Small Business Emergency Grant
In partnership with the Methow Valley Long Term Recovery Group and Okanogan County Economic Alliance, TwispWorks launched the Small Business Emergency Grant in May of 2020 to provide immediate relief from the Covid-19 pandemic. The $1,500-$5,000 grants to small businesses covered essential expenses such as rent and utilities, advertising costs, and working capital to purchase goods.
Over the next 9 months, we gave out a total of 61 grants and distributed $112,250 to businesses in the Methow Valley. We also used SBEG funds to purchase $2,500 worth of gift certificates during our #WhatLocalLooksLike Holiday Shopping Campaign. All said, the SBEG program gave out $114,750 to businesses in the community.
Updated April 1, 2021
Distributed Thoughout Community
Future of the SBEG
We believe that the SBEG has played an important role in the Methow Valley. For many small businesses, the grant has been more than money—it is a symbol of comradery and support that has encouraged, inspired and brought hope to many small businesses during Covid-19. With the rural restructuring in our community and the subsequent rise in housing and living costs, economic disparity is increasing. Many small business owners do not have the capital to innovate, pivot, or change business plans. The SBEG represents an important transition from a community who not only buys local, but supports its businesses because they are fundamental to the diversity and socioeconomic health of our community.
Because of our outreach during Covid-19 and the SBEG, we are more aware the problems small businesses face, such as training, access to education and resources, affordable housing, and capital to make the changes they need to survive and thrive in the Methow Valley. In light of the challenges and opportunities that Covid-19 has wrought, we would like to continue the SBEG with special consideration for businesses who want to invest in climate friendly and long-term resiliency changes. As part of our partnership with Methow Valley Citizen’s Council Climate Action Plan, we envision pivoting the SBEG in the future to fund projects that would enable businesses to develop long term strategies and climate friendly practices, such as installing solar panels and other energy efficient technologies, developing online marketing tools, funding for training or business seminars, and other innovative projects.
THE SUCCESS STORIES
SBEG Grant Recipients, February 2021
Brix is a grateful recipient of TwispWorks small business grant. During this pandemic we have had a substantial loss to overall business and revenue. We were unable to qualify for government grants which for the most part, went to larger businesses. The SBEG will help cover monthly and ongoing overhead – insurance, supplies, communications and our merchant service system. Thank you to the Methow Valley community and TwispWorks for your generosity and support!
The Fork Food Truck
Thank you so much TwispWorks Foundation! I appreciate your continued support of small businesses in the Methow Valley. This grant will be used to help us design a logo and expand our marketing materials, possibly including branded merchandise to sell from the truck. We plan on working with a local designer and local businesses, which means this money will continue to circulate throughout the community. Thank you again for your support!
Methow Moments Tent and Event Rentals
On behalf of Methow Moments and our family of 6, we would like to thank Twisp Works for awarding us this $5,000 grant. As you can imagine the event industry, along with many others, was hit quite hard in 2020. When our scheduled list of events went from over 60 to less than 10 in 2020, we were unable to make planned purchases for the upcoming season. We currently own two dance floors but needed a third. We have several dates booked for 2021 that three dance floors are needed and this $5,000 grant will go towards paying a portion of that purchase. Thank you for your generosity and your continued support of local business growth.
Methow Valley News
Like newspapers around the country, we have seen a substantial advertising revenue decline as local businesses were shut down or limited by COVID restrictions. Community support is vital to our survival as a connection point for the valley, and the Small Business Emergency Grant will make a meaningful difference. We are grateful and appreciative.
On February 8, 2021, Motive Yoga Co. celebrated the 1 year anniversary of our Winthrop studio. And, what a year it was! Five weeks after opening the doors to our brand new studio we closed them down due to Covid. We were sustained through live-stream classes, and with the help of Twispworks’ first round of small business grants we launched Motive Yoga Online— our on-demand video channel. Many of us are feeling the financial pinch and we are so happy to offer more cost-accessible yoga. This most recent grant support from Twispworks will help expand the reach of MYO into the safety of people’s homes and the small spaces of their busy lives so they don’t have to sacrifice their health and wellbeing during this time.
We here at Winthrop Physical Therapy and Fitness want to thank Twisp works and the community for your support! The Small Business Emergency Grant will help us offset some of the lost revenue that occurred during our closures. It will also go towards purchasing extra cleaning equipment and supplies to help keep the gym a clean and safe place for our dedicated members and patients. We hope to see you all again soon.
