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 Provides Third Round of Small Business Relief Grants
Small Business Relief, Recovery and Resiliency (R3) Grant application is re-opening
Today, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced the re-opening of the Small Business Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency (R3) Grant Program. This grant program is a key part of the relief and recovery action Snohomish County is taking to help businesses impacted by the pandemic. This grant program is part of the package of COVID-19 responses funded by CARES Act resources. Businesses that previously applied to the R3 program in 2020 but have not yet received an award will automatically be considered in this round and do not need to reapply.
Governor Inslee announced "Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery", a COVID-19 phased recovery plan.
The regions are mostly based on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) regions used for evaluating healthcare services. There will be eight regions of four or more counties, divided according to available health care services based on metrics such as hospitalizations, case data, and disease mobility.
The eight regions are as follows:
- Central: King, Pierce, Snohomish
- East: Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Whitman
- North: Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom
- North Central: Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan
- Northwest: Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason
- South Central: Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima
- Southwest: Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, Wahkiakum
- West: Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston
A region’s phase will be determined by the Department of Health (DOH) in response to four metric requirements. The final metrics for regions will be calculated on Friday, January 8 and will be effective January 11.
To go forward from Phase 1 to Phase 2, regions must meet all four metrics:
- Decreasing trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population (decrease >10%)
- Decreasing trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population (decrease >10%)
- ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90%
- COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10%
To remain in Phase 2, regions must meet at least 3 metrics:
- Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population
- Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population
- ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90%
- COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10%.
Regions that fail to meet two or more of the above metrics will be moved back to Phase 1.
The metrics for each region will be updated on the Risk Assessment Dashboard every Friday. Dependent on a region’s metrics, DOH will move into a new phase — forward or backward — the following Monday.
DOH and local health departments reserve the right to move a region outside of this timing, and additional phases may be added as the state’s COVID-19 situation changes with continued vaccine distribution and other changes in public health response.
All regions will begin in Phase 1, because of current metrics.
Phase 1, for the most part, aligns with restrictions currently in place for most counties today, with a few key exceptions. Indoor fitness and outdoor entertainment, for example, were both previously prohibited, but will now be permitted with restrictions.
Currently, all indoor fitness is entirely prohibited. DOH now believes that the state can safely allow appointment-based fitness and training where there is no more than 1 customer per room or 500 square feet for large facilities. This will allow gyms to schedule people wanting to come in to work out in a safe way to ensure activity during the winter months. Masks and physical distancing are required.
Outdoor entertainment establishes will be permitted to reopen in Phase 1, including zoos, outdoor theaters and concert venues, and rodeos, among other outdoor venues. The operation must be by ticketed event only with groups of 10 maximum with a limit of two households. Timed ticketing is required, as well as facial coverings and physical distancing.
Indoor gatherings and indoor dining remain prohibited. Outdoor dining with a maximum of six and a limit for two households per table is permitted with an 11:00 PM close.
Retail, worship services, personal services, and professional services — where remote work isn’t available—are limited to 25% capacity.
Once a region meets all four required health metrics, they will be permitted to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2. This phase sees some relaxation in regulations, but masks and physical distancing are still required statewide for all activities.
Indoor social gatherings with people outside of the household begins being permitted in Phase 2 with a max of 5 people from outside the household and a limit of two households. Outdoor social gatherings maximum in this phase is increased to 15 individuals from two households.
In Phase 2, indoor dining will be permitted with a maximum 25% capacity and an 11:00 PM close. All other indoor activities must also follow a 25% capacity limit. This includes retail, entertainment, and groceries, as well as personal and professional services.
Indoor fitness must also follow the 25% capacity limit.
In Phase 2 moderate risk indoor sports and all sports outdoors gain the flexibility to have league games and competitions, which will help ensure opportunities for kids to be active, which is especially important during winter months and as kids navigate virtual or hybrid schooling.
Outdoor entertaining may host groups of up to 15 with the two-household limit and an overall 75 person maximum. Wedding and funeral ceremonies and indoor receptions may take place following the appropriate venue requirements. Food and drink service limited to restaurant guidance.
Governor Inslee emphasizes economic recovery and aid for small businesses as the focus of the 2021 legislative session
Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement on Monday, regarding the first day of the 2021 legislative session:
"Today convenes one of the most unique and challenging legislative sessions I can remember for our state. As the pandemic era has forced us all to adapt our processes, the Legislature is no exception. At the same time, decisions await legislators that will impact our state for generations going forward.
