The safety and health, both physical and economic, of Kent residents, businesses and their employees is our top priority. We’ve compiled these resources to help keep you informed during this crisis and recover from these impacts as quickly as possible.
ABOUT THE $2 TRILLION CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF & ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT
The CARES Act includes investments that are critical to helping businesses and workers in our state and region:
- $350 billion in federally guaranteed Small Business Administration loans, which will be forgivable loans in some cases, to businesses with under 500 employees and some franchises.
- Help for distressed sectors, including our region's aerospace and aviation industries.
- Expanded federally-funded unemployment benefits to help vulnerable workers.
- Direct funding for state and local governments to cover unexpected costs of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The CARES Act also includes policies essential to helping businesses survive such as:
- Employer payroll and railroad retirement tax payments could be deferred. Also allows 50% deferral of self-employed Social Security tax payments.
- Refundable credit against employer payroll and railroad retirement taxes for certain employers that are hurt by the coronavirus but retain their employees. The credit would be for 50% of eligible employee wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2021. The credit would not apply to federal, state, or local government employers.
Please see this Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act.
- The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) can provide unemployment benefits. For employers that want to keep from losing highly trained employees, these unemployment benefits can be received through, or while covered by, Shared Work, Partial Unemployment and Standby (which allow certain workers to collect unemployment while remaining with their employers and not actively seeking other jobs).
- ESD’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program can provide paid leave benefits for Washington workers who need to take time off from work due to a serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Certification by a healthcare provider is required for applications for Paid Family and Medical Leave due to a serious health condition.
- ESD’s SharedWork Progam allows companies to retain employees with a reduction in hours. The company pays for part of the hours, and then unemployment compensation can be utilized for the remainder of the work week hours.
- ESD’s Temporary layoffs, standby and furloughs program allows a company’s laid off employees to avail themselves of unemployment compensation, without a need to look for new work if the company will rehire.
- If COVID-19 disrupts a Washington business and causes a mass layoff or closure, ESD its partners can respond with Rapid Response services and funding to help impacted workers get connected to unemployment benefits and re-employment services, including re-training, worker support services, and referrals to other social services.
- United Way of King County has put together a list of resources for people who were laid off due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Visit its website to learn how to apply for unemployment, health insurance and other aid.
ABOUT GOVERNOR INSLEE'S 3/23/20 STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY PROCLAMATION:
Governor Inslee signed a statewide proclamation for all Washingtonians to stay at home for a minimum of two weeks. The proclamation orders all businesses, unless considered essential, to close and no gatherings will be permitted. The Governor's office has provided this list of essential businesses: Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers
- The Federal Small Business Administration offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans: These low-interest federal disaster loans are for working capital to Washington small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Applicants may apply online or receive disaster assistance via phone at 800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. SAVE YOUR PASSWORD - SBA does not have a password recall system.
- Keep Workers Safe and Healthy Fund – This assistance is designed to help employers with fewer than 200 employees to continue to provide uninterrupted medical insurance and keep them safe by offsetting the costs of additional sanitation and safety supplies.
It’s extremely important to document financial losses using this Economic Injury Worksheet.
- The Washington State Department of Revenue created a page dedicated to business relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and may extend state filing and payment deadlines to affected businesses.
- The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus and have extended the federal tax payment deadline from April 15 to July 15, 2020.
- Facebook has developed a small business grant program with $100M in cash grants and ad credits.
- Public Health - Seattle & King County
- Washington State Department of Health
- Washington State COVID-19 Response Website
- CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
ADDITIONAL BUSINESS RESOURCES:
- Greater Seattle Partners COVID-19 Business Resources
- Association of Washington Business COVID-19 Resources
- Small Business Development Center at Green River College
- BusinessWA.gov Small Business Guidance
- Governor's COVID-19 Resource Website
- RestoreYourEconomy.org - Resources for community stakeholders
- Coronavirus Prevention Customizable Flyer for Businesses
BUSINESS OPERATING GUIDANCE:
Guidance for retail businesses and service operators.
Guidance for employers if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19.
Guidance for childcare businesses.
Guidance from OSHA for preparing workplaces.