COVID-19 RESOURCES

COVID-19 State
and Local Resources

Below are a variety of links to state and local resources concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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.

INDEPENDENT WORKERS

The Employment Security Department (ESD) has provided this response:

Maybe! Coverage under Washington’s unemployment insurance law is broader than under most other laws. This means that just because you are classified as an independent contractor under some laws does not mean that you are an independent contractor under Washington’s unemployment laws. If you are a gig worker who has been laid off or lost work, we encourage you to apply for benefits. We will evaluate each application for eligibility on a case by case basis.
We realize that there are some challenges with the online application, and it is not currently designed for the way you work. We are working to resolve those issues. For now, fill it out the best that you can.
If you do apply, to help speed the process for determining your eligibility and potential benefit amount, please be prepared to gather your payment records from the last year to provide to the claims staff. This process may take some time, but we are doing everything we can to increase efficiency and hire more staff.
ESD Director Suzi Levine has also posted a YouTube video with advice for gig workers.

The federal stimulus package will also provide unemployment assistance to gig workers. Check back with the ESD link above for updated information.

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Commerce is open to promoting creative ideas to engage these entrepreneurs.

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“ESSENTIAL” DETAILS

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.

First: Working Families/Individuals

  • 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
Second: Business

  • 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
Third: Non-Profits & Churches

  • 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
Finally: Unemployment

  • 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