Economic Development & Workforce

Washington State Department of Commerce

Washington Hospitality Grants

Project Details

BDS Planning, now Uncommon Bridges, worked with the Washington State Department of Commerce and FORWARD to design an outreach and marketing campaign for the Washington Hospitality Grants Program to reach businesses across Washington State through direct outreach, partnerships with business organizations, email campaigns, social media, digital advertising, and radio. Live webinars, open to the public, announced the program, eligibility criteria, and application process, requirements for the funding set aside for lodging businesses and provided technical and application assistance. Presentations and train-the-trainer sessions with partner organizations provided tailored program information training for those providing technical and application assistance to businesses, while outreach directly to organizations around the state including economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, industry associations, and local governments disseminated program information and eligibility. Over 200,000 impressions led to businesses seeing or interacting with materials.

BDS Planning tailored its outreach strategy based on live application data, including geography and demographics, to ensure businesses throughout the state and with diverse ownership were aware of the grant, especially in low-applicant counties, including Yakima, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Chelan, and Clark. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) organizations were targeted for additional outreach and organizations received offers for in-person presentations in Yakima and the Tri-Cities. BDS Planning prioritized non-English speakers and media to reach business owners in their own language and community as well as conducted a live interview in English and Spanish on Centro Cultural Mexicano and coordinated with Commerce’s tribal liaison to develop specific marketing and outreach to tribal-owned businesses.

  • $79,002,616.03 awarded total
  • $75,822,197.13 in hospitality awards
  • $3,180,418.90 in funding was awarded from Lodging Carve-Out
  • 1,493 businesses supported
  • $52,986.95 - average award
  • Awards in 37 of 39 counties

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