State department of commerce awarding $100 million in hospitality grants


Restaurants or motels in need of a financial boost may be in luck with the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Washington Hospitality Grant program. Applications close 5 p.m. Thursday, April 6 for the program that will award $100 million in grants.

The commerce department opened applications March 14 for one-time grants to hospitality businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, according to the department’s website. Eligible businesses include food trucks, caterers, bed and breakfasts, bars, bakeries, breweries and wineries (on-site sales must be at least 25 percent of gross receipts or sales for bakeries, breweries and wineries). 

To qualify, businesses must have lost 25 percent or more in gross receipts or sales between 2019 and 2020 because of the pandemic. The small businesses must have generated at least $12,000 in gross receipts or sales, make a majority of revenue in Washington and still be operating. 

Grants are intended for businesses that make $5 million or less in annual gross receipts or sales but the commerce department may be able to fund larger businesses if there are remaining funds. People who own more than one business may submit separate grant applications as long as they operate independently. For a list of eligibility requirements, visit

Last year, the Washington state legislature passed Senate Bill 5693, which allocated $100 million in federal Covid-19 stimulus funds for hospitality businesses. 

About $15 million of the hospitality grant funding will reimburse lodging businesses that lost revenue from the state’s eviction moratorium. Eligible financial losses include unpaid room charges, legal fees and damage expenses. 

Linda Womack, managing director of small business and community support for the commerce department, encouraged anyone who feels like they meet the general qualifications to apply to the Washington Hospitality Grant program.

“We understand there may be some grant fatigue,” Womack said. “There’s a lot of support and resources to help folks submit their applications so don’t feel discouraged.” 

A webinar on application assistance will be held 2-3 p.m. Thursday, March 30 and a webinar recording on the lodging-specific assistance is available online. Both webinars can be accessed at

The commerce department doesn’t have any other small business relief grant programs scheduled, according to its website. Award announcements will begin in May. 


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