The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) 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 new policies and resources available from the City of Seattle, the State of Washington, the federal government, and our philanthropic partners.
City of Seattle Resources
Early on in this crisis, Mayor Durkan and the City of Seattle created a program to provide 6,250 Seattle families grocery vouchers. This program to provide $800 in grocery vouchers has been critical as individuals and families wait for financial assistance from the state and federal government.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of Oak View Group and NHL Seattle, that program has been expanded for an additional 1,000 workers impacted by COVID-19. Vouchers can immediately be used at any Washington State Safeway store to purchase food and household goods. For more information on this program, click here.
We’re providing a variety of webinars to help keep you informed and in touch during this challenging time, including:
Weekly Small Business Webinars
We’re hosting informational webinars for small businesses 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 here.
Only in Seattle (OIS) Webinars
OIS holds webinars for our neighborhood business district organizations. The first covered one covered the small business resources available for COVID impacts and unemployment technical assistance support that we are offering through Seattle Jobs Initiative. The second webinar focused on the SBA resources and connecting businesses to OED’s resource line. More information on the OIS’ Neighborhood Business District Webinar can be found in OED’s Bottom Line Blog.
In Case You Missed It: The New OED Online Resource Hub
OED has created a new comprehensive resource page that’s a one-stop-shop for workers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. You can find out more about available loans, grants, and other local, state, and federal resources on our new site.
Securing Your Small Business and Property
Many small businesses and property owners are securing their businesses while following the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. The following documents provide information and tips on how to do this:
- Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections – Maintaining Vacant Business Properties
- Seattle Police Department – Securing Your Business
King County Resources
King County Cultural Relief Fund
4Culture, the cultural funding agency for King County, is helping respond to COVID-19 impacts by distributing $1 million through the Cultural Relief Fund. The first round of funding is open through May 15. Find more information here.
Public Health — Seattle & King County
Guidance for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection of meal programs and food distribution operations
Although they are not held to the same standards as permitted food businesses, food donors and Donated Food Distribution Organizations are required to comply with state food safety rules. Learn more about Washington State Department of Health’s food code and regulations on Charity Food Donations here.
Unemployment Benefits Expanded
Unemployment benefits now cover Washingtonians who are:
- Self-employed; and,
- Independent contractors.
Find more information on the Washington State Employment Security Department’s website, here.
Protections for Renters
On April 16, Governor Jay Inslee expanded protections for renters and extended the moratorium on evictions to help Washington residents deal with the financial impacts of COVID-19.
The governor first proclaimed a moratorium on evictions in mid-March. The original moratorium did not offer as many protections as the new order. His new proclamation extends and expands the original order through June 4.
CARES Act funding for both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) loan programs is currently exhausted. Congress is working to approve more small business relief for these programs. In the meantime, the SBA is unable to accept new applications for the PPP or the EIDL COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances).
Contingent on available funding, applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis for both EIDL and PPP loans.
Businesses still interested in applying for EIDL and PPP loans should plan ahead and have application information ready for when the next round of funding becomes available. For more information, see our OED webpage.
Got questions for the SBA? The SBA Deputy District Director will be available tomorrow to answer questions from business owners . Find out more and tune into this meeting, which is hosted by Seattle’s Greater Seattle Business Association, here.
Private and Philanthropic Resources
Below are new and/or ongoing grant opportunities provided by private and philanthropic organizations, in alphabetical order. See the links for more information.
- Digital Undivided – The Doonie Fund – Provides $100 grants for Black female entrepreneurs: https://www.digitalundivided.com/dooniefund
- Facebook – This $100 million fund includes grants and ad credits and opened April 18: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants
- GlobalGiving – The Red Backpack Fund – Provides $5,000 grants for female entrepreneurs. The next round opens up May 4: https://www.globalgiving.org/redbackpackfund/
- GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund – A one-time $500 matching grant program: https://www.gofundme.com/c/small-business-relief-initiative-and-fund-faqs
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund – Provides up to $10,000 grants to US small businesses. The second round of funding opens up mid-April; sign up to be notified: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/verizon-small-business-recovery-fund/
- Salesforce — Provides $10,000 grants to US small businesses: https://essentials.salesforce.com/salesforce-care-for-small-business/
- SLU Chamber Small Business & Nonprofit Relief Fund – Fund helps support South Lake Union’s small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19: https://www.sluchamber.org/coronavirus-resources/
- Social Justice Fund (SJF) Provides support for SJF grantees. Initial grants are $3,000 and can support a variety of strategies to meet community needs: https://socialjusticefund.org/covid-19-crisis-fund/
- Sounders FC Relief Fund — Provides up to $1,000 grants for individuals and up to $7,500 grants for small businesses that are permanently located in Pioneer Square, Central and International District, and SODO. Also provides support to businesses that are temporarily located or are vendors in support of Century Link and Sounders FC events, and businesses that provide direct support to Sounders FC business or technical operations: https://www.soundersfc.com/covid-19/relieffund
- US Chamber of Commerce – Save Small Business Fund – Provides $5,000 grants to US small businesses (opens up Monday 4/20): https://savesmallbusiness.com/
- Yelp Relief For Restaurants and Bars — $25 million relief fund focused on supporting independent, local restaurant and nightlight businesses: https://blog.yelp.com/2020/03/coronavirus-relief-for-restaurants-and-bars?utm_source=biz_blog&utm_medium=yelp_blog&utm_content=blog_text_link