Stakeholder Newsletter
February 2024
Please contact Neil Subhash in the SBA Seattle District Office with any questions: neil.subhash@sba.gov

Beto Yarce Selected as Regional Administrator

In January, President Biden appointed Beto Yarce to serve as SBA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest, overseeing the agency’s programs, offices and operations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Yarce brings extensive experience as an entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, and small business advocate to the position. Originally from Mexico, Yarce moved in 2003 to Seattle, Washington where he launched a business and became involved in the local entrepreneurial and immigrant services communities. He went on to lead Ventures, a nonprofit organization working to alleviate poverty through small business ownership.

Read the full announcement from SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman to learn more.

SBA Introduces 60-Day Goodwill Exception Period, Increased Outreach to Borrowers

For COVID EIDL and PPP borrowers with loans under $100,000, the SBA has implemented a 60-day goodwill exception period starting January 1 and lasting through March 3, 2024, to help bring them into compliance and avoid the repercussions of defaulting on a government loan. During this period, the SBA will build on its extensive outreach to affected businesses to ensure that PPP borrowers know how to apply for forgiveness and COVID EIDL borrowers are aware of all repayment options — including the opportunity for hardship repayment plans. Further, the SBA will refrain from escalating collections activities until after the goodwill exemption period. Read the full announcement for more information.

If PPP borrowers are unsure if their loan has been forgiven, they can check by logging in to the MySBA loan portal. Once logged in, borrowers will see all of their SBA loans, including PPP loans, and the status of each loan. For PPP loans, the status will show “paid in full” if the PPP loan has been forgiven.

Assistance – PPP Forgiveness Call Center

open Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm ET

All COVID EIDL borrowers must repay their loans, but the SBA has programs to help – including expanded hardship accommodation plans. COVID EIDL hardship accommodation plans significantly lower monthly payments – sometimes as low as $25 per month – for six months, and then payments gradually increase over a multi-year period.

More information for COVID EIDL hardship accommodation plans is available on the SBA website. Many borrowers can apply for a hardship accommodation plan directly through the MySBA loan portal. Once logged in, COVID EIDL borrowers can click “Loan Summaries” in the toolbar, then “Hardship Accommodation Plan” in the bottom right corner, and finally “Learn More and Enroll.”

Assistance – COVID EIDL Customer Service 


open Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm ET

Stage One Competition Now Accepting Applications

The SBA recently announced the opening of the 2024 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC), offering a total of $50,000 to $200,000 in awards to organizations seeking to foster an innovation support ecosystem to advance small business research and development from ideas to the commercial market. The Stage One competition opened on January 8, 2024 for a 5-week window, closing February 16, 2024.

Stage One offers $50,000 in cash prizes awarded to organizations for ecosystem-building activities, including recruitment of new partners, and strengthening existing alliances among stakeholders (including public, private, non-profit, and academic partners). Contestants work collaboratively with chosen partners to bring additional resources, deepen network connections, and develop strategies to support STEM/R&D-focused entrepreneurs and small businesses. SBA welcomes Stage One submissions from a broad range of organizations with a collaborative vision to nurture a national ecosystem for equitable access to entrepreneurship.

Informational Webinars


January 16, 2024 | 2pm (EST)
GAFC Pre-Application Webinar: Goals, Rules, and How to Apply
Watch the Recording

January 31, 2024 | 2pm (EST)
GAFC Theme Explanation Webinar: A Deep Dive into the Tech Themes with Experts from Relevant Federal Agencies
Click Here to Register

New to SBA? Start Here!

Whether you are new to small business, or new to the SBA, this introductory webinar provides a general overview of SBA programs for small businesses. Learn how the SBA supports small businesses at every stage, how to access these programs, and how to get in touch with your local SBA staff.

This free webinar takes place once a month, on the third Tuesday, 12:30 – 1:30p.m. Please consider adding this to your event calendars, monthly newsletters, etc.

Links for upcoming dates

Deeper Dive on SBA Programs and Resources for Small Businesses
Wednesday Webinars are free, weekly trainings to introduce current or prospective small business owners to the wide variety of programs and resources hosted by the SBA. Please consider attending these if you are interested in learning more about these programs and help spread the word!

Each week, the Seattle District team will feature a new topic including introductions to our technical assistance Resource Partners, details of SBA loan programs, federal contracting programs and certifications, and resources for small business exporting.

View the 2024 Calendar

Scheduled for February 2024

Wednesday, February 14 | Loan Programs: Funding for Working Capital
Join staff from the SBA Seattle District office to learn how the SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program can be used to meet your company’s working capital needs. More info

Wednesday, February 21 | Contracting: Joint Ventures Program
Joint ventures allow certain businesses to compete together for government contracts reserved for small businesses. Join us this week to learn more about this program, benefits, and how to create a joint-venture to pursue new opportunities. More info

Wednesday, February 28 | Are You Ready to Export? Meet the Export Finance Center of Washington
The Export Finance Center of Washington (EFACW) provides consultation services in payment risk mitigation and export finance including credit insurance, letters of credit, foreign exchange, Export-Import Bank and Small Business Administration export finance guaranty programs. EFACW offers businesses information on how to finance and get paid for their export sales and acts as a matchmaker for their banking relationship. More info

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