COVID-19 April 30 Update
Dear SODO Businesses,
The SODO BIA continue to closely track the impacts of COVID-19. As we navigate this difficult time we will continue to share resources, news, and services that you may find helpful. We understand the concern and impacts of the COVID-19 on our SODO community and are here to help and support in any way we can.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for any issues you may come across!
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gov. Inslee announces easing of certain COVID-19 social distancing restrictions
Gov. Jay Inslee has announced the state’s first steps to ease certain COVID-19 restrictions including allowing certain low-risk construction projects to restart and allowing the partial re-opening of some outdoor recreation activities.
The governor, during a news conference on Monday, also discussed the state’s approach to easing restrictions, which is based on several factors including:
– Rate of infection: Case counts overall have flattened and data from the Puget Sound indicates that for each person infected, the disease is spread to just under one additional individual. While that shows social distancing is helping slow the spread, the governor said medical experts warn there is high risk that infection rates could increase again if we modify restrictions too soon.
– Ability to test: To accurately determine the rate of infection, the state needs to significantly increase testing. While the state now has the lab capacity to test large numbers of people, it does not yet have enough testing materials including swabs and viral transmission medium to get the samples to the labs. The state is aggressively pursuing options to get more testing materials from the federal government and other sources soon.
– Contact tracing: Once the rate of infection is low and testing capacity is in place, the state needs the ability to reach people who come in contact with someone who is infected to make sure they are isolated, as well as their families. That is the only way,currently, to ensure the virus does not spread out of control. The state is creating a contact tracing workforce of 1,500 people, primarily from the Washington State National Guard, local health departments and the state Department of Health.
– Status of the health care system: The state wants to ensure the hospital system has the capacity to handle another surge of patients in case the virus again spreads rapidly through the population.
“Not one of these metrics is dispositive,” the governor said. “You have to consider all of these factors together and when they reach the point where we’re highly confident that we can reopen our society, then we will make a decision to do that as soon as we can.”
Read More Here!
Mayor Durkan Transmits Legislation to Deploy $14 Million in Federal Resources in Fight Against COVID-19
On April 24, Mayor Durkan transmitted legislation to accept and appropriate funds from the recently passed federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to directly support the City’s response to COVID-19.
Mayor Durkan is proposing to use approximately $14 million in new federal funds towards these COVID-19 priorities:
– $1.5 million for the Small Business Stabilization Fund
– $5 million for the expansion of food delivery programs for older adults
– $5.3 million for rental assistance programs for households at risk of eviction or homelessness and programs that serve low-income persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS
You can read more here.
Mayor Jenny Durkan and 16 Other Mayors Across Country Call on Federal Government to Make Critical Improvements to Small Business COVID-19 Relief Programs
Mayors Call on Small Business Administration to Quickly Make Necessary Improvements to Paycheck Protection Program to Better Serve Vulnerable Business Owners
Seattle (April 29, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and 16 mayors from across the country sent a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and United States Department of the Treasury asking the federal government to make critical improvements to its relief programs for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened on Monday, April 27, with $320 billion in new funding, and the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is not currently accepting new applications but is currently working through its backlog. The mayors’ full letter can be found here.
The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) provides technical assistance to help businesses apply for SBA loans and understand the CARES Act. This includes helping businesses navigate the application process and documentation. In working with small business owners, OED has heard about a number of issues with federal small business relief, including:
1.) Significant confusion among borrowers and lenders about the implementation of PPP, which has created barriers to participation for historically underserved businesses;
2.) Lack of funding specifically designated toward historically underserved businesses, and a first come, first served structure that favors larger businesses with more access to capital;
3.) Slow granting process and inability to get funds out the door quickly; and
4.) Lack of flexibility in forgivable loan requirements that effectively marginalizes small businesses that have already had to lay off their staff.
Read Full Press Release Here
Back to Work Planning
Recent COVID-19 figures show remarkable progress in flattening the infection curve. With this we have seen parts of Washington State economy begin to open up including construction, outdoor recreation, and elective surgeries. In the coming weeks and months, we expect more restrictions to be lifted and people heading back to work. Many organizations have begun publishing toolkits and helpful documents to guide businesses in going back to work, and we wanted to share a few below with you.
Challenge Seattle and the Washington Roundtable worked with the Boston Consulting Group to provide a road map for businesses to develop robust plans on how to return to work! Check them out HEREand HERE.
A “Back to Work Toolkit” created by Madrona Group alongside the Seattle Venture Community, Leading Tech, Retail and Aerospace Companies in the Region and the Seattle Metropolitan and Bellevue Chambers of Commerce. Check it out HERE!
Also, Check Out this Informative Crosscut Article!
PPP & EIDL Funding Replenished! APPLY NOW!
Last Friday, the US government approved an additional $484B relief package to support small businesses, organizations, and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new package includes $320B to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and $60B to replenish the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Loan Advance program (EIDL).
We anticipate that these funds will not last long so we urge you to review the PPP and EIDL resources below and apply as soon as possible.
More Information Here!
Sign-up for COVID Alerts
You can now sign-up for COVID-specific weekly updates through AlertSeattle. Text COVID to 67283 or update your preferences by logging in to your existing account.
OED Small Business COVID-19 Weekly Webinar
As COVID-19 is a rapidly developing issue, OED will be holding weekly calls to share new developments, hear about the impacts you are experiencing, and answer your questions. Please join every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
– Register here
– View notes and recordings from previous webinars