City Council Approves Business Recovery Grants

It’s official! The much-rumored, oft-mentioned COBI small business grants are now coming soon.

Get ready – applications for business assistance grants will become available in association with KEDA (the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance) starting on Friday, March 12.

Businesses may receive between $5,000 and $10,000 based upon their COVID-19 financial impacts and the number of total applications received by the City.

The unanimously-approved Business Recovery grant program will provide $210,000 to support Bainbridge Island businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Program details:

  • The application period will open Friday March 12 and closes Sunday March 28.
  • Applications will be made available via kitsapcaressmallbiz.com.
  • The City is partnering with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (“KEDA”) to administer the grant program.
  • Awards are expected to be disbursed in April.
  • Use of proceeds: If awarded, grant proceeds can generally be used for business expenses permitted under IRS regulations.
  • All applications will be reviewed for eligibility criteria and verified for application requirements.
  • Grant amounts will be based on financial impact due to COVID-19, number of eligible applicants, available funding, and other criteria.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a detailed explanation describing how COVID-19 impacted them negatively and how grant funds will be used. Applicants are not required to submit receipts.
  • Priority will be given to industries most negatively affected by the pandemic, such as hospitality, tourism, fitness, and small retail.

Which businesses are eligible?

  • You must have an active business license with the City of Bainbridge.
  • You must have a physical, commercial location in the City of Bainbridge on or before March 1, 2020 and have been in business since at least March 1, 2019 or earlier.
  • You must be a for-profit business, nonprofit, or financial cooperative with no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees and annual revenues $5 million or less.
  • You must be able to demonstrate significant negative financial impact due to COVID-19, backed up by documentation. (Note: Most commonly this will be shown by comparing annual revenues from 2019 to 2020, though other justifications will be considered.)
  • You must be in compliance with Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington guidelines and previous related guidelines.

The business recovery grant program will be supported through the City’s general fund balance reserves in lieu of federal grant monies provided through CARES funding.

For updates and refinements to the program, check COBI’s COVID-19 page

Watch the full Feb. 23 Council Business meeting discussion of Economic Recovery Grants.