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Ignite Northwest receives $2.2 million CARES Act grant

UPDATED: Mon., July 27, 2020

This photo from March 18, 2020, shows Ignite Northwest marketing director Cyndi Donahue as she works at her Spokane home. Ignite Northwest has received $2.2 million of federal funding to invest in emerging companies.  (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)
This photo from March 18, 2020, shows Ignite Northwest marketing director Cyndi Donahue as she works at her Spokane home. Ignite Northwest has received $2.2 million of federal funding to invest in emerging companies. (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)

Ignite Northwest received a federal coronavirus relief grant to assist emerging companies in the region, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Monday.

The $2.2 million Caronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Recovery Assistance grant will allow Ignite to provide loans to early-stage businesses with tremendous growth potential that otherwise can’t secure bank financing, Ignite Northwest CEO Tom Simpson said in an email.

Ignite Northwest is planning to invest the funds in up to 10 companies in the region over the next two years.

As loans mature and are paid back, Ignite will re-invest funds into other newly emerging companies, Simpson said.

Loan amounts are anticipated to range from $100,000 to $250,000, he said.

The grant was among $8.6 million in CARES Act recovery funds awarded to recipients in the state by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

More than $4 million in funding went to Eastern Washington recipients, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce news release.

The Tri-County Economic Development District in Colville is receiving a $1.7 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties.

The Benton-Franklin Government Council in Richland is receiving a $1.5 million grant, according to the department.

Ignite Northwest received a prior CARES Act grant from the department that provided funding to 12 companies, including GenPrime, Gestalt Diagnostics, Medcurity, RiskLens, Rohinni and Spicelogy.

Four of the loans have been repaid and Ignite is reinvesting the capital into additional loans, Simpson said.

Ignite Northwest funds, enlightens and mentors entrepreneurs and growing companies in the Spokane region.

Ignite Northwest is managed by Simpson, Jeff White, chief financial officer, and Cyndi Donahue, marketing director.

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