New program looks to assist small local businesses; applications open now and close soon

The Economic Development Councils of Grays Harbor, Clallam, and Jefferson Counties, as well as Grays Harbor and Peninsula Colleges, announced a new grant program called Olympic Peninsula Small Business Boost.

According to a release, the collaborating partners were awarded $1.3M from the Department of Commerce to offer free professional legal and/or marketing services (including simple website development) to underserved businesses within the counties through June 1, 2023. 

As part of the program, free bookkeeping services will be available to help small businesses get set up in QuickBooks.

It also provides free online Bookkeeping Classes to 20+ students living in one of the counties. Those students will receive free online training, a monthly stipend, and a laptop computer loaded with QuickBooks and Microsoft Office that will be theirs to keep upon successful class completion.

Starting in April 2023, these newly certified bookkeepers will be positioned as interns at small businesses that request bookkeeping support. 

During this phase, each student will be supported by the colleges’ technical experts, and they will earn $50 per hour, which is paid for by the grant.

“This is a win-win-win for our community!” said Clallam EDC Executive Director Colleen McAleer. “Each of our communities lacked enough bookkeepers to serve small business requesting help. Now we can help those businesses and train a cohort of professionals at the same time. These newly minted entrepreneurs will likely have a dozen or more clients to launch their own business.”

To apply for bookkeeper training, fill out the application at

Bookkeeper applicants must apply by Dec 15, 2022.

Small business owners must apply no later than Dec, 31, 2022 at

RFPs for local marketers and attorneys will be published soon.

Interested applicants can contact the Olympic Peninsula Small Business Boost Program Manager, Ted Hennessy, at [email protected] if you would like to receive the RFP.

The partners in the program said, “We are grateful to be able to serve our communities!”