COVID -19 and Your Business
The City is keenly aware that our businesses continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are many resources and suggestions for mitigating the negative impacts on your business. Stanwood businesses are the backbone of this community and keep our local economy moving and we are here to assist you. We are monitoring the coming financial assistance for businesses and strongly urge businesses to review the SBA Loan and Grant Programs links below. Stay patient with the SBA sites as the system is overwhelmed but the SBA is working these technicalities out.
Please contact Jennifer Ferguson, Jennifer.email@example.com,
360-454-5209 with questions on any of the resources available.
Snohomish County Commissioners, along with the Snohomish Health District, have voted and approved submission of the application for variance to move to the county to Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan.
This is a significant move for our local economy and getting people back to work in a safe manner. The next step will be for the state to approve the application.
Snohomish County Small Business Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency (R3) Grant Program
The application process for the R3 Grant Program is now open. Applicants can visit http://www.workforcesnohomish.org for details and application materials. It is anticipated that it will take most businesses less than 30 minutes to apply. It is also anticipated awards will made within five weeks of application. Grants in amounts up to $25,000 will be awarded to qualifying businesses. Businesses applying for grants under this program must:
- Be licensed to do business in the State of Washington.
- Be a business physically located in Snohomish County.
- Have 20 or fewer employees (including the business owner/worker).
- Be in operation for one or more years.
- Certify at least a 25% reduction in revenue attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Able to demonstrate that the business was a going concern before March 23, 2020.
COVID-19 Business Needs Assessment
Snohomish County created an Advisory Group to identify and develop strategies to reopen our economy. EASC is asking our community to complete the 5-minute Business Needs Assessment to ensure your needs are heard. The Assessment asks businesses how they have been impacted by the economic shutdown, their plans for reopening, and the support they need to reopen successfully.
The primary focus of Snohomish County’s Office of Economic Recovery and Resiliency is to stabilize our local economy, plan for economic recovery, build resiliency for our local employers, and support our local workforce. This will be a multi-disciplinary effort focused on economic development, workforce training and support, and human services. The office will assist local businesses in recovery and workforce training and help organizations get our residents back to work while partnering with human service providers to support those most in need.
- SMALL BUSINESS GUIDANCE AND LOAN RESOURCES
- DEPT OF REVENUE-TAX RELIEF
- small business guidance
- toolkits and checklists
- telecommuting resources
- health and business safety
- Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants
- Potential Financial Resources
Help to pay your employees
· The Employment Security Department has new emergency rules in place. For example, workers who are ill with COVID-19 can qualify for benefits. Also,
workers that are exposed and quarantined while the business remains open
can now qualify for unemployment insurance. This ESD Unemployment chart
can help determine which benefit applies to your situation. This FAQ page for
workers and businesses answers questions and gives resources to help relieve
the burden of temporary layoffs.
o Paid sick and safe leave (and FAQs about how it applies to COVID-19)
o Unemployment insurance
o Paid Family Medical Leave (and FAQs about how it applies to COVID-19)
o Workers’ Compensation FAQs and link to apply
If your employees are affected by COVID-19, Employment Security has programs that may be able to help. They adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. Use this link to access the Unemployment Department https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19
· Layoff assistance for Workers and Businesses
TESTING FOR the COVID19 VIRUS
The Public Health Department is asking that businesses communicate Washington state’s guidelines around COVID-19—including testing—as broadly as possible to the workforce and their families to help with any confusion. The attached testing guidelines is a one pager that you can use to get the message out. TESTING GUIDELINES
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE-TAX PAYMENT RELIEF
The Department of Revenue has set up assistance for businesses and will provide extensions for filing and paying tax returns, tax assessments, and billings that come due during the state of emergency. Work with taxpayers that have payment plan agreements to extend payment dates and reschedule a planned audit (contact the auditor). To request relief, Business owners can request the relief above by sending a secure email in their My DOR account or by calling Revenue’s customer service staff at 360-705-6705, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Businesses with a temporary registration that have had their event cancelled should notify the Department by replying to the original email they received when they received their temporary certificate. If they no longer have the original email, they may email firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel their temporary registration.
