where anyone who is interested in starting or expanding a business has the resources, the information and the support network to do so,” said Patrick Law, Economic Program Director for TwispWorks. “This grant will allow us to further expand and improve our outreach efforts, and hopefully provide some useful content and networking opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs.”
The four technical assistance classes will be open to all Methow Valley businesses and will include topics such as Social Media Marketing, Financial Planning for Uncertain Times (How to Prepare for a Recession), Employer Best Practices, and Waste Reduction and Reusables. While the exact topics are subject to change, the classes are slated to take place between February and mid-June 2023. The goal is to hold two classes in Winthrop and two classes in Twisp.
The social engagement events target people within specific segments of the local economy. They are meant to bring together entrepreneurs from a particular sector for mutual support, to discuss challenges and opportunities, and to share ideas, tips, and trends. The groups covered under this round of funding include Farmers and Food Businesses, Women Owners and Entrepreneurs, Small Manufacturers, and the Methow Investment Network.
While this funding is limited to the first six months of 2023, more funding is being sought to continue organizing technical assistance classes and social engagement events for Methow Valley businesses. TwispWorks hopes to build upon the experience, information, and feedback gathered during these initial offerings in order to expand the content areas and populations served.
“The key to keeping the Methow livable for our community in the long term is supporting our small businesses and entrepreneurs—this core group makes our economy unique and can keep the Methow’s economy resilient to many challenges in the future. A grant like this means TwispWorks can directly support these businesses and find out what their core needs are,” said Sarah Brown, Executive Director of TwispWorks.
The WSMA grant program is funded through the Washington Department of Commerce. Grant awardees include Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs), Nonprofit organizations serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) owned businesses, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Small Business Resiliency Network partners, Economic Development Districts, and others. WSMA helps nonprofit business technical assistance providers throughout Washington with training, grants, networking, and provides resource coordination and support via Evergreen BizLink.
For more information about the TwispWorks programs, reach out to the Economic Program Director, Patrick Law, at email@example.com.