Congratulations on surviving another week of COVID craziness! As you have likely seen in the media, last night Governor Inslee extended the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order through May 4. So our work has gotten even more important. The economic impact to temporarily shuttered non-essential businesses and their workers as well as lost revenue for many in our community and our public partners will continue to be staggering. The good news is that Washington State’s social distancing efforts seem to be slowly “flattening the curve” and lessening the impact of our state's coronavirus outbreak, and if we are all diligent we can move toward economic recovery more quickly.

We are all inundated with COVID-19 webinars, conference calls and emails, so we are staying laser-focused on mostly behind-the-scenes support for economic developers in our critical work to help businesses/employers and their workers survive and prepare to thrive again once this crisis has subsided.

COVID-19 Updates & Resources

  • To help you better understand the differences between these two Federal programs we’ve attached side by side comparisons of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) -vs- the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • Federal CARES Act Updates: The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) of 2020, signed into law on March 27, was designed to “provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.” The final passage and enactment of a $2T+ historic third stimulus package should significantly help our companies, workers and families survive this crisis. It includes $350B for loan guarantees to small businesses and non-profits, another $10B for Emergency Injury Disaster Loans, a new $349B Paycheck Protection Program, a huge new investment in unemployment insurance, $1M for Impact Washington and a significant injection of funding for states, tribes and local governments and cash payments to mid/lower income residents, among other important investments.
  • new Employment Security Department (ESD) Updates: Sign up for action alerts from the state’s Employment Security Department to get answers to frequently asked questions from both workers and employers, learn more about the federal stimulus package CARES Act, and stay up to date with other COVID-related info at https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19. ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine also shares via video how the federal stimulus package applies to unemployed Washington residents at: https://tinyurl.com/uxs78lw
  • SBA Resources & Disaster Loans: The entire state of WA – including all 39 counties -- is now approved as primary counties and eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). More information is available here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources. Here is the SBDC’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program PowerPoint that provides a helpful overview of the SBA disaster loan program and step-by-step instructions on completing the application. The Washington Small Business Development Centers are also offering several webinars on topics such as business resiliency and how to apply for SBA Disaster Loans. new COVID-19 Google Community Mobility Report: As you will see, some counties are making a bigger impact than others!
  • WorkSource has a list of critical job opportunities, especially in the grocery store, cleaning, healthcare and governmental industries. For searchable Washington job opportunities in your community, go to WorkSourceWA.com.
  • Community Foundation/Nonprofit Resources: Communities across the entire state have established COVID-19 assistance funds. AWB’s COVID-19 Resources page includes a concise listing of many of these funds: https://www.awb.org/covid-19-resources/
  • new AWB’s Employer Resource page: We are not duplicating many of the tremendous resources listed on AWB’s website for employers. It is an outstanding FREE resource all employers should be checking regularly. Check it out here: https://www.awb.org/covid-19-resources/
  • Facebook Small Business Grants: Facebook is soon offering small business grants.
  • Export-Import Bank of the US: The Export-Import Bank of the US has extended assistance to its US customers and lenders.
  • Other State Resources:
    • Here is the State’s “one stop shop” COVID-19 Response page: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/
    • new Please share Washington State's How You Can Help website
    • Washington Small Business Grant Program/Strategic Reserve Fund Grants: Per earlier reports, the Strategic Reserve Fund was increased by $3M, and per our March 18 report, Governor Inslee announced on March 18 up to $5M in small grants to small businesses. Commerce is working hard to put this program and process together, and there should be more news about it early next week. We are supporting and encouraging rapid rollout of this important program and are prepared to receive those applications through our office and have a review panel in place!
  • Washington Tourism Alliance Website: The ShowWAlove.com website is a place where people can find a way to support their favorite local businesses by purchasing gift cards for future use. If a small business has any online ordering or take-out/delivery available, then that can also be included.
  • new Manufacturers needed: Companies that are willing to shift gears and re-purpose manufacturing operations to help with the COVID-19 crisis should fill out this form and email covidmanufacturing@commerce.wa.gov to provide details on what they can offer.
  • new US Department of Agriculture Resources: USDA is implementing new measures to help rural businesses, communities and residents.
  • Looking Ahead to Recovery/Ideas for Potential Infrastructure Packages: Congressman Derek Kilmer, among others, has asked us for ideas and concerns for a next potential federal assistance/stimulus package. We are also putting together ideas for a potential special legislative session, and the 2021 legislative session. Please send your thoughts and ideas for needed policy changes for our economic recovery.