o U.S. Small Business Administration guidance and loan resources
o U.S. Small Business Administration export working capital program. For
exporters, the SBA’s Export Working Capital Program can help small
businesses gain access to capital.
o U. S. Chamber Small Business Resources for Surviving Coronavirus
o Washington state small business resiliency guide
o Washington small business guidance
· Federal: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business preparedness checklist
· State: WA Emergency Management Division page
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
· Graphics toolkit
· Resources, Response and Impact
· Workplace Tips for Employees
· Coronavirus Response Toolkit
· NEW Washington state’s official COVID-19 website
· NEW Emergency Management Division Business Re-Entry Registration: website and PDF
· Governor Inslee’s office resource links and links specifically for businesses
· Governor Inslee’s News Releases
· Federal: National School closure map
· State: WA school guidance and resources
· Veteran affairs coronavirus update page
· National Association of Manufacturing’s COVID-19 Resources
Insurance: If employers have bought the right endorsements, insurance policies may cover cancelled events or businesses losses. Contact the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner at 1-800-562-6900 or go to www.insurance.wa.gov for more information.
· Xfinity - Internet Essentials will increase speeds from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all customers. This speed increase will happen automatically - no action is required by customers. In addition, new customers will receive two months of free service. Click here for more details.
· Jamm - a voice and video collaboration and communication for teams working remotely is offering it free of charge. This service integrates well with Slack.
· Google - Hangouts Meet, which allows up to 250 participants and live streaming up to 100,000 viewers per domain, and G-suite is available to all customers free of charge until July 1, 2020.
· Loom - This video recording and sharing service offers boosts to free service plan, discounted prices on LoomPro and free access for educational institutions through July 1, 2020.
· Microsoft 365 E1 - free 6 month trial
· LinkedIn - 16 courses offered for free - “Remote working - setting yourself and your teams up for success”
· DropBox - offering free Dropbox Business and HelloSign Enterprise subscriptions for 3 months to nonprofits and NGOs focused on fighting COVID-19. If you are an organization working to stop the virus or provide relief, apply here.
· LogisticsManagement - Librestream Onsight platform remote expert app free. This allows remote work to maintain the benefit of in-person meetings (content markup, shared visual/audio, and more).
Health and Business Safety
· Center for Disease Control (CDC)
o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Fact Sheet
o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Interim Guidance for Businesses
o Business cleaning/disinfecting guidelines (CDC)
o NEW More cleaning/disinfecting guidelines (EPA)
· OSHA’s Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF) · Prescriptions: Walgreens and CVS to waive drug delivery fees during crisis · Higher risk people: follow this Centers for Disease Control guideline.
· WA Department of Health COVID-19 page
· Washington State Department of Health Resources and Recommendations
· Health insurance enrollment: WA Special enrollment period Health Benefit Exchange
· WA State Hospital Association
Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants
Apply for up to $10,000 in emergency funding for small businesses with less than 10 employees http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/covid-grants/
The grant application period has closed. The Department of Commerce is reviewing applications and will announce grantees soon.
Federal legislation recently passed to address the outbreak classified as a disaster under the Small Business Administration, which will allow business owners to access low-interest loans to mitigate the economic impact. SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.
Two Ways to Apply
Apply By USPS: Businesses are encouraged to fill out and submit the attached worksheet.
Completed applications should be mailed to:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Apply Online: You may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov.ela
SBA Customer Service Center
1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email email@example.com.
On May 4th, 2020 Governor Inslee signed Proclamation 20-25.3 and outlined the “Safe Start” plan, a phased approach to re-open Washington’s economy.
Under the plan, businesses and activities will re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures & health standards in place. Businesses may also need to meet additional requirements developed specifically for their industry. View the COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers for industry specific requirements.
