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 news and 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.
City of Seattle News and Resources
The Washington State Department of Health has approved King County’s application to transition into Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan which will allow some businesses and other activities to increase operations under strict public health guidance.
We know that many business owners are eager to reopen or expand their operations. That’s why the City will now issue free sidewalk and curb space permits, and has developed reopening toolkits to help business owners reopen and expand their services safely.
Free Sidewalk and Curb Space Permits
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will immediately begin accepting street use permit applications, which allow restaurants, retail stores, vending trucks and carts to operate in the sidewalk or curb space in front of their business. The free SDOT flexible temporary street use permit options are for sidewalk cafes, merchandise displays, and food and other vending. These temporary permits will be available for up to six months. Learn more here.
Phase 2 Reopening Toolkits
The City is launching a series of Phase 2 reopening toolkits to help small businesses authorized to reopen under the Governor’s guidance to navigate public health requirements and financial considerations. The reopening toolkits are not intended to provide public health guidance, but are meant to distill information from the state and county and make reopening guidance more accessible.
The toolkits provide critical information for small business owners, including a reopening checklist, resources to access Personal Protective Equipment and financial assistance, testing information, and rent and commercial lease assistance. The City has toolkits for the following industries:
- Restaurants and taverns
- Personal services
- Professional services
- In-store retail
- Fitness and training
- Domestic services
The toolkits are available on the City’s new reopening website, and are translated into Amharic, Chinese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
PPE for Reopening Your Business and for Personal Use
Seattle Protects is an online marketplace that connects local manufacturers with organizations, businesses, nonprofits, community groups, and individuals in need of affordable cloth face coverings. Visit the marketplace to browse local manufacturers’ inventory.
Free COVID-19 Testing
The City of Seattle, King County, and UW Medicine have launched two drive-up-testing locations in north and south Seattle. Testing will be available Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Clients are strongly encouraged to book ahead by visiting www.seattle.gov/covid-19-testing. The City is urging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
Support for Seattle’s Gig Workers
The Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance temporarily provides paid sick leave for gig workers during the COVID-19 emergency. This goes into effect on July 13 and will grant access to paid sick and paid safe time. Find more information here.
State of Washington News and Resources
Governor Jay Inslee has announced that all Washingtonians are required to wear a face covering in public spaces. The order took effect June 26 and applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces.
“As necessary economic activity increases and more people are out in their communities, it is imperative that we adopt further measures to protect all of us. Until a vaccine or cure is developed, this is going to be one of our best defenses,” said Governor Inslee. Read the full story on the governor’s Medium page.
To stay up-to-date on all the latest Washington State COVID-19 news and developments, visit Governor Inslee’s website here.
Small businesses in Seattle are eligible to apply for several different types of federal loans, including Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Small Business Administration (SBA) loan products. These loans can offset reduced revenues and other economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
OED is offering technical assistance to help small businesses apply for PPP and SBA loans. Visit our website, which has detailed directions about applying for these loans, here. To download a fact sheet on federal loan options, click here.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan
June 30 is the last day to apply for a PPP loan, so please don’t delay. 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 and other expenses during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone and are provided through financial institutions/lenders. Find more information on OED’s website or on this SBA webpage.
PPP Loan Forgiveness Terms and Application Forms
Now there is more forgiveness flexibility for small businesses who receive these loans. Loan forgiveness terms have changed so that:
- Businesses have a longer time period to spend loan proceeds. This time period, known as the Covered Period, has been extended from eight weeks to 24 weeks.
- The percentage of funds that can be used for non-payroll expenses has been expanded. Now, loans will be fully forgiven provided that businesses spend 60% of the loan amount (or more) on payroll and up to 40% on other approved expenses.
There are now two applications you can use to apply for loan forgiveness: the EZ Forgiveness Application and the Full Forgiveness Application. You only need to fill out one of these applications.
- Click here to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.
- Click here to view the Full Forgiveness Application
The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Details about which form is appropriate for your business circumstances are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form.
EIDL Loan and Loan Advance
The Small Business Administration’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for small businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. Small business owners and qualified agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply. SBA is now accepting new EIDL and EIDL Advance applications.
These loans can help small businesses meet financial obligations and cover operating expenses. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits.
Small business owners also are eligible to apply for an EIDL advance that can be deposited while your SBA loan is bring processed. This is calculated on a per-employee method, allocating $1,000/employee up to a total of to $10,000. This does not need to be repaid regardless of the outcome of the EIDL application.