Grant funding is not currently available.

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Emergency Safety Grants for Small Employers

Through the experience of COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington State Legislature recognized the hardship small employers face trying to weather a disaster and pay for critical worker safety measures to stay in operation.

To help ease this financial burden during future disasters, the Legislature created an emergency safety grant program for businesses and nonprofit organizations with 25 or fewer employees.

When activated, the program provides one-time grants to small employers to meet new requirements created due to a governor-declared state of emergency.

Use of grant funds

Grants can be used to buy equipment, gear, or to make capital improvements needed to follow any new worker safety and health requirements related to the declared emergency.

Grant amounts

Grant amounts are based on:

  • Available funds
  • Number of eligible applicants
  • Amount of funds requested by applicants
  • Impact of the disaster or event leading to the declared emergency, such as:
    • Size of event
    • Number of employers affected
    • Associated new safety and health requirements
  • Type and number of employers affected
  • Other factors announced when the grant program is activated

Grant amounts awarded may be less than requested.

Eligibility & Requirements

Eligibility and Requirements

Grant eligibility

To be eligible for a grant, employers must:

  • Be a business or nonprofit organization.
  • Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees:
    • The employee count considers all employees, whether they're in Washington or other locations.
    • The count includes employees of businesses with common ownership (50% or more).
  • Have employees in the region affected by the governor-declared emergency.
  • Have new employee safety and health requirements to meet.
  • Have an active workers' compensation account with L&I.
  • Be in good standing with L&I. If the employer has unpaid L&I debt, there must be a payment plan in place.
  • Fill out and send the application form during the application acceptance period.

Participants cannot receive funds from other sources, such as other grants, federal programs, or insurance contracts, for the same purpose.

Grant application requirements

The grant application requires employers to:

  • Provide information about your business or nonprofit organization.
  • Detail the amount of funds requested.
  • Explain how the funds will be used.
  • Certify the accuracy of the information provided.
  • Verify your authority to apply on behalf of the business or organization.
  • Agree to the recordkeeping and verification requirements. Grant recipients are required to:
    • Keep records of purchases made with grant funds for 6 years and make them available for inspection upon request by L&I.
    • Allow L&I on site upon request to:
      • View the purchased equipment, nondisposable gear, or capital improvements during or after the emergency.
      • Verify emergency use of purchased items through interviews with employees.
How the Program Works

Activating the Program

During an emergency

L&I can activate the Small Employer Emergency Grant Program during any governor-declared state of emergency.

The decision to activate the program is based on:

  • The emergency's impact on small employers.
  • Whether the emergency results in new requirements for the safety and health of workers to continue operations.
  • The nature of the new requirements.
  • The availability of funding.

If grants are available, further information and links will be provided through this web page, including:

  • Disaster name and declaration date
  • Geographic area affected
  • Disaster-related safety and health requirements
  • Application information and form