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.
Sign up for alerts from the official Washington State Coronavirus Response Page.
ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF & ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT
On June 19, King County was approved to move into Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start Plan, which immediately allows reopenings of more activities and businesses. Here is a list of what businesses are open and which remain closed.
Effective Friday, June 26, every Washingtonian in an indoor public space, or in an outside public space when unable to physically distance from others, will be legally required to wear a face covering.
- Those with certain medical conditions and children under the age of two are exempt. Children aged 2-4 are encouraged, but not required, to wear a face covering with adult assistance.
- Individuals may remove face coverings under certain circumstances, including while eating or drinking at a restaurant; while communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing; and while outdoors in public areas, provided that a distance of six feet is maintained from people who are not members of their household.
Employers must provide workers with appropriately protective facial coverings for the worker’s risk of exposure.
Per the Safe Start plan, all Washington employers are required to provide (at no cost to employees) and require the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) as appropriate for the worker's risk of exposure. Cloth face coverings must be worn by every employee not working alone unless their risk profile dictates a higher level of protection.
FEDERAL SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOADS (EIDLs) (Click for Spanish)
Small businesses, and private nonprofit organizations of any size are eligible to apply for up to $2 million in low‑interest loans to to offset economic losses caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apply online or receive disaster assistance via phone at 800-659-2955 or email email@example.com. SAVE YOUR PASSWORD - SBA does not have a password recall system. Approval notification is estimated at approximately three days.
- Paycheck Protection Program Primarily for payroll expenses, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides up to $10 million per small business in loan forgiveness for retaining employees. The loan forgiveness portion is dependent on keeping and paying employees or rehiring employees laid off in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. Contact your bank/lender to see if they’re offering PPP. See list of local SBA lenders here.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance - This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief for businesses experiencing difficulties that doesn’t have to be repaid. This complements the traditional SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which has been in place since mid-March.
SBA Debt Relief - The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses which covers all principal, interest and fees on current and new SBA 7(a) loans made through September 27, 2020, for up to six months.
During this crisis, it’s extremely important to document financial losses using this Economic Injury Worksheet.
MAIN STREET LENDING PROGRAM
- This new program offers four-year loans to businesses that meet specific criteria and were in good standing before the coronavirus crisis. Businesses that have taken advantage of SBA's Paycheck Protection Program may also utilize this loan program. Principle and interest payments will be deferred for one year. See this guide for details.
OTHER LOW INTEREST LOANS FOR COMMUNITY-BASED NONPROFITS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
- The federal TAA program offers up to $150,000 in (50%) matching funds to U.S. businesses that have experienced damaging import competition as well as $30,000 (75%) matching funds for businesses under $1.5MM in revenue. The NW Trade Adjustment Assistance Center provides timely assistance in qualifying and employing the program.
TAXES, FEES, DEFERRALS
- The Washington State Department of Revenue can provide extensions on taxes or waive penalties.
- PUGET SOUND ENERGY is offering assistance to small businesses including a halt to disconnections for non-payment as well as payment plan and new billing date options.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
- Washington state is working to source and deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to support personnel on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Demand far exceeds supply so the state is working to obtain PPE from all available sources, including private industry manufacturers and retailers.
- The PPE Exchange - a simple to use Dashboard to connect private sector sellers with private sector buyers. The user enters their own information and updates as needed.
FIKES Products - local source for PPE, 253-854-2439
Acorn Uniforms - local source for PPE, 425-284-0505
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE for SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS from CULTURALLY/HISTORICALLY DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES - The Washington State Department of Commerce announced a new partnership with organizations that serve cultural and historically disadvantaged businesses and communities across the state. The organizations listed below are helping King County business. Please note that several of these are dedicated email addresses.
- Sister Sky, Inc. – Native American Small Businesses; Call 509-315-9808
- Tabor Business HUB - African American and community at large; Email or call 206-368-4042
- Ventures Nonprofit – Espanol; Email or call 206-352-1945
FREE BUSINESS ASSISTANCE WEBINARS
- Washington State's Small Business Development Center offers free webinars related to the COVID-19 pandemic to assist businesses with loans, recovery planning, and more.
- A repository of documents that fit the practical needs of many company leaders –from HR to CEO to Facilities – to build a Safe Work Plan for Back to Work.
- The Getting to Safe Toolkit was developed by Challenge Seattle, Washington Roundtable and Boston Consulting Group in partnership with the Snohomish County Health District. This reopening guide is aimed to be concise, attractive and suitable for small businesses and organizations countrywide. King County is anticipated to create a similar document soon. Please use this as sample guidance.
- Impact Washington will provide free business-readiness assessments to ensure manufacturers comply with Phase 2 requirements. Get your facility on the schedule by contacting Impact Washington HERE or call 425-438-1146.
GOVERNORS ORDER TO CLOSE NON–ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES
- Under an order by the Governor, businesses providing non-essential services must close from March 25 through May 4 except for those performing basic operations. Guidance on essential services is available here. Please complete this form for Business Re-Entry Registration using this registration link and registration guide.
ASSISTANCE FOR LAID OFF EMPLOYEES
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 and 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.
Beauty Change Lives - $1000 grants for beauty professionals
ASSISTANCE FOR RESTAURANTS & THEIR EMPLOYEES
Restaurant Employee Relief Fund - Provides one-time $500 grants to employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 financially.
The Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation has created a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for individual workers and small businesses.
The Plate Fund - Provides $500 emergency relief grants to individuals in King County who have lost their jobs in the restaurant industry due to the COVID-19 crisis.
If you are a bartender who is unable to work and need financial assistance to cover basic needs, this grant opportunity is offered by the U.S. Bartenders Guild.
- Restaurants offering take-out/delivery If your information is missing or has changed, contact Michelle Wilmot at 253-275-7542.
- Puget Sound Regional Restaurant Map. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions on how to add your business to the map.
BUSINESSES INVITED TO JOIN “SAVING LOCAL” INITIATIVE
- We are joining the Kent Chamber of Commerce and our neighboring Chambers and cities in a “Saving Local” initiative to promote buying experiences and gift cards now that can be used later. The initiative will help drive cash to closed businesses or those operating at reduced capacity. This program is free for Kent businesses to participate – just provide a tangible deal that can be purchased now. Click here for details.
COVID-19 INFO SOURCES
OTHER BUSINESS INFORMATION SOURCES
BUSINESS OPERATION GUIDANCE