"These are my priorities for this legislative session: Relief, recovery and resilience. Relief for the here-and-now; a recovery plan to turn the corner; and resilience for our long-term wellbeing, including economic health, public health, a stronger education system, and greater preparedness for future challenges, including climate change.
"My agenda calls for immediate action on $200 million more in aid for small businesses, and landlords and tenants. We must have more assistance to workers who have lost their jobs. We need to help everyone get back to a safe work environment. We need to keep people from losing their housing and get more who are experiencing homelessness under a safe roof.
U.S. Small Business Administration announces re-opening of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans to small lenders this week
Businesses can begin preparing to apply now; the program will open to all lenders next week; information sessions for businesses offered by the Washington Small Business Development Center
Olympia – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Department of Commerce are reminding Washington’s small businesses, eligible nonprofits, and lenders the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been funded with $284 billion for a new round of forgivable loans. The loan program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Applications are being accepted now for both first and second draw loans.
The first round of the PPP, which ran from March to August 2020, helped 5.2 million small businesses nationwide keep 51 million American workers employed. Just over 107,000 Washington state businesses received PPP loans.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country, of Washington state,” DFI Director Charlie Clark said. “It’s so important they get the assistance they need to continue beyond this pandemic. Washington’s financial institutions stepped up in a big way during the first PPP allocations, and we know they will again.”
”These federal loans have been crucial for helping small businesses and our overall economy,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said. “Small businesses can take steps now to get ready to apply, starting with finding a participating lender and finding out what kind of documentation they need to prepare.”
The SBA is currently only accepting loan applications from participating community financial institutions (CFIs). Businesses can find a participating CFI at Lender Match. The program will open to all lenders next Tuesday.
The Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC), funded by SBA and Washington State University, is providing virtual webinars and technical assistance on the loans:
- “SBA Round 2 COVID-19 relief and PPP Application” is at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15. Register here.
- Additional PPP webinars will be provided every Friday at 10 a.m. through March. For more information, visit https://wsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events.
Tracking economic recovery
Economic Recovery Dashboard updated
Resources for small businesses
SBA re-opens PPP program to community financial institutions first
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA has reopened the program and is currently offering:
- PPP First Draw Loans for first time program participants.
- PPP Second Draw Loans beginning Jan.13 for certain businesses who have previously received a PPP loan.
To promote access for smaller lenders and their customers, SBA is currently only accepting loan applications from participating community financial institutions (CFIs). Lender Match can help you find a participating CFI.
You can learn more about additional federal COVID relief options from the SBA here.
- SBA E-Bulletin with information about the PPP program and other relief options
- Fact sheets: Paycheck Protection Program First Draw Loans: Overview (sba.gov) and Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Loans: Overview (sba.gov)
- SBA PPP web pages: www.sba.gov/ppp or www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection
- Email updates: www.sba.gov/updates
SharedWork Program and the CARES Act
If returning part-time or full-time permanent employees back to work puts your business under additional strain, Washington’s nationally recognized SharedWork program might help your business and your employees.
SharedWork allows employers to reduce hours by as much as 50 percent, while their employees collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. Under the CARES Act, 100 percent of SharedWork unemployment benefits do not count against an employer's experience rating through March 2021. To determine if you’re eligible, call 800-752-2500 or visit www.esd.wa.gov/sharedwork.
SBA launches new, free online digital learning platform
The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced the launch of Ascent, a first-of-its-kind, free digital e-learning platform geared to help women entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses. Ascent has valuable content such as tips on preparing and recovering from disasters, strategic marketing and business financial strategy development.
Visit Ascent.SBA.gov and register for your free access today. For additional opportunities on how women entrepreneurs can start, grow and recover, visit SBA.gov or contact your local SBA District Office
Requirements and Resources Webinar in 2021
This webinar will provide timely information and resources from state agency partners for small businesses. Click here to preview the agenda and register online for the English SBRR webinar on Jan. 28 at 9 a.m. Click to preview the agenda and register online for the Spanish SBRR webinar on Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. or call 360-515-6101
Spanish Small Business Webinar in 2021
Free 2021 safety and health calendars available
- 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
On March 28, 2020, Gov. Inslee issued Proclamation 20-21, which waived the statutory requirement that unemployment-benefits claimants serve an unpaid waiting week before they start receiving benefits. Following several extensions from the Legislature, the proclamation and the waiver expired on Dec. 28, 2020. Washignton's Employment Security Department (ESD) has adopted emergency rules to provide guidance regarding unemployment claims that are being filed now and how the waiting week waiver affects an individual's claim. For more information on all ESD’s rulemaking activities, please visit agency rulemaking homepage.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.