Target Zone Business Start Up Grants Now Available

Thurston Strong is pleased to announce a new opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs: Target Zone Business Startup Grants. The application portal will be open March 1 through May 1, 2022. Award recipients are expected to be announced on or about June 1, 2022. A full description of the program can be found at https://www.thurstonstrong.org/target-zone-grant/.

The Thurston County Target Zone Business Startup Grant program is a critical component of the broad Thurston Strong Economic Response, Recovery and Reset Plan. The goal of the Startup Grant is to address economic inequity by investing in the areas and people most vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants will be considered eligible if they or the operation is within the identified target zone – areas characterized by one or more of the following:

  • Poverty rate above 20%
  • Above average share of employment in industries threatened by economic disruption
  • Above average share of housing cost-burdened households
  • Above average share of households without health insurance

Alternatively, a prospective applicant may also be eligible for a business startup grant if they are a Thurston County resident and have a verifiable income at 65% or lower than the median income (AMI) for Thurston County.

This initiative is supported by federal ARPA funding awarded through Thurston County. The Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) will oversee the project on behalf of the Thurston Strong partnership and serve as direct contact for applicant and media inquiries. For more information, please contact the Thurston EDC: Michael Cade, Executive Director, mcade@thurstonedc.com, 360-464-6085 or, Mayra Pena, BIPOC Business & Community Liaison, mpena@thurstonedc.com, 360-464-6036.

Some Existing Business Grant Resources Still Available

Additional, but limited funding remains for other Thurston Strong business grant categories, including:

  • Small and minority-owned businesses
  • Farm and food system businesses

Links to guidelines and applications are posted on the landing page of www.thurstonstrong.com.