SBEG Grant Recipients, June – September 2020
Thanks so much for your generous grant to the Barnyard Cinema. Although we have been able to re-jig our operations in the form of private screenings and a new film series we hope takes flight, and we definitely benefit from the incredible support from this community, our overhead is significant and we live on the edge of uncertainty daily. The Small Business Emergency Grant helps.
Bear Creek Golf Course
Receiving an emergency grant is such a relief to us during the Covid-19 business climate. Our grant will go directly towards fixing our main work cart that has been out of service for over a month so far! This work cart is important to us for our daily maintenance operations, as well as for necessary special projects on the golf course. It is a very big expense for us, so this Grant will go a long way to helping relieve some of the financial stress of paying the invoice. And, we can now take on those projects we have been delaying until the work cart is back on sight and running! Thank you, TwispWorks Foundation, for helping our anchor community business during this 2020 Covid-19 golf season!
Diamond Patina feels extremely blessed for this opportunity to receive such an amazing grant. We just started this small business journey not even a year ago and this money has allowed up to stay afloat during these hard times by helping with our many bills and providing comfort when we needed it the most. We are so very grateful!
Thank you TwispWorks Foundation for continuing to support small businesses in the valley.
We have been partnered with you since 2014 and it’s for reasons like the Small Business Emergency Grant we remain here in continued mutual support of our missions. I feel like we help reinforce the values of creative business and inspire others to continue or start their own. Thanks for looking out for us, it’s nice to feel both needed and supported. We will use this grant to both help offset current payroll expenses, and to train a new full-time employee. We are happy to call Twisp our home and glad we can be here for each other! Thank you TwispWorks and to all those who contributed to the fund – we deeply appreciate your support.
Thank You TwispWorks for this small business grant! My business fell through the cracks of all the big government grants and even state level grants. This local grant will help cover my rent for 2 months while I try to regain all the momentum my business had before the covid shutdown. Thank You to all the donors that want to keep our valley healthy and prosperous. Now we just need shoppers!
The Small Business Emergency Grant money will help Gathered build an online presence that could help sustain business during the uncertain winter months to come.
The Emergency Small Business Grant has enabled me and my yoga business, Goldenhorn Enterprises, to continue to pay rent for my yoga studio space at Twisp Movement Studio. I have not been able to teach yoga since late March and as a result, have had no income coming into my yoga business. Before I received this grant, I was contemplating closing my yoga business after teaching in Twisp for over ten years. This grant has enabled me to plan for the time when I will begin to teach classes in the studio setting again. I am deeply grateful to those that made this grant possible and gave me the boost I needed to continue on during this challenging time. Namaste
We picked a unique time to start a small farm business. Before the pandemic, we anticipated in-person community connections, to help us make our presence known, and distribute our products. Given social distancing mandates and lockdowns, we’ve had to restructure. Thanks to this grant, we’re able to offset those unforeseen marketing costs and purchase our first greenhouse! Thanks to the generosity and support of so many here in our Methow community, in the form of relief funds, we can grow a wider diversity of nutritious and delicious food.
La Fonda Lopez
Hey TwispWorks, thank you very much for the grant. In this pandemic time this grant will help a lot and thank you for supporting small businesses in the Methow Valley. We will use this grant to help pay for utilities, buy some inventory also to help pay employees. Thank you again!
Mary Gray, certified personal trainer, “I’m immensely grateful to whoever the decision-makers are for the small business grants. It is encouraging to know that people feel that I’ve contributed to the health and wellness of Methow Valley. That’s what I strive to do.”
The Merc Playhouse
The Merc is grateful to receive a TwispWorks Emergency Grant because funding is helping us provide after school programming at Methow Valley Elementary’s Cub Club. Students from each cohort in grades 3 and 4 have the opportunity to dance with Missi on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will learn a variety of dance styles to lots of different music while learning how dance can enhance theater in many ways. While The Merc doesn’t have programming income through ticket sales and tuition, the funding from TwispWorks is helping provide this program to the 19 students currently registered.
The Methow Valley Community Center
Thank you so much for your help. The Methow Valley Community Center is addressing the possibility of adding ESL and Spanish as a second language for the facility. We have the room to start small and provide a much needed service to those from Spanish speaking nations, and to people who wish to travel there with more ease.
We are so very grateful, Thank You!
