and Local Resources
Below are a variety of links to state and local resources concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
FAQs from Washington State Department of Commerce
During this difficult time I know there may still be lingering confusion as to where things stand for our local economy and businesses. Therefore I’m including a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions from the state’s commerce department below. As always please feel free to also use our Contact page to submit any further questions or comments or subscribe to the newsletter to get updates as they occur.
Can you assist with a confirmation regarding the availability of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for all Washington state counties?
Commerce’s “Choose Washington” site has a page dedicated to businesses seeking COVID-19 information. Please refer to it often as it will be updated regularly.
Small businesses in all 39 Washington Counties are eligible to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which offer up to $2 million in assistance per business.
Additionally, the governor has directed that a Working Washington Small Business Grant program be set up to help small businesses meet their obligations. County economic development organizations will be coordinating the applications for these special Strategic Reserve funds, which are administered by the Department of Commerce. We are working on the final details of this new program which, when active, will be available at: http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/covid- grants
The federal aid package is expected to provide some relief for both businesses and individuals. The Governor has taken the same approach in providing relief to the pandemic.
Small businesses are already laying off employees. Is there enough money allocated in legislation passed this session to assist businesses and employees? If not, how will the governor address this issue?
The legislature could not have foreseen the scale of the impact caused by the pandemic. Commerce is waiting to see the extent of federal relief and the course of the pandemic. The governor has stated that he has not ruled out bringing the legislature back for an emergency session.
Will veterinary clinics, especially the emergency clinics for animals, be on the essential business list for the state of Washington?
The Governor announced his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive on March 23 which identifies essential businesses. Veterinary clinics and hospitals have been identified as essential businesses.
This would require legislative action. We are watching the federal recovery package legislation closely as that will help inform next steps.
Still Have Questions on
What Qualifies as Essential?
Click the PDF on the right for a thorough explanation of what qualifies as an Essential Worker industry by industry in Washington State according to Governor Inslee’s March 23rd Executive Order.
Federal COVID-19 Response
Hello friends and neighbors! So I wanted to provide my own synopsis of what I am hearing is included in the recently passed $2 trillion COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package Bill that the President signed on March 27th based on the three main entities I hear from and fight for in our community the most: Working Families, Small Businesses and Non-Profits/Churches with some additional information on Unemployment. Continue to visit this page or sign up for my weekly newsletter to continue to get more information on resources at the local level.
- Direct payments of $1,200 will be sent to any individual in the country making less than $75,000 per year (based on 2018 or 2019 taxes depending if you have filed your most recent) OR $2,400 per couple if filed jointly
- The payments would start to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all.
- Individuals or couples with children will get an additional $500 per child living in the household As a dependent and not working
- So for example a couple with 4 kids would receive $4,400 -Payments anticipated to be issued by April 6th so about a late April/early May date to receive
- Small Businesses with less than 500 employees will be able to file for an SBA long term, low interest small business loan
- The loan can be designated for up to 250% of the payroll and will be due back up to a year after receiving the loan in hand
- If the business uses the loan funds for payroll purposes, that part of the loan does NOT need to be paid back to the government, ONLY the funds used for overhead costs such as rent, mortgage, or supplemental operational costs must be repaid
- Primary goal for the loans are to keep employers and employees connected during the pandemic and be able re stimulate the economy
- Also economic stimulus fund for mid size and large businesses with 500 to 10,000 employees with interest rates up to 2% and no principal due for the first six months
- Companies seeking the aid must agree to keep union contracts in tact, not outsource jobs and be used to retain at least 90% if recipients workforce
- Non-profit 501 c(3) organizations and churches may also apply for the small business loan And are eligible as long as they are not using Medicaid for their employees or staff
- Must also have 500 or less employees
- Part is the loan is forgiven that falls within 250% of the payroll
- Businesses are having to furlough or lay people off in higher numbers than anytime in history
- Average weekly unemployment is only 15% of the average weekly wage in King County and 43% of the average in Washington State
- Since the government has had to shut down and scale back business, the Dept of Treasury will be increasing unemployment benefits
- Individuals on unemployment will get an additional $600 per week added to their current unemployment benefits
- This will occur for up to 26 weeks