Worker and Business Resources

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 31st.

  • 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: business@mil.wa.gov.)

Pioneer Square Business Owners and Managers Facebook Page

As the neighborhood continues to navigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, we want to offer an opportunity to reconnect. We’ve heard from several of you that the opportunity for business owners and retailers to participate in an online forum would be a valuable outlet during these times to share resources,support, and stories. In responding to these requests we would like to invite you to join Pioneer Square Business Owners& Managers Facebook group.While this Facebook group has been inactive in recent years, we believe the time is pertinent to leverage the space and the opportunity to connect one another. Click here to join the Pioneer Square Business Owners and Managers Facebook page.

Workforce Resources

Financial Resources (Federal)

  • SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Washington Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • 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.
    • The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic development has compiled a summary of the CARES Act and a FAQ.
    • OED provides technical assistance to businesses applying for SBA loans and understanding the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aids, Relief & Security). This includes helping businesses navigate the application process and documentation. For general inquiries, please email OED@seattle.gov or call 206-684-8090.
    • Note, OED is warning small businesses about scammers seeking to prey on the small business community that has already been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. OED has received numerous reports of scammers posing as either lenders or third-party providers offering to assist businesses with their federal Small Business Administration (SBA) loan applications. If contacted by a scammer, OED recommends businesses report scams to the Washington State Office of Attorney General, by calling 1-800-551-4636 from Monday to Friday 10 AM to 3 PM or completing a claim here.
  • 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).

Financial Resources (Local)

  • 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.
  • 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
    • WA Revenue will work with businesses that cannot file or pay their taxes on time due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including excise and late payment penalty waivers.
    • Tax Day is now July 15. Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount
  • Historic South Downtown (HSD) has announced the release of its third funding round, through a new Request for Proposals to support projects and programs serving Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District (C-ID). Through this Funding Round, HSD will release up to $1,000,000 to support community-based projects and programs proposed in the priority funding categories. All applications and required supplemental material is due no later than 11:59 PM on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. 
  • 501 Commons is offering PPP application assistance to nonprofits. If your bank does not respond, can’t confirm your status or cannot assure you access, 501 Commons can provide application assistance and may be able to place you with a lender. For application assistance, email PPPLoans@501Commons.org.

Financial Resources (Private)

  • Facebook Small Business Grants Program: Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses
  • Yelp has announced $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent, local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services during this period. Information on what options are available and eligibility can be found here.
  • 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 Resources

  • The Alliance for Pioneer Square hosted a one hour workshop in partnership with Merchant Method, aimed at providing a video marketing toolkit for businesses in Pioneer Square. The presentation covered a wide range of topics which included, how to get started with video marketing, planning and creating content for your video’s and how to market and create engagement for them once they are published. Businesses and individuals can access a recording of the the presentation here. Merchant Method will continue to monitor this video for comments, so business owners are welcome to engage with the video and ask questions or provide any feedback. Merchant Method has also provided some additional training resources which can be dowloaded here to further assist businesses as they scale up their video marketing efforts.
  • The Alliance for Pioneer Square, in collaboration with DEI Creative, has launched an online marketplace as a tool for member businesses to generate revenue through online sales during the Coronavirus pandemic (read DEI Creative’s press release here). The site is a collective for Pioneer Square businesses to sell items such as clothing and apparel to gift cards and merchandise from Pioneer Square restaurants and bars. The Support Local – Pioneer Square Marketplace is open and ready for customers. To participate in the Pioneer Square Marketplace, complete the following steps:
  1. Register your business here
  2. Submit up to 5 products for your business (as applicable)
  3. Complete delivery/take out information for your business (as applicable)
  4. Periodically update products and delivery/take out information (as applicable)
  5. Share the Support Local – Pioneer Square Marketplace on your business’ communications channels using the #SupportPSQ hashtag
  6. Please reach out to us at supportpsq@pioneersquare.org with any questions, comments or concerns regarding the Support Local – Pioneer Square Marketplace.
  • 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 supportsmallbiz@seattle.gov.

Tourism-Related Business Resources

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!

Artists and Arts Organizations Resources

  • 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

Human Services Organizations Resources

Webinars

  • OED is hosting weekly informational webinars for small businesses to share new developments, hear about impacts experienced due to COVID-19 and answer questions. Businesses can join the OED every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Register here for the next webinar and visit here for this week’s recording.
  • Grow with Google (GWG) hosted its small biz livestream on Wednesday, May 6th to share the latest resources from Google and other partners to help support small businesses. Here’s a recording of the livestream and virtual learning kit that includes social share graphics for small businesses, handouts and tips and a one-sheet covering the key points discussed during the livestream. GWG also rounded up (and answered!) the top questions that were asked on Twitter.