Motive’s yoga studio opened its doors for our first yoga class on February 8 and on March 14 we closed them due to covid-19. The first thing I asked myself as a brand- new studio owner was “How can we continue to serve the Valley’s yoga community especially in a time like this?” This grant will help us finance the technology and marketing needed for our online offerings and to help pay the lease on our beautiful studio space that we will warmly welcome our students back to with a slow re-opening. Thank you TwispWorks for helping us weather this storm with a feeling of support and hope!
Mount Gardner Massage
This Small Business Emergency Grant obtained through TwispWorks is so helpful during this pandemic. Besides using it for overhead costs like rent and supplies, some of it will be used to buy an air purifier and more safety PPE like hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and cleaning supplies. Thank you to the folks at TwispWorks for helping to keep me and my clients safe!
Nectar Skin Bar
Thank you TwispWorks for the Small Business Emergency Grant. This grant will help with improvements to our website as well as getting more inventory for the holidays. Over the past six months our website has become more important for our business. We began online sales in March/April during the shutdown and people continue to use the website more now than ever before. With increased traffic to the website we have realized that it is a great time for updating and making it more user-friendly.
Old Schoolhouse Brewery
The Old Schoolhouse Brewery was delighted to be selected for this grant, and immediately put this money to work hiring new staff and training all staff on the new COVID-19 Protocols. We concurrently purchased several pallets of cans and hired a mobile canner so that we can put our beer into more markets. This pandemic has been very hard on the hospitality industry, and the brewery industry as a whole, and we are grateful for this local grant that enables us to continue being a leader in the Methow Valley.
River Run Inn
The River Run Inn is a small, private, family-owned business that relies solely on tourism and people looking for a place to go for vacation. Unfortunately, since the state had been closed for non-essential travel/activities and being a small business with no outside funding, we are really hurting right now. This grant is really going to help us in paying off some bills we are behind on due to the pandemic. Thank you so much for choosing our business for the TwispWorks Small Business Emergency Grant, this is such an honor and a huge help to our small business here in the Methow Valley.
Terry’s Appliance Repair
My responsibility as “Terry’s Appliance” consist of repairs to domestic household appliances including refrigeration and warranty work. I am 79 years old in good health but due to my age and other household member’s health, I had to discontinue working in March. Appliance repair is considered essential due to the need for clean laundry, refrigeration and cooking and I have recently returned to work on a part time basis. The lack of income for 2 months created a need for additional funds for continued obligations to creditors, utilities and suppliers. Thank you for the support.
The Iron Horse
Owner Misuk Ko, “The generous grant will allow us to cover expenses for the nearly two months we were entirely closed prior to Phase I curbside sales: the (generously reduced) rents at the Farmers Exchange Building, utilities, and the costs of opening up online retail at the-iron-horse.company.site”
The Thrifty Fox
The Thrifty Fox had just made it through the slow winter and we were gearing up for a busy spring when we had to close. With the grant I received from Twisp Works, I was able to pay off my very late water bill that was growing way too large, was also able to pay rent and power for the month of June. My small savings that had dwindled over the winter had just run out, and I received this grant just in time! I am so grateful for our generous community, and feel so lucky to have a business here that people are willing to fight for. We miss everyone and we’ll see you soon!
True North Letterpress
This little hamlet of a town never ceases to amaze. Thanks this grant the presses at True North Letterpress will keep turning. Small rural businesses like ours rely on their local community for longevity and we are SO thankful to be a part of this one! As a new business I was having a hard time qualifying for any of the federal funding available after Covid-19 stay at home orders went into place. With the help of this grant we’ve been able to stay in the black and purchase much needed supplies for printing more goods to sell as things start to re-open again. Establishing a business in an economy as small as ours takes time and without this little bit of help we may not have been able to see our vision through after such a major set-back.
Twisp River B&B
Denise and myself are very excited to have received a SBEG grant. The corona virus will have a lasting impact on us, as we have been closed for two months and we will now have reduced lodging capacity due to cleaning and sanitation protocol. We have been running the Twisp River Inn Bed & Breakfast for over 15 years in the upper Twisp River valley and have embraced the spirit of this community. Thank you for your support!
Twisp River Wellness
Owner Chaya Kudla, “This grant has been so helpful. I haven’t been successful acquiring other means of support for my business during this time and the Twispworks grant helped pay for some of my monthly overhead expenses, to keep my business afloat. With children home from school and my practice abruptly halted, it was a relief to have some assistance during this time. Thank you so much!”
