Think of all the great things your business could do if you just had enough.
Enough training. Enough marketing. Enough employees. Enough technology. If your business has been stuck in survival mode, a BRI grant can give you the boost you need to start thriving. You’re just an application away from securing the resources you need to succeed.
Who is this program for?
BRI is designed to assist ALL businesses in Benton County. The BRI grants serve small businesses (under 50 FTEs) that were negatively affected by COVID-19. The Business Resource Navigator serves all Benton County businesses as a single point of contact to provide custom resource guidance. Big business or small mom-and-pop, we’ve got you covered.
How does it work?
We’ve made the process as simple as possible.
Here’s how it works:
Want the full details? Please keep reading for the fine print.
Applications for the grant are located on the BRI website and available in English, Spanish, and Russian. If another language is needed, call the Chamber for assistance.
Also, a paper hard copy of the application (in English and Spanish) is being sent to each business in Benton County via USPS. Paper copies of the grant can also be picked up at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Suite C, Kennewick, WA 99336. All applications (hard copy or digital) must be received by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce before the application deadline, or it will not be reviewed until the next Phase (see below). If the business is not awarded grant funds in the phase in which they applied, the application will be automatically submitted into the next phase for reconsideration. The BRI Grant Coordinator is available to help with any questions regarding the BRI grant program.
Also, a full-time Business Resource Navigator assists businesses in finding additional resource opportunities and is available for one-on-one appointments, calls or virtual meetings.
The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce has completed research necessary to provide a strategic and targeted approach to solving problems of greatest need through a Business Outlook Survey and one-on-one interviews. This data, based on input from a diverse cross-section of private sector industry, and the ARPA final rule, informed decisions regarding funds utilization that align with the greatest needs of the local business community.
BRI offers businesses five grant funding options, each of which falls within the acceptable grant categories outlined by ARPA. Businesses may seek grants for purposes set forth in one or more of the five options listed in Table 1 below, but the aggregate amount of all grants allowed under this Agreement to one business entity shall be $30,000 regardless of whether the applicant seeks funds for one or for multiple options. The eligibility requirements for grant recipients and grant evaluation criteria are set forth below.
To qualify for BRI grant program funding, businesses (including non-profit corporations) must meet the following qualifications:
- Must be an active business or nonprofit (Nonprofits are eligible to receive funding if they have a primary business activity that is similar to the eligible businesses who qualify for this program)
- Must have a valid government issued photo identification (ID)
- Must have less than 51 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
- Have not reported annual gross income of more than $5,000,000 in calendar year 2019
- Headquarters or main office physically located in Benton County where a majority of employees are assigned
- Business must be independently owned and operated (Independently owned and operated means that the ownership interests, management, and operation of the business are not subject to control, restriction, modification, or limitation by a person or corporation with no formal role in the operation of the business)
- Valid and current state and/or local business license as required by law
- No pending compliance or regulatory issues with state or federal agencies, as of March 1, 2020.
- Must provide financial documentation to validate business income
- 2019 Federal Tax Return (if business was open in 2019)
- 2020 Federal Tax Return
- 2021 Federal Tax Return (or four quarterly Department of Revenue filings)
- Accounting records (bank statements) for the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application showing revenue in prior months, payroll expenses, rent payments, and utility expenses
Businesses are ineligible for a BRI grant if any of the above requirements are not met; if the business has current compliance/regulatory issues (including disbarment) with state or federal agencies, as of March 1, 2020; if the business is actively pursuing a bankruptcy declaration or actively engaged in current/pending lawsuits; or if the business falls into one of these categories:
- Marijuana/cannabis operation
- Government entity or elected official offices
- Passive business, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns
- Financial Businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending
- Businesses engaged in socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature
- Businesses of a prurient/sexual nature
- Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities
- Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity or age, due to regulations
Funds will be administered in three Phases. Each phase will be implemented over a three-month period scheduled as follows:
- Phase 1 shall begin October 1, 2022
- Phase 2 shall begin February 1, 2023
- Phase 3 shall begin June 1, 2023
Each phase will begin with a total award target of one million dollars ($1,000,000). Grant applications shall be reviewed for completeness and compliance with the eligibility set forth above and processed in the order they are received. Unawarded grant funds from preceding phases will be rolled over into subsequent phases until all of the funds are disbursed.
Grants shall be awarded in a tiered fashion based on the business’ annual gross revenue. The maximum allowable award amounts shall be as follows:
2021 Annual Gross Revenue & Maximum Grant Amount
- $30,000- $50,000 = $3,000
- $50,000-$80,000 = $5,000
- $80,001–$110,000 = $8,000
- $110,001-$150,000 = $11,000
- $150,001-$200,000 = $15,000
- $200,001-$300,000 = $20,000
- $300,000+ = $30,000
$3M total Grant Funding for 2022
Businesses may seek funding for one or more of the following eligible expenditures:
Option 1: Workforce Development
Workforce Development Grants will be awarded to provide funding for eligible local businesses to cover the equivalent of up to two weeks of payroll for: On-the-job training for new employees; external training – certifications/permits for new or existing employees (upskilling).
Option 2: Work Incentive (Bonuses)
Work Incentive Grants will be awarded to provide employment incentives (up to $1,200) payable as hiring bonuses to new employees (hired after the grant is awarded). Fund must be issued to new employees upon completion of at least 12 paid weeks with the employer (with a minimum of 20 hours of work each week).
Option 3: Utilities and Assistance
Rent/Utilities grants will be awarded to support the liquidity of eligible businesses by providing funding to help pay rent and/or utilities for up to 6 months.
Option 4: Online Presence, Programs and Tech Upgrades
Funding is available for eligible businesses to establish an online presence and/or utilize digital technologies to create new (or modifying existing) business processes and customer experiences.
Option 5: Outdoor Space Improvements
Funding is available to assist eligible businesses with capital investments allowed by the ARPA Final Rule, such as rehabilitation of commercial properties and storefront/façade improvements.
Only businesses located in a 2022 Qualified Census Tract, as defined and mapped by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, may apply for this Option.
Targeted outreach regarding the program is being conducted and shall include industries and businesses that serve low income/high risk populations; businesses with language and/or technology challenges; and businesses in underserved communities. Multi-lingual support will be provided by TCRCC.