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Business Briefcase | Business –

Free business trainings scheduled

OLYMPIA — Small business owners can sharpen their business operating skills — from financial statements to improving service — with “ScaleUp: The Rebuild Edition,” an eight-week training course offered by the state Department of Commerce and Thurston Economic Development Council.

Each interactive online course is two hours long and held once a week for eight weeks. The ideal participant is a business owner or president who has operated a business for at least two years and had pre-COVID annual gross revenue in excess of $100,000.

The sessions are scheduled to start Sept. 1 and 2. For information, contact James Davis at [email protected] or (360) 464-6051.

Flex Fund program offers small business loans

OLYMPIA —Low-interest loans of up to $150,000 are available to small business owners and nonprofits through the newly-launched Small Business Flex Fund, a public-private partnership.

The recovery loan program, set up by the state Department of Commerce, is funded with a $30 million investment approved by Gov. Jay Inslee in November 2020. Commerce is partnering with financial institutions and community-based organizations to lend $100 million or more to small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees and annual revenues of less than $3 million.

Qualifying businesses and nonprofits can apply for loans up to $150,000. Loans are available in 60- or 72-month loan terms at interest rates between 3% to 4.5%.

Interested applicants pre-apply on the Flex Fund’s online portal and, if they qualify, will be matched with a lender. Once matched, the participating lender will assist the business owner throughout the application process and provide additional advisory support. If a business doesn’t qualify, they will be connected to a community organization that can assist with finding other resources.