The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is committed to keeping you updated about new developments in these quickly changing and challenging times. In this weekly blog, we’ll provide you with the latest information about new policies and resources available from the City of Seattle, King County, the State of Washington, the federal government, and our private and philanthropic partners. For an exhaustive list of resources visit OED’s Resource Page.
City of Seattle News and Resources
Public Health Requirements for Businesses
The Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) is seeking input on a public health measure that’s been in effect since mid-July and requires businesses to follow state-mandated business requirements, including use of protective face coverings, social distancing and adhering to capacity limits.
FAS issued the temporary measure last month following a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. The measure was developed in partnership with King County and created through use of an Emergency Director’s Rule. Under Seattle Municipal Code, the Director of FAS is authorized to adopt, publish and enforce all rules necessary to implement, interpret, administer and enforce city code for the purpose of licensing and regulating businesses.
As COVID-19 cases continue to increase throughout the state, the department seeks to make the temporary measure a permanent rule through the duration of the pandemic. As part of this process, FAS is asking for input from businesses on how it can support them in implementing the rule requirements.
Members of the public can view the draft rule on the FAS website. Public comments should be provided by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, and can be submitted by:
- Calling 206-386-1268 (interpretation services available upon request)
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sending mail to:
City of Seattle
Dept. of Finance and Administrative Services
Attention: Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 94785
Seattle, WA 98124-7085
Productions Requiring Master Film Permits May Resume Under COVID-19 Adaptions
The City of Seattle has resumed issuing Master Film Permits for productions which meet Governor and public health requirements. Master Film Permit approval is on a temporary basis and may be suspended at any time if changes in COVID-19 conditions make it necessary. The Governor’s requirements detail site-specific preparedness, and require film production companies to adopt a written procedure for operations that are at least as strict as the L&I and DOH requirements, and comply with all safety and health requirements including those related to talent (actors), catering, hair/makeup, set construction, and back-office staff. Current and future permits may be revoked for productions not adhering to the plan submitted and approved through the Master Film Permit. Additionally, these productions cannot require uniformed police officers.
To apply or for more information visit: COVID-19 Film Guidance and Updates
Additional Citywide Testing Sites Expanded to South Seattle
A third citywide testing site is located at Rainier Beach High School. Rainier Beach has one of the highest density of BIPOC communities in Seattle, and citywide testing will increase the capacity for testing by up to 40,000 tests per week. The Rainier Beach walk-up testing site is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 9:30am – 5:30pm.
There are also two additional drive-thru COVID-19 sites in SODO and Aurora.
Free testing is available to lessen the spread of COVID-19 throughout our region. Getting tested can help you protect your family, friends, and community should you contract the virus.
Register online for a test. Language interpretation services are available at most location at no costs and are open to anyone regardless of immigration or insurance status.
Order Your Small Business Safe Start Kit
Chambers and business organizations around the region have come together in partnership with King County to provide Safe Start Kits. These kits provide cloth face coverings, disposable masks, and hand sanitizer to businesses in King County to help keep employees healthy and safe.
To pick up or have your kit shipped (shipping fees apply), click here.
July 24 – Seattle (SODO) Time & Sign Up TBD
Expand Your Business Outdoors
The City’s is offering FREE permits for sidewalk cafes, curb spaces, and street closures for restaurants and businesses! These permit options will give restaurants and retail stores more space to operate while providing their patrons and pedestrians more space to move following Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan.
To learn more about these permits, and decide if these options are right for your businesses, visit the permitting websites:
Toolkits for reopening
King County has entered Phase 2 of Washington’s Safe Start reopening plan. Phase 2 allows certain businesses and activities to resume under strict public health and safety guidance.
The City of Seattle developed toolkits to help businesses in various sectors reopen, based on Washington Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County guidelines. The toolkits have guidance for restaurants and taverns, retail, professional services, personal services, fitness and training and domestic services.. Toolkits are available in Amharic, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Businesses can also call OED for assistance at 206-684-8090 (interpretation available in Amharic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese).
Public Health Posters for Your Business
Public Health – Seattle & King County are providing posters for businesses to help inform staff and customers on the latest COVID-19 guidance .Learn more here.
Federal News and Resources
Need Working Capital? Apply for EIDL Loan
Businesses are encouraged to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) while funding lasts. OED provides FREE technical assistance for businesses to:
- Understand available financial resources, including loans and grants
- Check eligibility for loans and other resources
- Apply for SBA loans and complete the application, including EIDL and EIDL Advance, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief
- Interpretation is available in 8 languages: English, Amharic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese
Please call the Seattle Office of Economic Development at 206-684-8090 from Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email OED at email@example.com anytime to receive free assistance. You can ask for language assistance and receive interpretation over the phone.