Stay Home, Stay Healthy Announcement
On Thursday, April 2nd, Governor Jay Inslee announced a month-long extension of his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order Thursday evening. The order, which banned all gatherings and temporarily shuttered non-essential businesses, will continue through May 4.
- Require every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity.
- Ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes.
- Close all businesses except essential businesses. (See the a full list of essential businesses here. To clarify status, or to petition to be added to this list, please email: email@example.com.)
- Guidance from Employment Security Department Washington State for Workers and Businesses (ESDWA)
- Governor’s Office resource list for Washington State business and workers impacted by COVID-19
- Resources offered: financial assistance, export assistance, insurance assistance. Note, this list reiterates ESDWA worker resources.
- SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Washington Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
- Note, the SBA fund has been expanded to $2.5 million and is open to all Washington State small businesses.
- The City of Seattle, Greater Seattle Partners, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday they are distributing an Economic Impact Survey to further capture the effects of COVID-19 on businesses and non-profits in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.
- The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 16, 2020.
- This slide deck can guide you through the disaster loan program and includes step-by-step instructions on completing the application.
- Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program
- Maturity has been revised to 2 years and interest rate is set at 1%.
- Forgiveness will be set based on payroll costs covered during the eight weeks after the loan origination.
- Not more than 25 percent of the loan forgiveness amount may be attributable to non-payroll costs
- The IRS has issued guidance on the two new COVID related tax credits for employers. One is called the Employee Retention Credit. The other tax credit is related to the temporary paid sick leave and the expanded family and medical leave established under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA).
- Credit for COVID-19 Required Paid Leave: Paid sick leave and expanded paid family medical leave (FMLA) are now available to employees effective April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Paid sick leave entitles workers up to 80 hours of paid leave when they are unable to work for certain reasons related to COVID-19. The expanded FMLA entitles workers up to 12 weeks of COVID-19 related leave.
- Employee Retention Credit: This credit is available to employers of any size, including tax exempt organizations, if they are fully or partially suspended by government order or if their gross receipts are below 50% of the comparable quarter in 2019. Credit is 50% of wages paid up to $10,000 in total between March 12 to December 31 of 2020.
- 2020 Emergency Fund for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
- Approximately $1.5 million is available for the City of Seattle Small Business Stabilization Fund, an emergency fund that provides working capital grants in amounts up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses. Note, the deadline to apply is March 25, 2020.
- Seattle Public Utility and Seattle City Light Deferment Program
- Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle City Light (SCL) will provide immediate utility relief for customers, both residential and commercial, financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Effective immediately, all SPU and SCL customers can set up deferred payment plans if their financial stability has been jeopardized by COVID-19.
- Deferral of B&O Taxes
- Effective immediately, the department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) will defer business and occupation (B&O) tax collections for eligible business owners, allowing small business owners increased flexibility during a period of financial duress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak
- Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has signed a coronavirus emergency order prohibiting evictions of small businesses and nonprofits for at least 60 days. Find the full Civil Emergency Order here.
- COVID-19 Related Relief for Taxpayers
- WaFd Special Offer
- WaFd Bank is offering a 5-year business line of credit with 90 days interest free to businesses affected by COVID-19. Businesses who have seen a 10% or greater drop in revenues can apply to receive up to $200,000 on business lines of credit with 90 days interest-free. Additionally, WaFd will be expediting the process for lines up to $30,000. Click here for more details and access to the online application
- BECU Member Assistance Program
- 0% Personal Loan for Members affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19)
- Google Ads Credits for Small Businesses
- Google recently announced that they are providing $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across Google advertising platforms.
- Visit Seattle is deferring all dues payments by a minimum of 3 months, including any past-due invoices. In addition, Visit Seattle will credit 3 additional months of Visit Seattle partnership to all businesses that have already made their 2020 dues payment.
E-Commerce and Delivery/Takeout
- A Brief Primer on Setting Up an Online Store and Delivery/Take Out
- The Alliance for Pioneer Square has created a brief primer on starting up the various e-commerce and delivery/takeout third party sites. Note, the payment system Square also offers an e-commerce store function.
