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Small business assistance grants

What are small business assistance grants?

Small business assistance grants provide small employers (150 or fewer employees) with grant money to help cover costs associated with one of their employees taking Paid Family and Medical Leave.

There are two types of small business assistance grants: One for employers who added an employee to their payroll temporarily to replace an existing employee on leave, and one to help cover other wage related costs or equipment purchases.

The application for small business assistance grants is available now. Log-in to your employer account to apply.

Who’s eligible for a grant?

Grants are available when employers with 150 or fewer employees:

  1. Had an employee take Paid Family and Medical Leave.
  2. Incurred costs related to the employee taking leave.

Are there small businesses that aren’t eligible?

Yes. Employers who have an approved Voluntary Plan and employers with outstanding or delinquent wage reports or with overdue premium payments are not eligible.

Are there additional requirements for employers who receive a grant?

If you have fewer than 50 employees, you will be required to pay the employer share of the premium for all employees for three years (12 quarters) after receiving a grant. The additional premiums will be assessed quarterly when you submit your reports. You can estimate your additional premium costs with our premium calculator.

If you have between 50 and 150 employees, you already pay the employer share of the premium and do not have additional requirements.

Which grant type should I apply for?

If you added a new employee to your payroll to replace an employee on Paid Leave, you can apply for the grant to cover adding a temporary employee ($3,000).

If you did not add a new employee to your payroll but had other wage-related costs like paying additional wages to an existing employee, using a temp agency or purchasing additional equipment, you can apply for a wage-related costs grant of up to $1,000.

How much money do the grants provide?

There are two types of grant, each with a different payment amount:

  • Grants for wage-related costs of up to $1,000.
  • Grants of $3,000 for adding a temporary employee to your payroll.

When should I apply?

You need to apply within four months of the date your employee returns from Paid Family and Medical Leave. But you don’t need to wait: you can apply as soon as your employee’s paid family or medical leave is approved by ESD.

Note: If you had an employee take Paid Family and Medical Leave in 2020, you have until April 30, 2021 to apply for a grant. Apply now by logging in to your Paid Leave employer account.

I had an employee take leave more than four months ago. Can I still apply for a grant?

If you had an employee use approved Paid Family and Medical Leave in 2020, you have until April 30, 2021 to apply for a grant.

What information do I need to provide on the application?

The first time you apply, you’ll need to provide your bank account and routing number so that we know where to send your payment if you’re approved.

For the grant application itself, you’ll need:

  • The name, Social Security number, leave dates and claim ID (if you have it) for the employee who took leave.
  • The type of grant you’re applying for and how much money you’re requesting.
  • An explanation of how the costs are related to the employee who took leave and documentation that supports your request.
    • For wage-related costs, provide receipts, personnel or payroll records, signed statements or other written documentation to show your costs. Each document must show the date the cost was incurred.
    • For adding a new employee to your payroll, documentation that shows the new employee’s name, start date and Social Security number. The documentation should also clearly show the business’s name.

How do I apply?

Before you apply, review our application checklist and make sure you have all the information you’ll need before you start the process.


  • Log-in to your Paid Leave employer account.
  • Under “More” on the top ribbon, you’ll find the small business assistance grant information and application page.

Is there a limit on how many grants I can apply for each year?

You may apply for up to 10 grants each year, one per employee on leave.

Note: If you had an employee take Paid Leave in 2020 and the end date of their leave was more than four months ago, you have until April 30, 2021 to apply for a grant related to their leave, and those applications won’t count toward your total for 2021.

I have an approved Voluntary Plan. Can I apply for a grant?

No. Employers with an active Voluntary Plan are not eligible for a grant.