Recent Updates

New Thurston Strong Business and Nonprofit Grants Coming Soon!

Thurston Strong will soon announce a new round of business and nonprofit grants to help those most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and resulting cessation or reduction in normal business operations. Thanks to America Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding provided by Thurston County, the Cities of Olympia and Tumwater and South Puget Sound Community College, Thurston Strong, anticipates reinvesting at least $10-$12 million into the local economy over the next year.

We are currently awaiting final federal guidelines for eligible applicants and fund usage. A few of the programs we are developing to support impacted organizations and displaced/transitioning workers are outlined below. Subscribers will be notified when resources become available in the coming weeks.

IMPACTED WORKER PROGRAMS

Thurston Job Champions Program

  • Connect impacted workers to employment within short-staffed nonprofits
  • Thurston Strong covers employee salary for one year
  • PacMtn/Community Foundation will identify and connect employees with qualifying nonprofits
  • Outcomes: Help workers find new career pathways; support and expand nonprofit impact

Dislocated Worker Skills and Certificate Training

  • Prepaid training, tuition for dislocated workers
  • Short-term certifications in construction, health care, technology, logistics, office and other fields
  • Supported by South Puget Sound Community College, PacMtn, Thurston Chamber, other partners
  • Outcomes: Accelerate worker retraining; address local labor shortages

BUSINESS AND NONPROFIT GRANTS

*Please note, documentation of COVID-19 impacts will be required for all ARPA-funded grants. This could include proof of quarterly losses year over year, demonstration of steep increases in operating costs or other factual evidence. Specific requirements will be included in the grant application when ready.

Agriculture and Food Market Reset Grants

  • For impacted farmers, food producers, food hub partners
  • Fund administrators: WSU Extension, Thurston EDC
  • Eligible expenses:
    • Offset documented losses related to COVID impact
    • Offset costs associated with onboarding new or returning employees
    • Offset costs associated with market adaptation

Minority Enterprise Investment Grants

  • For minority enterprises that were operating pre-COVID now working to stay open or restart
  • Fund administrator: Thurston EDC
  • Eligible expenses:
    • Offset documented losses related to COVID impact
    • Offset costs associated with onboarding new or returning employees
    • Offset costs associated with market adaptation

Business Relaunch Grants

  • For eligible microbusinesses that were operating pre-COVID now working to stay open or restart
  • Fund administrator: Thurston EDC
  • Eligible expenses:
    • Offset documented losses related to COVID impact
    • Offset costs associated with onboarding new or returning employees
    • Offset costs associated with market adaptation

Nonprofit Stabilization Grants

  • For nonprofits that were operating pre-COVID now working to stay open or restart
  • Fund administrator: The Community Foundation
  • Eligible expenses:
    • Offset documented losses related to COVID impact
    • Offset costs associated with onboarding new or returning employees
    • Offset costs associated with market adaptation/increased operating costs