Business Funding Opportunities

Access to capital is critical to any small business. The City of Vancouver recognizes that today’s business owners are busy with staffing, inventory, bookkeeping and many other entrepreneurial tasks. You don’t have time to research the internet for low-cost loans, grants, or new business opportunities. To help you stay focused on your small business, let us do that for you.

Below, you will find local, state, federal and private grant opportunities – in addition to published business proposals – for nonprofits, businesses and agencies. As you consider these options, please review the parameters and requirements needed to qualify and to apply.

Feel free to reach out to the City’s Economic Development Team with any questions that you may have:

The Latest Opportunities

Most recent opportunities listed first. Please be aware of application deadlines for each listing.

To apply for many grants, you are now required to have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number

You may apply for grants without a UEI, but you cannot receive funds until you have an UEI. Click to apply now.

WorkSource: The Association for Talent Development offers help with staff training costs

WorkSource would like to help support your businesses and remove financial barriers that may be preventing you from hiring necessary and needed talent. The Association for Talent Development reports that organizations spend an average of $1,252 on employee training. By working with us, you can help offset the cost of doing business. Right now, we can subsidize your employees’ training starting at $2,500. More than double the reported average spend! To learn more about how WorkSource can help pay for your staff’s training, contact Karin LaValla at or call at 360-735-4957.

Fourth Plain Forward and the NAACP offer BIPOC Food Permit Scholarships

Fourth Plain Forward has partnered with the NAACP to bring you the BIPOC Food Permit Scholarship. This scholarship is designed to lower the cost barrier of food safety permits. If you have been wanting to grow your food business, expand your side food business into catering, or take your amazing food to market, this is your opportunity. This scholarship is for currently operating businesses seeking to expand reach. Business owners must live/operate within Vancouver City limits to qualify.

¿Está listo/a para llevar su negocio de comida al siguiente nivel? Fourth Plain Forward se ha asociado con la NAACP para ofrecerte la Beca de Permisos de Salud para Venta de Comida. La beca está diseñada para reducir la barrera de costo de los permisos de salud alimentaria. Si ha estado deseando hacer crecer su negocio de comida, expandir su negocio a servicio de catering, o llevar tus deliciosos platos a los mercados, esta es su oportunidad. Esta beca está diseñada para propietarios de negocios en la ciudad de Vancouver que buscan expandir su alcance y que han estado operando a pequeña escala debido a las barreras de costo de los permisos. No es para negocios completamente nuevos.

Community Foundation for SW Washington offers Focus Grant Program

Is your organization working to address disparities in the community? The Community Foundation for SW Washington‘s Focus Grant Program is your opportunity to make a real difference. These grants are designed to support projects, programs and initiatives that provide systemically underserved families and communities with access to the tools and opportunities needed to chart their own path toward resilience and prosperity.

Ready to turn your vision into reality? Apply now. Second round of applications open July 15, 2024, and close August 31, 2024.

WA State Department of Commerce: Building for the Arts Grant Program

The Washington State Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2025–2027 Building for the Arts grant program. This grant opportunity is available to all tribes and nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on performing arts, art museum, and cultural organization projects. Applications close June 27, 2024, at 5 PST offers climate-related rebates & more

Climate action nationally and in Washington state is offering incentives and rebate programs for consumers, new jobs in clean energy and conservation, and investments to make neighborhoods safer and healthier. The newly launched Washington Climate Action site includes a directory of training programs and a directory of rebate and incentive programs. Learn how the Climate Commitment Act is being put to work in schools, businesses, and neighborhoods.

MESO offering financial assistance to Clark County Small Businesses

MESO is a non-profit CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) who works with government agencies to offer business financing to small business owners. They offer business term loans up to $250,000 at a competitive interest rate. Learn more information here.

Workforce SW WA seeks HR and DEI experts to provide consulting services

Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) is seeking qualified contractors to provide consulting services to local businesses.  If you’re an expert in these areas, you may be qualified:  human resources, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.  If accepted, you would be working with local business that are working to strengthen and improve job quality for their employees. WSW will select contractors for future projects from qualified respondents to their RQF.

Learn more about WSW here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed monthly until June 2025.

Working Families Tax Credit for WA Workers: Your Family May Qualify for $1,255

Take advantage of Washington’s Working Families Tax Credit. This program was introduced last year and offers qualifying Washington families a potential return of up to $1,255. Don’t miss out—spend a few moments to check your eligibility and then apply.

Impact Washington offers manufacturing grants and vouchers

Impact Washington helps manufacturing businesses excel in every facet of business. They offer numerous federal, state and local grants, like the Small Manufacturers Growth and Support Grant or the Lean and Green – Ecology Grant.

To learn more about all the grants and programs that Impact Washington offers, visit their grants page.

Coalition to back Black Businesses will award $1.3 million in grants

The Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) is now accepting applications for its grant program to provide $5,000 grants to 272 Black-owned small businesses to help them meet critical needs and invest in long-term growth. From 2020 through 2024, the CBBB will distribute $5,000 grants to selected applicants each fall, followed by mentorship and training, and a select few will receive $25,000 enhancement grants the following summer.

