Merchant News COVID-19
Washington Phased Approach – We are currently in PHASE 2 – as of June 19th, 2020
Information current as of September 24th, 2020
Gov. Office Reopening Guidelines
All outdoor recreation permitted in Phase 2 in Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start plan
Expanded opening indoor fitness studios up to 5 participants
Restaurants with indoor seating at 50% of normal capacity/50% outdoor (does not count towards occupancy limit)
Hairstylists and other personal services at 50% capacity
Manufacturing operations allowed under phase 2
All construction allowed under phase 2
Social gatherings with five or fewer people outside the household
In-store retail, with occupancy, limited to 30%
Each industry has been given unique safety guidelines they will need to follow to prevent further coronavirus transmissions. For example, Phase 2 permits restaurants and taverns to open to 50 percent capacity. Groups of diners must be limited to five, and bar top seating is still prohibited. Outdoor dining is allowed at 50% of capacity and does not count toward the building occupancy limit; additional outdoor seating will be allowed provided it follows Public Health – Seattle & King County’s best practices and a restaurant secures any municipal permit that may be required.
Now that King has entered Phase 2, it will be at least 3 weeks before it is eligible to enter Phase 3. Phase 3 allows for gatherings of up to 50 people and the return of contact sports, and lifts restrictions on businesses even further.
COVID19Phase2FitnessGuidelines (updated August 3rd/effective August 10th)
COVID19Phase2RealEstateGuidelines (effective October 6th)
COVID19 Phase 2 and 3 Restaurant and Tavern Guidance (effective October 6th)
COVID19 Phase 2 and 3 Restaurant and Tavern Guidance (updated July 31st)
|New coronavirus cases per every 100,000 residents over the past two weeks||24||Fewer than 25|
|Number of people tested per each new case in the past week||55||50 or more|
|Percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive||1.8 percent||Less than 2 percent|
|Percent of hospital beds occupied||69.7 percent||Less than 80 percent|
|Percent of hospital beds occupied by coronavirus patients||2 percent||Less than 10 percent|
As a business owner, it can be tough to keep up with changing guidelines during COVID-19. To help keep your business running and your staff healthy, the City has compiled State guidelines and resources into accessible toolkits in multiple languages. In these toolkits, you’ll find checklists, financial resources, printable flyers, and more. We will continue to update these toolkits and relay information from the State as soon as we have it. Please note that Businesses can only open once they can meet all requirements in the guidance outlined on the State Department of Health’s website. All guidance is subject to change at any time. Click here for all the toolkits, including the occupancy load chart.
Social Distancing Posters
Click here or on the poster image for your Phase II flyers. You can right-click any of the posters/flyers to save to desktop for your social media or newsletters. A PDF of the poster/flyer can be found under the image which is sized 8.5″ x 11″ sized for printing.
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.
Paycheck Protection Plan
Just released on April 3rd, 2020 banks are still grappling with the new program.
Reminder: We have our Monday, April 13th 12 Noon Zoom meeting.
Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap. Below are key links to the Department of Treasury website, application and borrower guide:
Funds from this program:
· Can be used for employee salaries under $100,000, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, and mortgage interest, rent and utility payments;
· Are 100% forgivable if used for the above purposes; and
· Are available to businesses or 501(c)(3) nonprofits with less than 500 employees, including sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals.
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 ().