COVID-19 March 16 Update

Dear SODO Business Owners – 

As each day goes by we see new developments due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with that comes new policies, resources, and of course even more questions. The SODO BIA will continue to keep you informed with the most up to date information and hopefully be able to answer any questions that may arise.

Last night, Governor Inslee released a statement calling for a statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars, and the limits on size of gathering shrunk to exclude any gathering of more than 50 people. You can read his complete statement below. We know this will have impacts on many of our businesses and we want you to know that we are here to assist you in anyway we can and connect you to helpful information and resources.

If you missed our last two updates, please check them out for more information:
March 10, 2020
March 13, 2020

We will continue to have a presence in SODO and will conduct daily drive arounds to keep track of the situation here in SODO, and be available by phone and email.

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

Governor Inslee statement on statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars and limits on size of gatherings expanded

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement las night that further expands protections against COVID-19. “Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities. “Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted. “The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.“Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met. “These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning.”

Mayor Jenny Durkan Statement on State and Local Measures to Combat the Spread of COVID-19 Seattle (March 15, 2020) –

Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today issued a statement on new State of Washington and King County orders to combat the further spread of COVID-19. The orders will temporarily limit operations of bars and restaurants, and will allow restaurants to continue delivery, drive-through and takeout services. These orders prohibit all gatherings with 50 or more people, and require dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues to cease operations. You can find more information about the State announcement here and the County’s announcement here. Seattle continues to consult with health officials to determine if additional citywide restrictions are required. A recent study by the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) found that by early April, the Puget Sound region could have as many as 25,000 cases of COVID-19, and 400 deaths if no mitigation actions were taken. The study underscored the importance of social distancing in saving lives, preventing the further spread of the virus, and relieving pressure on the health care system and first responders.

Read Mayor Durkan’s Press Release Here

Guidance for retail businesses and service operators to protect from the spread of COVID-19

This guidance applies to retail businesses and service operators such as grocery stores; drug stores; restaurants, and other retail establishments.Public Health – Seattle & King County announced new recommendations to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in addition to earlier guidance. While last night’s announcement on the shutdown of restaurants and bars prohibits in-dining service, take-out and delivery may continue throughout King County; and it is recommended that the following public health guidance is observed in these settings.

Click Here for an Overview of Workplace Guidance and Additional Details

Small Business Stabilization Fund2020 Emergency Fund for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Small businesses in Seattle are experiencing significant negative financial impact due to the fear of theCOVID-19 (Coronavirus) infection spreading in our region and country. Some local companies have reported laying off half of employees, experiencing 80% revenue losses, and seeing major declines infoot traffic as tens of thousands of employees are being asked to work from home.To mitigate barriers to capital for Seattle’s most vulnerable businesses, the City of Seattle will commit approximately $1.5 million in one-time Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the SmallBusiness Stabilization Fund, an emergency fund that provides working capital grants in amounts up to$10,000 to qualifying small businesses.

Click Here for More Information and How to Apply

Office of Economic Development’s Small Business COVID-19 Impacts Weekly Webinar

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development is committed to responding to and supporting our small businesses to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. As this is a rapidly developing issue, we will be holding weekly calls to share new developments, hear about the impacts you are experiencing, and answer your questions. A recording and notes from this webinar will be posted to our Bottom Line Blog

Next Webinar is Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Register Here

Financial Resources and Guidance for Business Owners

We know that many of our businesses are monitoring their financial situation in light of the slowdown in economic activity. This is a difficult task and we’d like to provide some guidance and resources that may be helpful.

WaFd Special Offer
WaFd Bank is offering a 5-year business line of credit with 90 days interest free to businesses affected by COVID-19. Businesses who have seen a 10% or greater drop in revenues can apply to receive up to $200,000 on business lines of credit with 90 days interest-free. Additionally, WaFd will be expediting the process for lines up to $30,000.
Click here for more details and access to the online application.

Small Business Administration Update
The Small Business Administration has enacted a disaster loan program for businesses and non-profit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 slow down to the economy. These loans may be used to fund payroll, fixed debts, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Unlike most SBA loans these are not made by the bank but are coming directly from SBA.

Here is how you can get started on your application:
— Start at the SBA website
— If you have not visited the site before you’ll need to create an information, choose a username and password to get into the site
— Complete the information requested
— Please complete this form and send it to
— King County collects the forms and sends them to Olympia where they are reviewed and forwarded to the SBA. This helps the SBA track the number of businesses impacted by the event. As a reminder, this is just a preliminary assessment to show need. Once the SBA decides that relief is necessary and warranted in Washington, businesses will need to apply for the program directly.

Tips for Talking With Your Lender About Existing Loans or Lines of Credit
The following tips and recommendations will empower you to have a more effective discussion with your lender about existing loans and lines of credit. If you anticipate having trouble making payments, consider these steps:
1. Reach out to your bank early
2. Your lender will probably ask for some financial documents:2018 and 2019 P&L and Balance Sheet2018 Business and Personal Taxes
3. Let your lender know how your year-over-year sales figures look through February and since March 1. January – February of this year will likely look similar to last year. However March 1-15, 2019 will probably look a lot better than March 1-15, 2020. Be prepared to show your lender how much business has dropped off in the past three weeks.
4. If your business bills on terms – and you have accounts receivable – bring your most recent aging report so the lender can see the cash flow you anticipate coming in, even if it will take longer than normal to collect.
5. Have a plan. Let your lender know what you are intending to do to address this difficult time. If you can make partial payments, make payments after a few months, or make interest-only payments let them know.
6. Lenders will be having this same conversation with many clients, if you do the heavy lifting for them and let them know what you can do, they will be able to present your case much faster than someone who has no plan and just says “Let me know what you can do”.
7. If you have a credit card – Call the number on the back of the card and say you need to talk to someone about making payment arrangements. They may direct you back to your banker or they may be able to help right away.

Employment Security has programs designed to help individuals and employers during this unprecedented time
If you are affected by COVID-19, Employment Security has programs that may be able to help. We adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. This easy-to-read comparison guide lists some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply.
For more information check out the Employment Security Department website:

Resources for Those Impacted by COVID-19
Please review our website, which features a series of resources intended to assist small business owners, managers, and employees impacted by the COVID-19 virus crisis, along with public health recommendations. We will revise this page as more information becomes available, so check back often.