To meet the criteria, one must employ 3-20 people (including owner and all employees, or individuals working under a 1099 or similar contractual agreement), be located in an economically vulnerable community according to the Distressed Communities Index and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more and to see if your zip code qualifies, visit:

67 grants, loans and programs to benefit your Small Business

CO & the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are committed to helping entrepreneurs start, run and grow their small business. They’ve created this list of small business loans and grants – each with its own link for more information.  

Keep in mind that not all assistance flows directly from the federal government to small business. Some funds are distributed to state and local governments and agencies, nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher learning. Then, these entities may distribute the funds, or use them to provide technical or educational assistance on a local level.  When searching through grant and contracting options, note that you may qualify for more than one program. The assistance available to you from the government will vary, depending on your specific situation. 

Learn more at Free Grants and Programs for Small Business.

WA Department of Enterprise Services: Want to do business with the State?

State agencies are actively seeking to spend money with small, diverse, and veteran-owned Washington businesses.  Learn more from WA State DES.

Featured contracting opportunities for small, diverse, and veteran-owned businesses:

Stay informed and subscribe to the monthly email bulletin for small, diverse and veteran-owned businesses.

WA State Department of Commerce: Seeking Applications for Clean Energy Projects

The WA State Department of Commerce is now accepting applications to support the planning, design, and construction of clean energy projects through a general round, which is open to all eligible project types and applicants. Approximately $34 million will be available in this general round to support the following project areas:

Applications are due by June 14, 2024

NASE Growth Grants for those who need capital for their business

Grants can be used for marketing, advertising, hiring employees, expanding facilities and other specific business needs. Four winners are chosen each quarter to be awarded up to a $4,000 grant to support the growth of their business.

Since 2006, NASE has awarded nearly $1,000,000 through the Growth Grants® program by providing small business grants.

A few examples of what grant funds may be used for: hire and train additional employees, market your business in new and exciting ways, or invest in new equipment or software.

Apply for the NASE Business Grant.

IFundWomen: Offers a universal grant application process for multiple grants

IFundWomen is a grant marketplace that specializes in funding and coaching for women-owned businesses. You can submit one application, and when IFundWomen adds a grant from an enterprise partner, it will match the partner’s grant criteria to your application within their database.

If your business is a match, you’ll receive a notification and an invitation to apply. Previous grant partners have included companies like Visa, Neutrogena and American Express.

Learn more about their ongoing grant options.

Export Voucher Program: Small Business help if you export, or want to export

Export Vouchers, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), reimburses eligible export expenses up to $10,000. If your business qualifies, you may receive up to the maximum allowed for that activity. Awards are granted based on a committee review of your export voucher application.

More than 900 WA State companies have used export vouchers to offset their exporting expenses – from mobile app developers and wakeboard manufacturers to remanufactured engine specialists and turnkey metalworkers. Learn more about the Export Voucher Program and how to apply.

Are you a small, diverse, or veteran-owned business? The Department of Enterprise Services (DES) is here to help

The purpose of DES is to help small, diverse, and veteran-owned businesses understand and participate in the bidding process so they can contract to do business with WA State. The first step to doing business with WA State is registering in Washington Electronic Business Solution (WEBS).

Upcoming goods and services contract opportunities:

If you have any questions about planned procurements or the bidding process, contact: or 360-902-7400.

Agencies that provide Small Business assistance, free resources, awards, grants, etc.

There are free resources and services available to WA State small businesses. Each organization listed here has specific requirements to qualify, and many of these opportunities are offered to specific types of businesses or to specific industries.

Some organizations that assist small businesses have annual awards or contests. Prizes may include money, recognition, or other useful resources. These organizations host awards and contests specifically for small minority or women-owned businesses. Learn more from WA State Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises.

Ever think about doing business with the government? Win government bids and connect directly to local or state government agencies looking for businesses like yours

Some examples of government agencies looking for “vendors” like you: Department of Agriculture seeks social media company to promote the health benefits of cherries, Department of Natural Resources seeks janitorial services in a single county, a bus company seeks a qualified firm to re-brand their company, or the Department of Wildlife seeking pamphlet productions for hunting and fishing pamphlets.

These are just a few examples of the depth and breadth of opportunities that are available to small business owners.

  1. Create an account at:
  2. Search current “Open Bid” opportunities at WEBS ( Select dropdown menu to filter through Government Organizations seeking hired services.
  3. See other local businesses that have registered to be a “vendor” at
  4. Select “Search for Vendors,” then choose your City and State in top Vendor Name section, and narrow search by scrolling down and selecting your County in the Counties section. Since these businesses have created an account, they may be notified of government jobs as they become open and may apply to win bids.

The Amber Foundation: Monthly and annual grants to Women-Owned Businesses

Founded in 1998, the Amber Grant was one of the first online organizations to provide women-owned businesses with grants. The Amber Grant offers a monthly $10,000 Amber Grant to a woman entrepreneur. Plus, they’ll grant an additional annual $25,000 Amber Grant to one of the preceding 12 monthly Amber Grant winners.

In addition to the above, they also offer a separate $10,000 grant every month to a “Business Category” entrepreneur. These grant categories can include anything from fashion designers, restaurant owners, health/wellness practitioners, to hair product business owners.

Learn more about Amber GrantsNew grants are accepted each month.

Federal PPP Loan Forgiveness

Borrowers that received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans can find information about whether they are eligible for forgiveness on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s online portal.