Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and Department of Commerce sign agreement establishing government-to-government relations

Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and Department of Commerce sign agreement establishing government-to-government relations

Milestone memorandum of understanding formalizes areas of partnership; seeks to remove administrative barriers, ensure data sovereignty and more OLYMPIA, WA —  Chehalis Tribe Chairman Dustin Klatush and Washington State Department of Commerce Director Mike Fong today signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing government-to-government relations between the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and the department in a ceremony at Talking Cedars in Rochester, WA. The agreement seeks to…

Commerce awards nearly $40 million in Climate Commitment Act funds for local electrification programs

Commerce awards nearly $40 million in Climate Commitment Act funds for local electrification programs

New and established programs in communities statewide will provide electrification incentives and appliance rebates to homeowners and small businesses OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $39,575,225 in grants to cities, counties, municipal utilities, and state and federally recognized tribes to support electrification of homes and businesses. The funding, made possible by Washington’s Climate Commitment Act, will establish and enhance local programs that provide rebates and…

Commerce partners with Heritage Bank and Calvert Impact to launch small business loan programs

Commerce partners with Heritage Bank and Calvert Impact to launch small business loan programs

Applications open for two new loan programs: Owner-Occupied Commercial Real-Estate and Small Business Flex Fund 2 OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce has launched the first of five planned small business loan and investment programs aimed at increasing access to capital for small businesses in Washington state, particularly those that have been historically underserved or underbanked. A total of $163 million in funding comes from the U.S.…

Climate Commitment Act dollars at work: Commerce awards $7.5 million to five tribes for clean energy projects

Climate Commitment Act dollars at work: Commerce awards $7.5 million to five tribes for clean energy projects

Grants support innovative solar and wave energy projects, advance state goals on environmental justice and equity OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Commerce this week announced $7.5 million in grants to five tribes in Washington to plan, design and build clean energy projects. Funded by Washington’s Climate Commitment Act, these clean energy grants through Commerce are part of an $83 million opportunity that includes $16 million for a…

Remembering Karen Lane Rahm – Statement from Mike Fong

Remembering Karen Lane Rahm – Statement from Mike Fong

Commerce Director Mike Fong issued the following statement on the recent passing of Karen Lane Rahm: On behalf of all of our current and former Department of Commerce team members, I share condolences to the family, and many friends and colleagues of Karen Lane Rahm on her recent passing. Karen led our precursor agency, known as the State Planning and Community Development Agency, prior to being appointed Secretary of the…

Report: Lack of affordable housing options reaches critical levels in communities throughout Washington state

Report: Lack of affordable housing options reaches critical levels in communities throughout Washington state

Affordable Housing Advisory Board releases 2023-2028 Housing Advisory Plan: Affordable Housing Needs in Washington  Olympia, Washington – The lack of affordable housing options has reached critical levels in communities throughout Washington, according to the recently released Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB) Five-Year Housing Advisory Plan. The AHAB report highlights the need for action, detailing that the state must add over a million new homes within the next 20 years to…

Washington’s “Internet for All” initial proposal greenlighted by Biden-Harris Administration

Washington’s “Internet for All” initial proposal greenlighted by Biden-Harris Administration

OLYMPIA, WA –  Washington state’s initial proposal for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program is one of three approved today by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The BEAD program is a cornerstone of the Biden-Harris Administration’s  “Internet for All” initiative. This approval will enable the state to request access to over $1.2 billion allocated to begin implementation of its BEAD program —…

Washington State Community Reinvestment Project invests $9.8 million to provide financial coaching, mentorship for Black, Latine and tribal communities

Washington State Community Reinvestment Project invests $9.8 million to provide financial coaching, mentorship for Black, Latine and tribal communities

New Commerce grants fund organizations taking action to help communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs build a stable financial future OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $9.8 million in grants to 28 organizations and institutions providing financial coaching for communities disproportionally impacted by the historical design and enforcement of state criminal laws and penalties for drug possession, commonly referred to as the war…

Public Works Board approves $21 million in broadband construction, pre-construction, and emergency grants and loans

Public Works Board approves $21 million in broadband construction, pre-construction, and emergency grants and loans

Awards will fund 10 projects in eight counties, and connect nearly 6,000 unserved broadband locations OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Public Works Board (PWB) recently approved $21 million in critical infrastructure projects in 10 communities for broadband construction, pre-construction, and emergency funding. Taking action at its May 3, 2024 business meeting, the PWB approved $20 million to expand broadband access in unserved communities, $550,000 for two pre-construction projects, and two emergency…

Ready, set, drive electric: State instant rebate program to help more consumers choose electric vehicles

Ready, set, drive electric: State instant rebate program to help more consumers choose electric vehicles

Combined with federal and dealer incentives, $45 million in state rebates aim to make EVs accessible to lower income drivers OLYMPIA, WA – The choice and benefits of driving electric vehicles (EVs) is about to become more affordable to many more Washingtonians, thanks to a new state program announced today. Flanked by a showcase of affordably priced EV models at a Seattle City Light public charging station in Tukwila, Gov.…