COVID-19 Resources For Small Business Owners
Business for All, Small Business GrantIn partnership with Verizon, the digital fundraising and advocacy platform Hello Alice is offering emergency grants of up to $10,000 for companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The application period ends on July 16. Click here for more information.
Free Workshops from University of Washington Foster School of business - As owners of small- and medium-sized businesses are adjusting to economic changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty from the University of Washington Foster School of business are offering 7 workshops to help businesses pivot to new opportunities. Please join us for all of them or just a few as your schedule permits. Click here for more and to register.
Emergency Child Care - Workers in the healthcare, first responder, pharmacy, and grocery sectors are invited to apply for the program on the Department of Education and Early Learning website. DEEL has partnered with various employers and partner networks representing these essential sectors to identify families in need of care.
Temporary Restaurant Loading Zones - The Seattle Department of Transportation will identify additional locations to place curbside pickup signs in coordination with organizations like the Office of Economic Development, the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and the Greater Seattle Business Association. Restaurants can request a loading zone near their establishment by calling (206) 684-ROAD. To find out more, click here.
Grocery Vouchers - the City of Seattle has expanded a grocery voucher program that will now serve 8,050 households, including an expansion of 800 workers who recently lost their job or experienced a decrease in hours or wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded program will provide 1,800 workers impacted by COVID-19 with vouchers that can be used immediately at any Washington state Safeway store to purchase food and household goods, not including tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, and fuel. To find out more, click here.
Amazon’s Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund cash grants for South Lake Union and Regrade small businesses.The e-commerce giant will draw from a $5 million fund to support businesses with less than $7 million in annual revenue or fewer than 50 employees with a few blocks of its Seattle headquarters, find out more here.
The Save Small Business Fund Through US Chamber and CommerceThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Vistaprint and with support from Merck, S&P Global Foundation and Travelers, launched The Save Small Business Fund. The grant will address small businesses’ immediate needs like closures and job losses. Companies can qualify if they have between three to 20 employees, are located in an economically vulnerable community and have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The fund will use the Distressed Communities Index to identify small businesses based in zip codes that are most vulnerable. Applications for the fund will open on April 20.
Verizon Small Business Recovery FundSmall businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability.
Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, Verizon is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. Click here for more.
The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES ActThe programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA .........
Facebook Grant Opportunity for Small BusinessFacebook is working to help small businesses get through this challenging time. We have made global donation of $100M in grants, of which significant funds are focused on minority and women owned business in the US. https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants. Women and minority entrepreneurs own 42% and 37% respectively of all US businesses and face greater challenges in starting, running, and growing their companies than any other entrepreneurs. The impact of Covid-19 on them has been, and will be devastating. These business owners are concentrated in impacted industries, have less working capital, and are disproportionately impacted by a lack of affordable childcare. Facebook wants to do all that we can to help them survive through this and possibly, even thrive.
The State of Washington has created a consolidated list of COVID-19 Business Resources for Washington State business.For COVID-19 resources for impacted Washington businesses, please visit the business.wa.gov website.
SBA Express Bridge Loans allows small businesses who have a business relationship with an SBA to access up to $25k.Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via SBA’s Lender Match Tool or by connecting with your local SBA District Office.
The City of Seattle has created a Small Business Stabilization FundThe City of Seattle has created a Small Business Stabilization Fund. The 2020 Emergency Fund for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 launched by the Office of Economic Development last week provides grants to support the day-to-day operating expenses of eligible microbusinesses, such as payroll or losses due to destabilizing events. Grants are capped at $10,000. There is now $2.5M in this fund, with more than 1800 eligible applicants. The goal is to raise $15M to support 1500 more small businesses.
The City of Seattle is accepting direct financial contributions to this fund. To donate, contact Shefali Ranganathan at Shefali.Ranganathan@seattle.gov to confirm your contribution amount.
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce creates the Keep Workers Safe and Healthy FundThe Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has set up a fund to complement the City’s effort. The Keep Workers Safe and Healthy Fund is focused on providing continuity for vulnerable businesses, including those who may not be eligible for the City’s program, and their employees. The fund has two main goals: to keep healthcare coverage intact for employees through April 2020, whether they have employer-sponsored benefits or receive subsidies for health insurance, and keeping employees safe by reimbursing employers for janitorial services, protective equipment, and supplies.
The goal for this fund is $10 million. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make a contribution to this fund. The Chamber is working to set up a website to accept online contributions.
GoFundMe.org has started a Small Business Relief Fund to provide micro-grants to small businesses impacted by COVID-19The GoFundMe.org has started a Small Business Relief Fund to provide micro-grants to qualifying small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Relief Fund is part of the Small Business Relief Initiative: a program supported by GoFundMe, Yelp, and Intuit QuickBooks. The Small Business Relief Initiative will supply financial assistance and support to businesses across the country by providing grants, tools, and resources to help during the crisis. GoFundMe, Yelp, and Intuit QuickBooks have pledged to donate up to $1.5 million in donations into the GoFundMe.org Small Business Relief Fund. Until that Fund is depleted, GoFundMe.org will continue issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses. Additional companies are expected to contribute to this Fund in the coming weeks, in order to provide much needed aid to even more businesses across the country.
