Currently accepting applications Applications are currently open and will remain competitive until all funding is exhausted.

Thank you for visiting our small business grants opportunity. Due to an overwhelmingly positive response to this opportunity, we have temporarily paused this grant in order to be responsive to current funding requests. We anticipate re-opening this opportunity on July 1, 2024, and look forward to connecting with you then.

In the meantime, if there are additional ways we can support your workforce development efforts, or if you’re interested in learning more about our other services for businesses, please reach out to us at BusinessSolutions@workforce-central.org. We look forward to the opportunity to support your local, Pierce County business!  

These Small Business Grants administered by WorkForce Central in collaboration with community partners and stakeholders, aim to strengthen relationships with our local Black, Latine, and Native American-owned small businesses to address disparities, strengthen the local economy, grow local talent, and create local jobs in Pierce County.

Through this program, eligible businesses can receive grants of up to $15,000 USD to invest in workforce development initiatives and procurement of assets to facilitate business growth and expansion. 

An asian female small business owner stands proudly behind the counter of her business.

Grants are available to eligible small businesses (up to 50 employees) licensed in Washington State and located in Pierce County. 

Investments aim to support workforce development, skill enhancement, business growth, and economic mobility. 

Funds are prioritized for self-attested Black, Latine, and Native American-owned business owners and their employees to address systemic barriers and promote diversity. 

Grant Process

1.

Eligible businesses apply for grants by submitting a detailed application form and supporting documentation digitally on the WorkForce Central website.

2.

Applicant must identify the business need and purpose for their request. Both workforce training funds and equipment funds can be requested within the same application.

3.

Applications are reviewed and evaluated for alignment with program goals, potential impact, and feasibility by a panel including WorkForce Central and community partners.

4.

Applications will be reviewed at least bi-monthly. Selected applicants will receive notice of grant approval.

5.

An agreement will be formed with WorkForce Central and the grantee, outlining next steps and requirements for reporting outcomes and successes.

*Applicants are not limited to one grant request; however, WorkForce Central reserves the right to prioritize first grant requests and/or delay decisions on second grant requests as we deem fit.

Eligible Projects

Employee Development

Funding can be used to provide worker training such as short-term (6-month period or shorter) certifications and other employee development that reduces the cost of training employees, supports worker retention, and provides upskill or advancement opportunities for employees.

The maximum grant award in this category is $15,000. WorkForce Central will directly fund the training provider.

A smiling black male business owner watches as his employee completes training.

Asset Purchases That Lead to NEW Hires or Business Sustainability

Acquiring assets such as furniture, equipment, machinery, or software that produces long-term benefits by increasing revenue, increasing business value, and/or improving operations, all of which contribute to business growth and sustainability.

The maximum grant award is $15,000 for asset purchases. These grants are to be utilized for new asset purchases with funds being distributed directly to vendors. Funds cannot be used for working capital, land and building acquisition, or relieving existing debt. WorkForce Central will work with your business to make these purchases directly.

Photography equipment on a table

Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

  • Small Business (fewer than 50 employees)
  • Funds are prioritized for workforce development activities and self-attested Black, Latine, and Native American business owners and operators and their employees to address systemic barriers and promote diversity.
  • Business licensed in Pierce County
  • The proposed project supports worker development, skill enhancement, business growth, and economic mobility.

Reporting Requirements

  • WorkForce Central will require a report out of equipment use and successes gained.
  • Narrative and budget (planned vs. actual) will be required for both reports.

Success Stories

Apply

Due to an overwhelmingly positive response to this opportunity, we have temporarily paused this grant in order to be responsive to current funding requests. We anticipate re-opening this opportunity on July 1, 2024.

Apply

Are you a business interested in a Small Business Grant? Click the button below to fill out our grant application.

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