Accepting applications for the Equitable Access to Credit Grant

The Equitable Access to Credit Program, authorized by HB 1015 (RCW 82.04.449) (PDF), provides a tax preference mechanism that generates funds for grants to qualified lending institutions. These grants, funded through contributions in exchange for B&O tax credits, are dedicated to providing access to credit for historically underserved communities. A minimum of 65% of the value of all grants awarded in any calendar year must be allocated for native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) or grantees to provide services or invest, or both, in rural counties. The Program’s goal is to encourage investment in small, rural, and underserved business to boost community and economic development in Washington. For the 2024 grant cycle, Commerce has $1 million in funding available to be allocated to eligible Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Grant applicants must:

  • Be recognized by the United States Department of the Treasury as an emerging community development financial institution (CDFI) or a certified CDFI
  • Be registered as a nonprofit organization exempt from taxation under Title 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) of the federal internal revenue code of 1986
  • Demonstrate a history of lending in Washington
  • Cash match any grant awarded by the Equitable Access to Credit Program on:
    • At least a five percent basis, if the institution is an emerging CDFI
    • At least a ten percent basis, if recognized as a CDFI and has net assets fewer than $3M at the time of grant application
    • At least a twenty-five percent basis if recognized as an emerging CDFI and has net assets of more than $3M at the time of grant application

Application deadline

Equitable Access to Credit Program grant applications are due on July 1, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. PT. Apply to the grant using the online grant application on Smartsheet.

Questions? Please contact

Grant Materials

Grant application materials and resources are available online (on Box).

Share this Post