State Equitable Access to Credit program accepting 2023 contributions through December 31

New tax credit program will award grants to qualified lending institutions to provide businesses in historically underserved communities with access to credit.

OLYMPIA, WA – Businesses and individuals with state Business and Occupation Tax (B&O) liabilities can earn tax credits by contributing to the state’s new Equitable Access to Credit program, launched in August. Cash contributions to the program can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit from the Department of Revenue (DOR). A business can contribute up to $1 million annually and receive tax credit. Deadline for 2023 contributions is Dec. 31, 2023.

This tax preference is intended to create or retain jobs and encourage community and economic development by investing in small, underserved businesses in communities that have historically lacked access to traditional loans and capital. Using funds generated by the contributions in exchange for B&O tax credits, the Equitable Access to Credit program will award grants to qualified lending institutions that will in turn provide access to credit for underserved communities.

At least 65% of the value of all grants awarded in any calendar year must go to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) providing services, investments, or both, to Indigenous and rural communities. Commerce is in the final stages of developing the grant program details now, including the application process, administration and distribution of grants, and reporting requirements. The grant application for potential lending institutions is expected to open in March, with the first grant awards anticipated in May.

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