Washington Healthplanfinder provides information about Covid-19 Health CoverageWashington Healthplanfinder Frequently Asked Questions About Covid-19 Health Coverage https://www.wahbexchange.org/coronavirus-faqs/
The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) created a page for business relief due to the COVID-19 pandemicThe Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) created a page dedicated to business relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit https://dor.wa.gov/taxrelief
Economic Injury and Disaster Loans (EIDLs). As Monument notes, the CARES Act temporarily expands eligibility for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs).
- What they are: An emergency loan program for federal disasters, including COVID-19. This program offers up to $2 million in assistance for fixed debts, payroll, and other account expenses with an interest rate of 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofits.
- What’s new: The CARES Act opened EIDLs to more types of small businesses, made it easier to apply, and ensured that EIDLs smaller than $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee.
- Additional feature: Through the SBA Economic Injury Emergency Grant Program, businesses can receive an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA EIDL.
- How to access the advance: Companies must first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
- Who is eligible: Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees (including sole proprietors with or without employees), independent contractors, cooperatives and employee owned businesses, private non-profits and tribal small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
- How to apply: Use the SBA’s application portal here.
The Paycheck Protection Program. Key parts of the program, via initial guidelines from the U.S. Treasury:
- What it is: A new program that provides small businesses with funds in the form of loans to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
- When to apply: Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.
- How to apply: You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. The application form is available here.
- Who is eligible: Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries. For more information about eligibility, please see section 1 in this guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Businesses will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program is retroactive to February 15, 2020 in order to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.
- Conditions of loans: The Paycheck Protection Program can offer loans up to $10 million and with 100 percent loan forgiveness if a business sustains its pre-COVID-19 payroll levels through June 30, 2020. Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll).
- Other things to know:
- No collateral or personal guarantees are required.
- Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees
- FAQ: If I get an Economic Injury Disaster Loan and/or an Emergency Economic Injury Grant, can I get a PPP loan? Yes. Note that if you ultimately receive a PPP loan or refinance an EIDL into a PPP loan, any advance amount received under the Emergency Economic Injury Grant Program would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the PPP. However, you cannot use your EIDL for the same purpose as your PPP loan. For example, if you use your EIDL to cover payroll for certain workers in April, you cannot use PPP for payroll for those same workers in April, although you could use it for payroll in March or for different workers in April.
- Free webinars to help understand and access the CARES Act. The Port of Seattle has put together a number of educational sessions to help small businesses pinpoint how the relief bill can assist them. Dates, times, and registration information can be found here.
- Deferred payment plans with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Seattle City Light (SCL), and Puget Sound Energy. Utilities will be kept on in Seattle throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Commercial customers can set up deferred payment plans with SCL or SPU by calling 206-684-3000 or emailing here. Also, gas provider Puget Sound Energy will not be disconnecting customers, instead waiving late fees and offering payment plans.
- A city-built takeout and delivery map for Seattle. If you’re a restaurant, brewery, cafe, or bar, make sure you’re on it.
- Resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Resources from the U.S. Department of the Treasury:
Commerce announces Small Business Resiliency Assistance program focused on disadvantaged communitiesState collaboration with ethnic commissions to provide locally based, culturally connected business coaching and translation services for small businesses
OLYMPIA, Wash. – 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 Small Business Resiliency Assistance program will provide technical assistance to small business owners affected by the COVID pandemic. Find the list of participating organizations here.
This group of committed, community-based organizations is reaching out to small business owners and working with them individually to find and apply for assistance that can help them right now. Several of the partners are translating information about available funding and other resources and will help people complete application materials that are required in English.
“These efforts are critical to make sure that small business owners from every community and every culture can access programs and resources available during this emergency,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Our partners are helping struggling businesses find and apply for state and federal assistance programs, and also helping them develop plans to stay open as we look toward economic recovery.”
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, community members have been concerned about the impact it would have on their business,” said Ed Prince, Executive Director, Washington State Commission on African American Affairs. “I commend our state leaders for recognizing the issue and stepping forward to help struggling small minority businesses.”
"We've received clear and pointed input from our community on how important it is that the state make resources available in a way that is culturally appropriate, and idiomatically accessible," said Toshiko Hasegawa, Executive Director of Washington State's Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. "Washington is one of the most diverse states in America. Targeted efforts to ensure support services reach the businesses that need them the most are crucial for economic survival and recovery."
“During these challenging times it is important to provide access to opportunities for preparing small businesses to thrive into the future,” said Maria Siguenza, Executive Director of the Commission on Hispanic Affairs. “This new program, designed to remove barriers to support, is vitally important to our community.. Together, we strive to ensure that language, culture and bureaucracy do not stand in the way of building a stronger small business community.”
“Like many other economic crises, COVID-19 will disproportionately impact the Black community. We need financial solutions that will aid in restoring economic growth,” said T’wina Nobles, President of The Tacoma Urban League. “Tacoma Urban League is poised to provide direct services to businesses owned and operated by Black people and other community members from historically underserved communities, cultures and populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The following organizations are providing assistance:
- Tacoma Urban League
- Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Inland Northwest Business Alliance
- La Casa Hogar
- Sister Sky, Inc.
- Tabor Business HUB
- Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber
- Ventures Nonprofit
- Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda)
- Spokane Independent Metro Business Alliance
Contact: email@example.com, Commerce Communication, (206) 256-6106 | Mobile/Text: (360) 704-9489