The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is committed to keeping you updated about new developments in these evolving 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 private and philanthropic partners.
City News & Resources
City Partners to Help Small Businesses and Nonprofits Impacted by COVID-19 Renegotiate Their Commercial Leases
Office of Economic Development (OED) has partnered with Communities Rise and Perkins Coie to launch a new toolkit to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic explore options for their commercial leases with a goal of remaining in their spaces.
Building on the eviction moratorium for small businesses and nonprofits signed by Mayor Durkan, the new COVID-19 Lease Amendment Toolkit provides a suite of tools – including template lease amendment language – to assist small businesses and nonprofits who are navigating the negotiation of their commercial leases with their landlords. S
Small businesses and nonprofits that have 50 or fewer employees are also eligible for a free60-minute consultation with a legal professional to assist with any COVID-19 commercial lease-related questions. Businesses and nonprofits can access the toolkit here.
MyNorthwest recently covered this new initiative and other ways OED is supporting small businesses.
Click here to read MyNorthwest’s coverage of our new partnership.
Mayor Durkan Launches “Seattle Protects” Online Marketplace to Connect Businesses in Need of Cloth Face Coverings
Public Health – Seattle & King County announced a health directive for all workers and residents to wear cloth face coverings in all indoor public settings and outdoor public spaces where maintaining social distancing could be difficult. The directive took effect on May 18, 2020. The City heard from many small business owners who were struggling to source face coverings and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their employees. That’s why the City created Seattle Protects, which is a new online marketplace to connect local manufacturers with organizations, businesses, nonprofits, community groups, and individuals in need of cloth face coverings.
Business Impact Survey: We want to hear from you!
OED released the second round of the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey on May 7. The first round of the survey received over 2,000 responses from businesses, nonprofits and independent workers in Seattle. This established baseline profile data of businesses, nonprofits, and independent workers and captured the initial impacts of COVID-19 on our economy.
Now, we’re asking all businesses, nonprofits and independent workers participate in the second of three total rounds of the survey to share impacts COVID-19 has had on your business. The survey is open to those that participated in round one and those that did not. As a thank you for participating in the survey, OED is randomly selecting five participants to win a $50 gift card redeemable through the Intentionalist’s Gift Card Market Place for each round of the survey.
Complete the Business Impact Survey by May 21. Your voice will help inform our short and long-term strategies to help the economy.
Cultural & Creative Workforce Development Internship Opportunities
Northwest Folklife, in collaboration with the Office of Economic Development and the Office of Arts and Culture, has developed a pilot program providing paid internships to Seattle’s young creatives. These internships range between 12-24 weeks long and provide opportunities for hands-on training in creative fields. This program is designed to foster creativity and create networked connections among artists.
All internship duties will be completed remotely to adhere to the Governor’s stay at home orders.
Interested candidates should send an introductory statement describing their interest in no more than two paragraphs, provide creative content they have created (if available), and complete the Creative Force Intern Intake form. Please email all content to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OED Small Business Webinar
We hold webinars for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic every other Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Webinar presenters cover timely and relevant small business-related topics, and include time for questions and answers.
State of Washington News and Resources
Support for Accessing Unemployment
Do you work with Washingtonians who need support accessing benefits like unemployment insurance? Resources designed to help non-profits and community partners who are assisting people with limited English proficiency, disabilities, limited internet or other access needs can be found here.
Be aware of unemployment fraud. Scammers are using social security numbers to fraudulently collect Unemployment Insurance. In response, the Washington State Employment Security Department will now place a brief, 1-2 day hold on all benefit payments to validate their authenticity. The department is also requiring authentication from customers filing claims. Read more in this May 18 ESD update.
To find out about what you can do if you suspect someone has filed for unemployment benefits fraudulently in your name, visit ESD’s fraud webpage.
Paycheck Protection Program
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans for small businesses are still available, and if you haven’t already applied for one, this is a very good time to do it. These loans help small businesses address financial challenges related to COVID-19. They provide salary replacement and funds for certain business operating expenses. If spent in accordance with guidelines, these loans can be fully forgiven. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020.
The Office of Economic Development is here to help answer your questions and navigate the process of applying for PPP loans. OED continues to offer FREE assistance to small businesses and nonprofits with their PPP loan and loan forgiveness applications and has bilingual interpretation. Contact OED directly at 206-684-8090 or email@example.com to access this technical assistance.
PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
SBA and the Department of Treasury recently released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and instructions to inform borrowers on how to apply for forgiveness of the PPP loans. Additional regulations and guidance to assist borrowers will be announced. Stay up to date on all SBA announcements here.
PPP Loan Forgiveness Webinar
Do you have questions about how to qualify for PPP loan forgiveness, or how to fill out the application? If so, tune into this NDC webinar, “Review of the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application” TODAY — Thursday, May 28 — from 10-11:30 a.m..
Webinar topics will include:
- An overview of documentation required.
- A review of eligible expense for possible loan forgiveness, what is a payroll vs. non-payroll expense?
- The process to calculate the amount of forgiveness and how to determine the maximum amount of possible forgiveness.
- Q&A to address your specific needs.
You can register for the webinar here.