Winthrop Guitar Studios
Owner Steve Kish, “The Small Business Emergency Grant has manifested a moment of calm, and peace of mind. Like the contours of a melody emanating from the Symphony, fully engulfing the mind, allowing for a respite from uncertainty. CoVid and the lockdown, literally shutdown all my income streams. Not only reeling from the magnitude of a global pandemic and its immediate impact on my family and our well being, but then the reality of how do I pay rent? Where do I go from here? How secure is my safety net, and how long will my savings last? This grant gives me answers and clear direction. Thank You Twispworks and to all the people and organizations that have helped fund this project!”
Winthrop Ice Rink
Since the Covid-19 public health emergency closed the Winthrop Rink mid-March, we have been unable to offer our popular summer programming of drop in pickleball, roller/inline skating, and roller hockey. We are now focused on reopening for winter operations, subject to public health safety guidelines. The Small Business Emergency Grant from Twisp Works will help fill the void of summer revenues and to cover costs of reopening the Rink for the winter. We look forward to providing a safe and exciting season of outdoor recreation- for our mind, body, and souls!
The business grant was much appreciated for YoDog. Being closed for a month and a half and receiving no other financial help took a toll on the pocketbook. The money will be used mostly to pay the bills. After several unsuccessful applications to regional grants, it was nice to finally feel the love from my local community. I have been open almost five years now and being a first time business owner I didn’t know what to expect. In these four years I have continued to receive an overwhelming amount of support and gratitude. Thanks a million. Very happy to live here. Perhaps when this all blows over we can get together in the new YoDog backyard for yappy hour and chat about it.
Twispworks helped small businesses access resources during COVID restrictions. Resources were available for PPP, Unemployment (Pandemic Relief Payment), EIDL and other programs.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
The current round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is reaching smaller borrowers (small businesses), with 94% of all loans going to businesses with 20 or fewer employees. SBA is currently offering PPP loans until May 31, 2021. North Cascades Bank is partnering with Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) MoFi to facilitate these loans.
Even if you received a loan in the first round of PPP, you may qualify for a second loan as long as your gross receipts in one quarter of 2020 are 75% or less than the gross receipts in the same quarter of 2019.
If you are considering applying for this second round, get ahead of the game by calculating your quarter by quarter revenues in 2019 and 2020 and determining your eligibility. Check with your lending institution to determine if they will be participating!
PPP Forgiveness Resources
First round of PPP loans are now forgivable! Check with your lending institution to begin forgiveness process.
NEW GRANT OPPORTUNITIES FROM THE SBA
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
Available from the Small Business Administration, the SBA, this grant is available to eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss including:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Museum operators
- Motion picture theater operators (including owners)
- Talent representatives
Newly Expanded CARES Act Funding
Washington State’s new Pandemic Relief Payment (PRP) program extends federal unemployment benefits, beginning January 3, 2021. The plan outlines $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits for qualifying individuals and a one-time PRP payment of $550.
- Continuing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Claims Information
- One-time Pandemic Relief Payments Information
- Information on Tax credits/benefits if required to quaratine
The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) has seen a significant rise in reports of impostor fraud since the onset of the pandemic. As a result the ESD has taken a number of steps to prevent and investigate alleged fraud including holding payments for an additional 1-2 days to further validate claims.
- Read ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine’s full statement (05/14/20).
- If you believe you are a victim of impostor fraud report it immediately on ESD’s Unemployment Benefits Fraud page.
The self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers are now eligible for unemployment. We recommend that you sign up to receive the most timely updates from the ESD.
Here’s how to apply:
- The ESD has published a guide to the expanded benefits available for the self-employed [pdf]. Read this guide and follow the instructions to apply for unemployment. THIS STEP IS REQUIRED BEFORE YOU CAN APPLY FOR THE BENEFITS FOR SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS.
- Download the Application Checklist for Expanded Pandemic Unemployment Benefits [pdf] to ensure you have all the required documentation available when you are ready to submit your claim.
- Create your Secure Access Washington (SAW) account to submit your claim. Need help setting up your SAW accounts? Watch this video from the ESD.
Employers have a number of a number of options from the ESD for their employees including SharedWork plans, temporary layoffs, standby and furloughs.
WorkSource staff can help with Basic UI, Pandemic Unemployment and General SAW account questions — Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Contact the WorkSource Okanogan office directly at (509) 825-7310 or Chat Live with a WorkSource Specialist.
SBA announces new deadline extension for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
Under the Covid-19 relief bill passed by Congress on December 27, 2020, the SBA has extended the EIDL program through December 31, 2021. Business loans are available at 3.75% interest and loans for non-profits at 2.75% interest rates.