Yakima County’s Supporting Investment in Economic Development (SIED) program is the result of 1997 state legislation to help remedy distress in rural areas. SIED awards grants and loans to finance public infrastructure such as access roads, rail lines, sewer and water extensions, or other public works to support private investment and job creation.

Since 1999 Yakima County’s SIED program has invested over $48 million in 125 local infrastructure projects (road, water, sewer) throughout the county (through January 31, 2019). Companies supported by SIED have invested over $385 million in new facilities and created over 2150 new jobs. If you need assistance applying for SIED funding or just have some preliminary questions, call Jonathan Smith or Joe Schmitt at 509-575-1140.

SIED Operating Principles and Application Guidelines

(Click here to download the program guidelines)

No more than $1,000,000 total SIED funding will be awarded per project, loan and grant combined

Funds must be used to invest in “public facilities” for purposes of this program

  • “Public Facilities” means bridges, roads, railroads, domestic and industrial water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, electricity, natural gas or telecommunications in Yakima County. To quality, infrastructure must be publically owned.
  • “Economic development purposes” means those purposes which facilitate the creation or retention of private businesses and jobs in Yakima County.

Considerations when prioritizing applications

  • Applications that support tangible job creation in traded sector businesses will be the highest priority. Retail or non-traded sector businesses can be considered only when traded sector growth is not likely due to infrastructure and other limitations.
  • Priority will be given to applications where the funding (both grant and loan) awarded is $30,000 or less per job created or retained.
  • Applications that support new or retained tax revenues will be given priority.
  • Applications should be prioritized based on readiness to proceed. Applications will not be accepted to support private sector projects that are already under construction.
  • Communities with higher levels of economic distress should receive higher priority.
  • Communities with populations of less than 5,000 should receive special consideration and priority
  • Increase funding priority if local, state or federal funds are leveraged. Private funds spent on public improvements or infrastructure will also count towards leverage.

Using funds to support job creation and private investment

  • Applications that will lead to private sector investment and job creation will be funded at a 50/50 grant to loan ratio. If there is no immediate private sector investment or job creation associated with the application, then the applicant is eligible for a loan only.
  • Projects without immediate job creation potential should be carefully evaluated for future potential. SIED funds invested in prospective projects should be based on their readiness to proceed and the likelihood of future private sector investment and job creation.
  • SIED funds will no longer be used to fund feasibility or planning studies.
  • Applicants are required to complete the SIED Reporting Form as included in the SIED Funding Application.

Funds should benefit the community at-large, and be supported by the community at-large

  • A 20% local match of the funds requested is required for all applications and local community commitment should be evident
  • The public facilities being funded must be identified in local comprehensive plans and/or capital facilities plans.
  • Care should be taken to avoid funding applications that will lead to “windfall profits” for one entity or business at the expense of the rest of the community.

Ensure the sustainability of the fund

  • Use loans to support projects where private sector job creation, or private investment is not immediate or anticipated but will provide other benefits consistent with RCW 82.14.370.
  • Applicants must show that SIED funds are leveraged by other funding sources and that they adequately sought all potential funding sources for the project.
  • Principal and interest deferrals can be granted on loans to support applications where the board determines such deferrals are necessary or appropriate.
  • A grant in excess of 50% of the total SIED request will be considered only when applications involve a business that creates at least 100 new jobs at or above the County average annual wage plus benefits, or when there is a public facilities emergency that threatens local businesses and jobs.
  • If the public infrastructure project has not been completed within one year of an award of SIED funding, the applicant must request and justify an extension of the award to the board of advisors. If the project is deemed unlikely to proceed in the next year, the board may return the awarded funds to the SIED program to support applications that are ready to proceed. The applicant can re-apply when its project is ready to proceed.

Yakima County applications of regional significance

  • Based on consultation with the County Commissioners, Up to $1.8 million of SIED funding annually may be set aside for special County projects. Set asides will be established in a manner that tries to maintain historical SIED funding levels for other jurisdictions within the County.
  • Yakima County will use the SIED Board to evaluate its projects when appropriate and will periodically provide the SIED Board a list of projects funded with this special set aside

Reserves and set-asides

  • 20 percent of annual funding will be reserved for applications from rural communities with populations of less than 5,000. Applications from these communities must meet all policy parameters listed above and unspent funds out of this reserve fund may be rolled into the general fund for other projects at the end of the fiscal year.
  • $500,000 will be held in reserve until October of each year to fund applications for unanticipated business investment projects. Funds not used by October will be released for other appropriate projects fitting the program’s investment policies.

Questions? Call Jonathan Smith or Joe Schmitt at 509-575-1140.

SIED Board meetings are held the third Thursday of the first month of each quarter at 10:00 am in the Business Resource Center conference room, 10 North 9th Street, Yakima Washington.

Upcoming 2019 Application Deadlines                    2019 Meeting Dates
July 18, 2019                                                                   July 11, 2019 by 5 PM
October 17, 2019                                                            October 10, 2019 by 5 PM

• Applicants, Board Members and stakeholders will receive reminder notice prior to each quarterly meeting.

• The SIED program is willing to consider special meetings to consider urgent or unanticipated projects that cannot be considered during the normal application cycles.

• As administrator of the SIED program, Yakima County Development Association provides technical assistance to jurisdictions engaged in public infrastructure projects.

• Applications and SIED Policy Principles are available upon request. If you need application materials, have questions, or need assistance please call our office at 509-575-1140.

Click here to download the SIED application. The applicant must be a public entitity within Yakima County (cities, municipalities, port districts, Yakima County). YCDA administers the SIED program, so contact us before you start the process so we can offer some insights and guidance. We’re here to help! Call Jonathan Smith or Joe Schmitt @ 509-575-1140.