The City of Seattle is committed to keeping you updated through these challenging and unprecedented times. In this weekly blog, we’ll provide you with news and information about resources available and policies from the City of Seattle, the State of Washington, the federal government, and our philanthropic partners.
The City also has created a comprehensive resource page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
Mayor Durkan’s New Executive Order to Align City of Seattle with Governor’s Extended ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ Order
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today issued an Executive Order to align the City of Seattle’s policies on facility closures and permit suspensions with Governor Inslee’s statewide ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order, which is extended until at least May 4, 2020.
The Mayor’s Executive Order extends the following policies to align with Governor Inslee’s order:
- Closure of City facilities including public-facing counters, Seattle Public Library locations, and community centers and Seattle beaches;
- Suspension of City-permitted events, with the exception of farmers markets which will continue to be evaluated for a potential re-opening;
- Suspension of enforcement of paid parking requirements on City streets and enforcement of select hourly time limits outside no-parking or special zones; and
- Continuing the Utility Discount Program’s self-certification pilot program.
The Mayor’s Executive Order extends the following policies until May 4:
- Suspension of enforcement of the 72-hour parking rule, and suspension of booting and towing vehicles with unpaid parking tickets;
- Creation of temporary restaurant loading zones, and temporary parking zones for hospital and human services staff; and
- Flexible payment plans and shutoff policies for City utilities.
Policies including deferred B&O payments, rent relief for tenants of City facilities, and the moratoriums on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions follow timelines that extend beyond May 4. For more information, read the Mayor’s press release.
Small Business Stabilization Update
Mayor Durkan and OED launched our Small Business Stabilization Fund COVID-19 Response so that Seattle-based, low and moderate-income small business owners with five or fewer employees could apply for a grant award of $10,000. March 25 was the deadline to apply. We received nearly 9,000 applications, and the City had available funds to award 250 grants.
While the deadline to apply for the initial round of the Small Business Stabilization Fund has passed, we’re are also working to secure funding for another round of Stabilization Fund grants. All those who are interested and able can donate to the Stabilization Fund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have more details to share soon!
SBA Loan Assistance Available
The federal Small Business Association (SBA) received billions of dollars in funding via the CARES Act to support small businesses with special grants and loans. Assistance opportunities range between $10k – $10M depending on the product. Find more information about loans available through the SBA here. Additional details about these loans were included in our April 2 Resources Roundup blog.
OED is here to help small businesses navigate this loan application process. To request this service please email us at email@example.com. If you prefer to inquire by phone, call (206) 684-8090.
OED Weekly Webinars
OED is committed to responding to and supporting our small businesses to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. We are holding weekly webinar calls to share new developments, hear about the impacts you are experiencing, and answer your questions. Please join us every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Register for the webinars here.
The webinars are packed with updated information and if you can’t attend, you can find links to recordings, notes, PowerPoint slides on our Bottom Line Blog. Find out about our April 1 and March 25 webinars here.
Our upcoming April 8 OED Small Business Weekly COVID Resource Webinar will focus on the Creative Industries.
Expanded State Unemployment Benefits
OED’s Workforce Development Team continues to connect businesses and workers with resources to help answer questions about state unemployment benefits and navigating that system. Unemployment benefits were expanded with the recently passed CARES Act, and our staff are monitoring and sharing the latest information to help people access these benefits, including:
- Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD)’s COVID-19 page.
- The ESD COVID-19 Scenarios and Benefits guide
- ESD’s Technical Support page
- ESD’s Webinar on Unemployment Insurance
Resources from the Office of Film + Music
The Office of Film and Music (OFM) is providing updated information about COVID-19 for businesses and workers in the creative industries. To find out more, visit their COVID-19 Film Guidance and Updates page.
The non-profit Washington Filmworks also has compiled information about new unemployment benefits available to gig workers under the CARES Act and you can find it here. They’ve also created two surveys about how creative workers in the film industry are faring through this challenging period.
- Individual cast and crew members can take this COVID-19’s Impact on Washington Film Workers Survey.
- State-wide production companies or companies who service the film industry can take this COVID-19’s Impact on Washington Film Companies Survey
Private Philanthropic Resources
The Plate Fund
We’re seeing more and more local businesses step up to support struggling workers and businesses in the greater Seattle area. Today, Starbucks announced The Plate Fund, an initiative to provide immediate financial assistance to those who work in the restaurant industry. For more information or to donate, find them on Twitter at #theplatefund or visit their website.
All in Seattle
All in Seattle provides resources to non-profits who are supporting our community in a variety of ways through the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find out more about this important initiative or donate to it here.
Federal Resource Spotlight: Paycheck Protection Program Loans
The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides small businesses with 500 employees or fewer up to $10 million in forgivable loans to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone and are provided through financial institutions/lenders.
For more information about PPP loans:
- See the PPP Information Sheet for Borrowers on the Treasury Department’s site.
- Find the Application Form for PPP loans here.
- Visit the SBA site here.
Community Teamwork in Ballard
The Ballard Alliance had a creative response to seeing boarded up neighborhood businesses! They retained several local artists to paint a total of 13 business storefronts, thereby instilling a sense of community spirit and hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’d like to be involved in the Ballard initiative, contact Devin Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kiana (email@example.com).
Similar projects are underway elsewhere around the Seattle, and we are hoping this effort will spur others to take similar steps and expand this kind of artwork throughout our community. If you’d like to be involved in the Lake City area, contact Chris.Leverson@chs-wa.org.