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WSDA awards $14.2M to small ag businesses; over $500k to local businesses

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has awarded more than $14 million in COVID-19 Relief and Recovery grants to 839 businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Of those grants, over $500,000 went to 31 Twin Harbor craft brewers, shellfish growers, agritourism farms, and a farmer’s market.

Sector Grant Business Name County Award Amount
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage Steam Donkey Brewing Company LLC Grays Harbor $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage Wynoochee River Winery and Gardens Grays Harbor $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage Westport Winery Inc Grays Harbor $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage Wishkah River Distillery Grays Harbor $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Lytle Seafoods LLC Grays Harbor $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Markham Oyster INC. Grays Harbor $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Brady’s Oysters, Inc Grays Harbor $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Nagles Chenois Creek Oyster Company Grays Harbor $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant: Agritourism Farms Chapmans Pumpkin Patch LLC Grays Harbor $15,000
WSDA COVID-19 Recovery Grant – Farmers Market Organizations WHOLE HARBOR Grays Harbor $10,000
Grays Harbor Total $161,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage North Jetty Brewing, LLC Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage Wild Man Brewing Company Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage Turtle Rock cellars, Inc Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage Willapa Brewing Co LLC Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Craft Beverage Adrift Distillers, Inc. Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Willapa Bay Enterprises Corporation Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Herrold Fish and Oyster Co., Inc. Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Northern Oyster Co. Inc. Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers R & J Seafood Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers R & B Oyster Inc Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Bay Center Mariculture Co. Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Wiegardt & Sons, INC Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Long Island Oyster Co Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Heckes Oyster Company Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Heckes Clams Inc Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Olsen & Son Oyster Co. Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Willapa Bay Shellfish, inc. Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant – Shellfish Growers Nisbet Oyster Co.,Inc Pacific $17,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant: Agritourism Farms Willapa Valley Farms Pacific $15,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant: Agritourism Farms Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation Pacific $15,000
WSDA Relief and Recovery Grant: Agritourism Farms Fred’s Homegrown Produce Pacific $15,000
Pacific Total $351,000

After the coronavirus pandemic affected small agriculture businesses and local food supply chains in different ways, the WSDA identified four business sectors that faced additional challenges qualifying for financial assistance through earlier relief programs. 

The WSDA Relief and Recovery grants, funded through a partnership with the Washington State Department of Commerce, are intended to assist small businesses in these four agriculture business sectors, including:

  • shellfish growers
  • farmers market organizations
  • agritourism farms
  • craft beverage producers

“These grants will boost the Washington state agricultural industry, helping prevent business closures and supporting the health and diversity of Washington state’s overall economy,” WSDA Director Derek Sandison said. “Our economy needs the businesses in these four sectors to recover from the pandemic for the health of our economy as a whole.” 

From WSDA:

Ninety percent of shellfish in Washington is consumed in restaurants. When restaurants closed, Washington’s shellfish producers lost revenue. The grants will help these businesses purchase equipment, expand operations, keep staff employed, and pay rent. 

The farmers market sector, which generates an estimated $60 million in sales to small businesses each year, dealt with restrictions at their events which led to reduced income from vendor fees, fewer shoppers, and the need to deploy resources toward ensuring public safety standards. Farmers market organizations plan to use the funds toward operating expenses, staffing, covering costs for COVID-19 requirements, and event promotion and educational activities.  

Agritourism experiences are part of Washington farms and ranches business success. With the pandemic keeping people at home, visitor spending in Washington was down 47 percent in 2020. Agritourism businesses plan to use their grant funds toward expanding activities, and adapting their businesses to comply with guidelines and the costs associated with safety enhancements. 

Pandemic restrictions forced Washington small craft beverage producers to close their doors, resulting in massive income loss. These grants will help producers pay their rent or mortgage, invest in materials, supplies and labor, while also working to keep their staff employed. 

The grants are being issued now with all businesses scheduled to receive their payments by mid-June.

For more information, visit agr.wa.gov/grants.


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