Coronavirus resources for you and your business

By: Editorial Staff Posted: 03/02/2020

Resources from city, county, state and federal government

Coronavirus

The coronavirus continues to heavily affect our region’s economic ecosystem, and the Seattle Metro Chamber is advocating for resources for businesses at every level of government. Below are programs and guidance available businesses to date from city, county, state and federal governments.

If you are a business in King County that has specific needs that are not reflected in the below, please reach out to Ashton Allison, the Chamber’s director of business retention and expansion.

Relief for Small Businesses

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a handy small business guide and checklist on coronavirus emergency loans, including the $350 billion Congress allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated. This includes an eligibility checklist, what lenders will be looking for (and what they will not), how much a business can borrow, and information on loan forgiveness. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Washington small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 16, 2020.

Information for Nonprofits 

The National Council of Nonprofits has posted an analysis of what the third coronavirus stimulus package, the CARES Act, means for non-profit employers

Regional Economic Impact Survey
Are you a business owner, freelancer, or gig worker in King, Pierce, or Snohomish County? Help Seattle Office of Economic Development, Greater Seattle Partners, and the Chamber understand the full scope of the economic effects of the coronavirus, and determine emergency and recovery needs. Take our survey by March 31: http://bit.ly/2x6dN2p

City of Seattle

  • 2020 Emergency Fund for Microbusinesses Impacted by COVID-19: Businesses with fewer than 5 employees that meet additional criteria are eligible for grants of up to $10,000
  • Relief for Utility Payments: Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities are beginning proactive outreach to small and midsize businesses that may already be experiencing financial difficulty to establish a payment arrangement that will support their continued operations through this emergency and beyond.
  • Deferral of B&O Taxes. Effective immediately, the department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) will defer business and occupation (B&O) tax collections for eligible business owners, allowing small business owners increased flexibility during a period of financial duress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional information pending
  • Assistance to Access SBA Loans. The Office of Economic Development will provide direct technical assistance to local small businesses and nonprofits to ensure they can immediately access the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) federal loan program once it becomes available. Additional information pending

  • New Small Business Recovery Task Force. The Mayor has appointed former Governor Gary Locke and former Council President Bruce Harrell to lead the COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Task Force, which will advise on long-term policy recommendations and provide technical assistance and outreach. Chamber Executive Vice President Markham McIntyre is a member of this task force.

State of Washington

A note on necessary layoffs:  

Emergency rules adopted by the Employment Security Department include significant modifications to the “Standby” program – an option available to employees and employers when a layoff is necessary, but the employer expects to re-hire. Employees are not required to search for work while on standby status. The Employment Security Department rules extended the program to part time employees.

The Seattle Metro Chamber and the Washington Hospitality Association requested the legislature appropriate funds to make sure businesses would not be penalized when using this program during the outbreak, and the legislature has appropriated $25 million to the Employment Security Department to pay off experience rate charges that would normally apply. This will offer significant relief for businesses impacted by the epidemic.

Federal

  • A bipartisan $8.3 billion emergency aid package approved in early March includes $1 billion in loan subsidies for the Small Business Administration, opening up the possibility for small businesses to receive assistance for economic loss due to COVID-19. The SBA is still working out details of eligibility and administration of this assistance – for more about this program, please visit the Washington State Department of Commerce’s site.
  • Additionally, on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency and pledged up to $50 billion in federal funds. The Chamber is in contact with our state’s Congressional delegation to advocate programs that are critical to businesses during this crisis.