- Mayor Jenny A. Durkan recently announced that the Seattle Department of Transportation is converting on-street parking spaces near restaurants to temporary loading zones to facilitate curbside meal pickup. Restaurants can request a loading zone near their establishment by emailing 684-Road@seattle.gov or calling (206) 684-ROAD – be sure to provide business address and contact information.
- The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has been working quickly to consider steps the agency can take to help licensees throughout this period of business restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. LCB is making some temporary modifications to allow businesses to act quickly, including returns of alcohol products (applies to alcohol distributors and alcohol licensees), curbside service and delivery (applies to alcohol licensees with “to-go” privileges), and delivery (applies to alcohol licensees with “delivery” privileges). See the LCB website for more information.
- As part of a #SupportSeattleSmallBiz campaign, The Office of the Mayor has released a new map for locating city businesses that offer takeout and delivery. If you are a business owner who wants to be added to this map, contact the City of Seattle at email@example.com.
Public Safety and Vacant Properties
- The MID-funded Clean Team is now operating in a limited capacity due to COVID-19. We’re currently providing cleaning services within the six neighborhoods of the Metropolitan Improvement District Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., limited to:
- Trash removal from sidewalks, alleys and curb edges
- Quick-response animal and human waste cleanup
- Syringe removal
- Alley cleaning
- You can also request service via phone at 206-441-3303 or submit a request online. After hours, you can leave a detailed message, and we’ll follow up during our next shift hours. If this is an emergency, please dial 911.
- While our community is navigating this difficult time, the Seattle Police Department would like to provide some quick suggestions for securing businesses that now have reduced hours, or who have been forced to temporarily close. Click here for more information.
- The City of Seattle has regulations and standards for maintaining vacant properties. These standards focus on keeping buildings closed to unauthorized entry and maintaining the structure and yard areas to prevent the accumulation of waste and deterioration of the building. Click here for more information.
- The Seattle City Attorney’s Office and Seattle Police Department, in conjunction with the Racial Disparity Project, developed new protocols to address trespass issues facing the community called the Trespass Program. The Trespass Program is an agreement among individual property owners, businesses, and Seattle Police Department to regulate conditions of entry on their property. Owners must post signs notifying the public about three conditions of entry and cooperate in the prosecution of those charged with violating those conditions. Property owners and business owners can sign up for the Trespass Program by emailing WPrecinctTrespassProgram@seattle.gov.
- Stay connected with the SPD West Precinct: important contacts, online resources and information.
For Tourism-Related Businesses
The Washington Tourism Alliance is doing everything possible to support our industry and we would like to offer at least a sliver of positivity in this trying time. They are proud to introduce the showWAlove.com website. A place where Washingtonians can purchase gift cards from YOU and show their support for tourism-related local businesses. If you would like your business to participate, go to showWAlove.com and first check to see if you already have a listing. The regional DMOs around the state have been helping us populate this website. If you have an online gift card/certificate, but you don’t have a listing but would like one, click here and make one. It only takes about two minutes and it’s completely FREE!
For Artists and Arts Organizations
- The COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund is a rapid response grant program that will put cash grants directly into the hands of Washington State artists now.
- As closures, cancellations, and loss of work due to COVID-19 impact the King County cultural sector, 4Culure Cultural Relief Fund will distribute $1 million over the coming months. The first round of funding will be distributed beginning April 1 through May 15. Apply at any time within that time frame.
For Human Services Organizations
- Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness Blog
- This blog contains information about COVID-19 and resources for housing and homelessness service providers.
- OED Weekly Webinar/Conference Call
- Small businesses are invited to join OED on a conference call to share new developments and answer questions about COVID-19.
- Kerrie Hurd, the Seattle District Director for the Small Business Administration, this program is very different from any prior SBA 7(a) loans. Hurd is will share the brand new procedures with our audience at the April 6 10am webinar next Monday.