Microenterprise development program.
The microenterprise development program is established in the department of commerce. In implementing the program, the department:
(1) Shall provide organizational support to a statewide microenterprise association and shall contract with the association for the delivery of services and distribution of grants;
(a) The association shall serve as the department's agent in carrying out the purpose and service delivery requirements of this section;
(b) The association's contract with the department shall specify that in administering the funds provided for under subsection (3) of this section, the association may use no greater than ten percent of the funds to cover administrative expenses;
(2) Shall provide funds for capacity building for the statewide microenterprise association and microenterprise development organizations throughout the state;
(3) Shall provide grants to microenterprise development organizations for the delivery of training and technical assistance services;
(4) Shall identify and facilitate the availability of state, federal, and private sources of funds which may enhance microenterprise development in the state;
(5) Shall develop with the statewide microenterprise association criteria for the distribution of grants to microenterprise development organizations. Such criteria may include:
(a) The geographic representation of all regions of the state, including both urban and rural communities;
(b) The ability of the microenterprise development organization to provide business development services in low-income communities;
(c) The scope of services offered by a microenterprise development organization and their efficiency in delivery of such services;
(d) The ability of the microenterprise development organization to monitor the progress of its customers and identify technical and financial assistance needs;
(e) The ability of the microenterprise development organization to work with other organizations, public entities, and financial institutions to meet the technical and financial assistance needs of its customers;
(f) The sufficiency of operating funds for the microenterprise development organization; and
(g) Such other criteria as agreed by the department and the association;
(6) Shall require the statewide microenterprise association and any microenterprise development organization receiving funds through the microenterprise development program to raise and contribute to the effort funded by the microenterprise development program an amount equal to twenty-five percent of the microenterprise development program funds received. Such matching funds may come from private foundations, federal or local sources, financial institutions, or any other source other than funds appropriated from the legislature;
(7) Shall require under its contract with the statewide microenterprise association an annual accounting of program outcomes, including job creation, access to capital, leveraging of nonstate funds, and other outcome measures specified by the department. By January 1, 2012, the joint legislative audit and review committee shall use these outcome data and other relevant information to evaluate the program's effectiveness; and
(8) May adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.
[2009 c 565 § 15; 2007 c 322 § 3.]
| Findings -- Purpose -- Intent -- 2007 c 322: "(1) The legislature finds that:|
(a) Microenterprises are an important portion of Washington's economy, providing approximately twenty percent of the employment in Washington and playing a vital role in job creation.
(b) While community-based microenterprise development organizations have expanded their assistance to their microentrepreneur customers in recent years, there remains a lack of access to capital, training, and technical assistance for low-income microentrepreneurs.
(c) Support for microenterprise development offers a means to expand business and job creation in low-income communities in both rural and urban areas of the state.
(d) Local and state charitable foundation support, federal program funding, and private sector support can be leveraged by a statewide program for development of microenterprises.
(2) It is the purpose of this act to assist microenterprises in job creation by increasing the training, technical assistance, and financial resources available to microenterprises. It is the intention of the legislature to carry out this purpose by enabling the *department of community, trade, and economic development to contract with a statewide microenterprise association with the potential to provide organizational support and administer grants to local microenterprise development organizations, subject to the requirements of this act, and to leverage additional funds from sources other than moneys appropriated from the general fund." [2007 c 322 § 1.]
*Reviser's note: The "department of community, trade, and economic development" was renamed the "department of commerce" by 2009 c 565.