Merchant News COVID-19 as of 03/22/21
Phase 3 Begins March 22 In Washington: Here’s What It Means: Every county will move into the next reopening phase later this month.
Later this month, Washington will double indoor capacity and allow for smaller crowds to return to large sporting events, as all 39 counties move into Phase 3 of the state’s Roadmap to Recovery plan.
Gov. Jay Inslee promised a “boatload of good news” during a news conference Thursday afternoon, laying out significant reopening plans and revealing the state will enter the next tier of vaccinations earlier than expected. “On March 22, every county in the state of Washington will be eligible to move forward to Phase 3 in our reopening plan,” Inslee said. “This means our restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters — some of the hardest-hit businesses in Washington state — will be able to return to 50 percent capacity.” Inslee said Phase 3 also allows for indoor and outdoor events, like high school graduations and concerts, to resume with up to 400 attendees. While specific industry rules are still in the works, the governor said Phase 3 would also permit alcohol service until midnight instead of 11 p.m.
“It’s been a year now since we’ve had a reduction in our chance to be spectators at sporting events,” Inslee said. “We’re now at the point where we can safely move forward. What this means is on opening day, we will be singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame.'”
Generally, outdoor venues with permanent seating can welcome fans at 25 percent capacity. Phase 3 also adds capacity for high school sports, rodeos and other outdoor events, all with safety precautions in place, including distancing and mandatory mask use.
Student-athletes can also resume high-contact sports, including basketball, wrestling and cheerleading, including competitions with 400 or fewer spectators. “Assuming we continue to make progress, we’re going to reevaluate this capacity limit in April and potentially increase the capacity limit on areas such as minor league baseball,” Inslee said.
- PHASE 3 GUIDELINES
Indoor social gatherings with people from outside your household should not include more than 10 people.
Outdoor social gatherings shall be limited to 50 people from outside your household.
Worship services allowed with up to 50% indoor capacity.
Retail stores, including farmers markets, allowed with up to 50% indoor capacity. Curbside pick-up is encouraged.
Professional services allowed with up to 50% indoor capacity. Remote work strongly encouraged.
Personal services allowed with up to 50% indoor capacity.
Eating and drinking establishments are limited to 50% capacity for indoor service and must end alcohol service and delivery at midnight. Outdoor dining must comply with the requirements of the Outdoor Open Air Guidance. Table size for indoor and outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of 10 people. Establishments only serving individuals 21+ and no food remain closed.
Wedding and funeral ceremonies and indoor receptions, and wakes are permitted and must follow appropriate venue requirements. If food or drinks are served, eating and drinking establishment requirements outlined above apply.
Low and moderate risk sports competitions a permitted. Fitness and training establishments can operate at a maximum of 50% capacity. Showers are allowed.
Sports competitions and tournaments allowed for all risk categories. Maximum spectators allowed is 400 with capacity restriction depending on the facility. Guided activities are allowed without hard caps subject to restrictions.
Indoor entertainment establishments such as aquariums, theaters, arenas, concert halls, gardens, museums, bowling alleys, trampoline facilities, cardrooms and event spaces are open at a maximum of 50% capacity or 400 people, whichever is less. If food or drinks are served, eating and drinking establishment requirements outlined above apply.
Outdoor entertainment establishments such as zoos, gardens, aquariums, theaters, stadiums, event spaces, arenas, concert venues and rodeos can be open for a maximum of 400 spectators with capacity restrictions depending on the facility. Walk-up tickets are allowed with restrictions.
The governor’s announcements Thursday included another overhaul in how the state evaluates reopenings, abandoning the regional approach in favor of counties and simplifying the metrics. Moving forward, the state Department of Health will evaluate each county based on the rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and the rate of new COVID-19 hospitalizations every three weeks. Inslee said a built-in failsafe would also move a county backward if their ICU became 90 percent full. The state’s first review of Phase 3 counties will take place on April 12.
Another piece of welcome news Thursday centered on vaccine eligibility, which will now extend to the second tier of Phase 1B on March 17, nearly a week earlier than planned. Phase 1B2 allows vaccination for the following groups, in addition to all previous eligible people:
• Workers in agriculture and food processing
• Grocery store workers
• Public transit employees
• All first responders, law enforcement and firefighters
• Corrections employees at jails and detention centers
• People ages 16 and above who are pregnant or with a disability that puts them at high-risk
“This is another tremendous step forward in our fight against this pandemic,” Inslee said. “We’re glad to be able to advance this even a week earlier than we thought we were going to be able to do, to get more shots into arms as quickly as possible.”