- List of Requirements Businesses Must Implement Before Reopening.
- Businesses Will Need to Plan for the New Normal
- Phased Approach to Reopening
The Governor’s Office Has Released a List of Requirements Businesses Must Implement Before Reopening.
Requirements for All Employers
All phases – Employers are required to:
• Maintain the six-foot physical distancing requirements for employees and patrons. Adopt other prevention measures such as barriers to block sneezes and coughs when physical distancing is not possible for a particular job task.
• Provide services while limiting close interactions with patrons.
• Provide adequate sanitation and personal hygiene for workers, vendors and patrons. Ensure employees have access to hand washing facilities so they can wash their hands frequently with soap and running water.
• Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfection of the business, particularly of high-touch surfaces.
Read the full list of requirements here.
Business Owners Should Start Planning for the "New Normal".
Currently, only essential businesses are allowed to operate during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order. To operate a business currently classified as non-essential, public health prerequisites must be met. Please review the documents Washington State COVID -19 Response "New Normal" Planning as a guideline to reopening your business.
Find information on:
- Economic and social impacts of shutdown
- Two-tiered checklist for employer safe work plans
- Role of employers in screening, tracking, and tracing
- Proposals for supporting higher risk employees
- Framework to help employers tailor their own plans
In an April 20, 2020 press conference , Governor Inslee spoke about the safe return to public life in Washington State.
The return to public life will occur in measured steps, guided by science, and informed by our public health needs, ability to mitigate impacts, and the response of our communities and will use that data to make decisions about loosening or tightening restrictions on the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. A preliminary three-step plan was laid out:
1. Protect the Health and Safety of Washingtonians
2. Facilitate a Safe Start and Transition to Economic Recovery
3. Support All People and Communities
Governor Inslee’s Policy Brief can be read here.
Governor Inslee has released Washington’s Phased Approach to Reopening Business and Modifying Physical Distancing Measures.
*High-risk populations are currently defined by CDC as persons 65 years of age and older, people of all ages with underlying medical conditions (particularly not well controlled) including people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, people who have serious heart conditions, people who are immunocompromised, people with severe obesity, people with diabetes, people with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and people with liver disease; people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
- Business Resiliency Resources
- Creative Strategies to Boost Your Business
- Helpful Resources for accurate and up to date information:
- Supporting our Public Safety, First Responders and Healthcare Workers
Business Resiliency Resources
WSBDC Business Resiliency Guide
Creative Strategies to Boost Your Business
Update or create your Google Business Listing
If your business is open, tell people
Post your plans and hours on your website prominently (include on your contact page, your home page, etc.) and post to social media.
Share your efforts to keep people safe. In addition to taking all prudent precautions like washing your hands, identify your protocol to keep your business clean and sanitary then communicate what you’re doing. Again, post it prominently on your website, share it to social media, hang a flyer on your door or windows. This is also a chance to share the processes you’ve had in place all along.
PLACES is the local directory for Stanwood and Camano Island businesses.
- Help customers find you
- Use the backend forum to communicate with other businesses about local issues, or events you may want to plan
- Stay in the know-the City of Stanwood will utilize the business discussion board to:
✔start our business roundtable discussions
✔communicate for getting our local economy going.
· CDC Guidelines for travel health information
Legislation of note
· NEW The latest update on the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) signed into law on 3/17/2020 - K & L Gates.
· Summary of latest Congressional act on COVID-19 response
On March 31st, the Governor was joined by Kris Johnson, President & CEO of the Association of Washington Business, and Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research, in asking manufacturers throughout the state to make safety and testing equipment needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
♦SURGICAL MASKS ♦SWAB TESTS ♦SALINE SOLUTION ♦VIALS ♦N95 MASKS ♦GLOVES ♦SURGICAL GOWNS ♦FACE SHIELDS
Companies interested in helping in this effort can review the How You Can Help tab on the state’s coronavirus website then contact City Administrator Jennifer Ferguson for assistance getting connected with the state. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 360-454-5209.