Thurston Strong Agricultural Business Grant Guidelines

Thurston Strong Grant Guidelines: 2021-2022

The Thurston Strong Agricultural Recovery Grant is directed to agricultural businesses attempting to recover from economic injury as a result of COVID-19. All Thurston County agricultural businesses meeting eligibility requirements will be considered. The Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) and Thurston County WSU Extension will administer the program on behalf of Thurston Strong partners. The majority of funding support has been provided by Thurston County.

This project is supported by funding awarded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Award as provided by the American Rescue Plan Act. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of the Treasury. Grant funds are administered by Thurston County. For technical assistance, contact our Business Hotline at 1-888-821-6652.

ELIGIBLE RECIPIENTS

  • Ag businesses with 50 or fewer employees (or FTE equivalent), located in Thurston County, that serve the public and require additional capital to safely recover from economic injury due to COVID
  • Food manufacturers/value-added processors, with 50 or fewer employees (or FTE equivalent) who manufacturer food products using ingredients purchased from producers in Thurston County
  • Food/farm cooperatives with 50 or fewer members that aid in the purchase and distribution of agricultural products grown in Thurston County
  • Must have been in business prior to March 1, 2020, and currently operating or in the process of reopening
  • Farmers Markets located in Thurston County
  • Must have/provide Washington State UBI#

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Applicants are required to submit evidence of COVID-related economic impact. Acceptable forms of proof include, but are not limited to:
  • Accounting/tax forms showing a revenue decline of 20% or more annually or in any quarter in FY 2019 and the corresponding quarter in 2020 or 2021.
  • Receipts or documentation affirming costs associated with new expenses driven by COVID-related impacts (hiring bonuses, PPE expenditures, goods and services price increases, etc.)
  • Receipts affirming costs associated with business operation changes driven by COVID-related impacts (space reconfiguration costs, equipment/tech costs, emergency staffing or consulting fees, etc.)
  • Pending rent or utility invoices (not already remedied through other state or federal programs)
  • Other proof of COVID-related financial impact (our grant application reviewers will consider other forms of impact proof via direct interaction with applicants)

ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURES

  • Address increased operating costs, market closures, distribution and supply chain disruptions
  • Remedy, in part, lost revenues associated with COVID-19 impacts (ongoing or otherwise separate from impacts funded through prior local, state or federal government grants and loans)
  • Remedy, in part, lost revenues due to temporary COVID-19 related enterprise closures (if operating prior to March 1, 2020, and including full or partial line of business closures not already mitigated through other local, state or federal government grants and loans)
  • Support adaptation to new or altered operating conditions, including:
    • Verifiable, significant increase in demand for services
    • Verifiable need for new or significantly altered operational space and procedures (e.g., facility expansion to meet spacing requirements, reconfiguration of existing space to meet new safety measures and protocols, staff training, major increases in traditional operating expenses due to COVID-19)
  • Unanticipated costs associated with retaining, re-integrating or finding new employees to meet service demand due to COVID-19 closures and recovery
  • Training/tools to adapt to post-COVID-19 market (skills, equipment, technology NOT necessary prior to pandemic, but essential now due to evolving markets and supply chain challenges)

INELIGIBLE EXPENDITURES

  • Expenses or injury that can’t be supported with documentation (e.g., revenue losses verifiable through review of tax filings; increased operating expenses verifiable via receipts, etc.)
  • Funding may NOT be used for expenses that have or will be reimbursed by other federal, state or local programs (e.g., Economic Disaster Injury Loan {EIDL}, Payroll Protection Program {PPP} etc.)

AVAILABLE RESOURCES

A total of $890,000 is available. Grants will be issued at as follows:

Farms, Value-Added Food Manufacturers and Processors

  • Up to 80 grants at $10,000 max per grant

Cooperatives

  • Under 7 employees/members/vendors = up to $10,000 max per grant
  • 8-50 employees/members/vendors = up to $20,000 max per grant

Farmers Markets

  • Under $2 Million in annual market sales = up to $10,000 max per grant
  • Above $2 Million in annual market sales = up to $30,000 max per grant

REPORTING

American Rescue Program Act (ARP) funding programs require follow-up reporting. Final rules are pending but grant recipients may be asked to describe how funds were used, the resulting impacts or benefits and other pertinent socioeconomic questions associated with business ownership and impacted workers.

APPLICATION TIMELINE

Applications received and reviewed on a rolling basis from inception until funding has been exhausted. Successful recipients will be notified by email or telephone as soon as possible.