Inslee concluded his remarks with a reminder that successfully moving forward will require all Washingtonians to keep up their defense until enough people are immunized.
COVID-19 Merchant Supply Page can be found here.
Farmers Market Site Map: WSFM COVID-19 Layout 5.3
Self-Employed Unemployment Information
• Places an immediate moratorium on small business and non-profit tenant evictions in the City of Seattle for non-payment of rent or due to holdover by the small business/non-profit tenant beyond the expiration of the lease’s term. A “small business” is generally one with 50 or fewer employees per establishment or premises. Landlords are forbidden from enforcing contractual or statutory remedies to remove a small business or nonprofit tenant from its premises or to terminate its lease.
• Requires the Landlord to endeavor to enter into payment plans or workout agreements with the small business/non-profit.
• Prohibits Landlords from charging late fees or interest due to late payment of rent by the small business/non-profit.
• Lasts until the earlier of May 16, 2020 or termination of the civil emergency, and may be extended by the Mayor.
PPP and EIDL Programs
Small businesses in many Washington counties are now eligible to apply for low-interest U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. More counties are likely to become eligible in Washington state. Check the SBA website for the most updated information. This is one of the first SBA disaster declarations in the country related to COVID-19.
Ways to contribute
- West Seattle-specific spreadsheet [via NextDoor]
- COVID-19 Survival Fund for the People [COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network]
- COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network – “Offer Support” volunteer form [COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network]
- Seattle Artists Relief Fund Amid COVID-19 [Ijeoma Oluo]
- COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund [Artist Trust]
- Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund [Jessica Tousignant & Candace Whitney Morris]
- COVID-19 Crisis Fund [Social Justice Fund]
- CID Restaurants and Other Small Businesses Relief Fund [SCIDpda]
- UW Laboratory Medicine Tackling COVID-19 [UW Virology Lab]
- Blood donor center locations [BloodWorks Northwest]
- City of Seattle Protective Equipment Donation Site [City of Seattle; for donating unused masks, gowns, and gloves]
- Your Supplies Save Lives [several major local unions; specifically for donating unused masks]
Financial resources for impacted businesses and individuals
- COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network – “Request Support” form (includes links to versions in Spanish, Amharic, and Tigrinya)
- Member Assistance Program [BECU; 0% 24-month personal loans of up to $2,500]
- List of schools offering free grab & go meals for kids [KING 5]
- List of emergency funds for artists [Artist Trust]
- COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund [Artist Trust; grants of $500 – $5,000 to individuals]
- Seattle Artists Relief Fund Amid COVID-19 request form [Ijeoma Oluo & LANGSTON; $100 – $1,000 grants to individuals]
- COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund [ArtsFund; for organizations only]
- A List of Resources to Help Seattle’s Small Businesses Amid the COVID-19 Crisis [Seattle Met]
- Unemployed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic? Here’s Where to Get Help [United Way of King County]
- Resources for WA State Businesses & Workers Impacted by COVID-19 [business.wa.gov]
- Financial resources for Washington residents impacted by COVID-19 [Washington State Department of Financial Institutions]
- Information for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19 [Washington State Employment Security Department]
- Department of Revenue 2019 Novel Coronavirus Update
- Coronavirus Tax Relief [IRS]
NOTE: Most of the above links came from Sol’s Civic Minute, a newsletter by Sol Villareal.
03/18/20 Square Community Resources
Resources for Your Business and Employees
The Governor has responded swiftly with expanded benefits programs and a resource list. These include programs such as SharedWork, which provides partial wage replacement to avoid layoffs, and standby, which suspends the job-search requirement for workers to collect unemployment benefits if an employer must make temporary layoffs. You can see a chart of available benefits for various COVID-19 scenarios here.
The County has been doing outreach through its Small Business Task Force for the COVID-19 Community Mitigation Branch of the Pandemic Advisory Task Force.
The Mayor has set up a business task force to help with the City’s response to the economic impact of the outbreak. I will be representing the Chamber and our members on that task force. She also announced an initial recovery package, which includes expanding the Small Business Stabilization Fund, tax deferral, utility relief, and assistance to access SBA loans. You can view the elements of that package here.
Our Congressional delegation has been receptive to ideas that would help businesses during the crisis. We are creating a list of ideas that we will propose to our delegation. If you have ideas for help from the federal government, please send them to Mackenzie Chase ().