Washington State Small Business Flex Fund Launch
July 19, 2021
Calvert Impact Capital is proud to join the Washington State Department of Commerce and a coalition of financial institutions and community-based organizations to announce the Small Business Flex Fund, a public-private partnership aimed at helping Washington small businesses and nonprofits – particularly those in low-income communities – recover and grow as communities across the state reopen for business. Calvert Impact Capital serves as the lead arranger of the fund.
“Reopening our economy is an incredible milestone and we want to ensure that our smallest businesses and nonprofits have equitable access to flexible financial support to get back on their feet,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “The Small Business Flex Fund will not only aid in our businesses’ recovery from the pandemic, but it will allow them to plan ahead, grow and thrive. And this is a tool that will remain available over many years, to bolster our smallest businesses and nonprofit organizations in times of economic hardship.”
The Small Business Flex Fund works with and through local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which serve under-resourced communities and underbanked businesses the Small Business Flex Fund aims to help. All small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and $3 million in annual revenue can apply and culturally-appropriate in-language assistance is available. Interested applicants pre-apply at smallbusinessflexfund.org and, if they qualify, will be matched with a lender that will assist the business owner throughout the application process and provide additional advisory support. If a business doesn't qualify, they will be connected to a trusted community organization that can help provide other resources.
Five CDFIs are originating loans for the Fund: Ascendus, Business Impact NW, Craft3, Evergreen Business Capital Community Finance, and the National Development Council Community Impact Loan Fund. These CDFIs will be getting support from leading technical assistance and business support organizations including Business Impact Northwest's Washington Women's Business Center and Veterans Business Outreach Center, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE), the Minority Business Development Agency – Tacoma Business Center, Sister Sky Inc., Ventures Nonprofit and Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP) Financial Access.