COVID-19 March 19 Update

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. 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. In this update you will find recent news announcements and resources for your business, employees, families, and friends.

Also, you will find a survey from the City of Seattle, Greater Seattle Partners, and Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce hoping to further capture the effects of COVID-19 on businesses and nonprofits. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey as it will inform strategies for recovery and development.

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Inslee announced additional relief for businesses and workers in response to COVID-19. This builds on state support for workers and businesses, and the state financial, export, insurance and unemployment assistance that has already been made available. Check out his most recent announcement HERE.

If you missed our last few updates, please check them out for more information:
March 10, 2020
March 13, 2020
March 16, 2020

We know there are concerns about crime and safety in SODO. We encourage you to reach out with any issues and call 911 if you have been a victim of a crime. We are working on gathering safety and security protocols and will share those with you soon.

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

City of Seattle, Greater Seattle Partners, and Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Distribute Survey to Measure Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Region’s Businesses and Non-Profits

SEATTLE, WA – The City of Seattle, Greater Seattle Partners, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced today they are distributing an Economic Impact Survey ( to further capture the effects of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, on businesses and non-profits in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. The Economic Impact Survey will identify early local and regional effects of COVID-19, inform strategies for regional economic recovery and development, and maximizing and allocating badly-needed federal and state recovery aid.

For businesses and non-profits interested in completing the survey, go to, Initial quantitative data and qualitative information shows that small businesses, non-profit organizations, arts, and workers in the Seattle region are experiencing significant negative financial impacts due to the COVID-19. Local businesses and non-profits have reported 50 – 90 percent revenue losses, laid off employees, reduced hours, temporary or permanent closures, xenophobia, and major declines in foot traffic as tens of thousands of people are being asked to work from home and practice social distancing. Industries that are most impacted include retail, restaurants and hospitality, transportation and logistics, as well as arts, large festivals and cultural events.

Mayor Durkan Announces $1 Million Expansion of Small Business Stabilization Fund & Availability of Federal Small Businesses Loans

$2.5 Million Total Now Available Through the City’s Small Business Stabilization Fund 
To Date, Office of Economic Development Has Seen Overwhelming Response, with Approximately 1,800 Eligible Applications 
COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Task Force Hosts First Meeting
Seattle (March 18, 2020) – Building on the City’s initial Small Business Recovery Package to support small businesses and working people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today that the City will invest an additional $1 million in the City’s Small Business Stabilization Fund, bringing the total new amount of available funding for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to $2.5 million. Eligible small businesses will receive a grant of up to $10,000 to mitigate revenue lost by COVID-19.
In addition, small businesses in Seattle and King County are now eligible to apply for up to $2 million in low‑interest Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With currently $1 billion in loan subsidies available from the federal government, the City’s Office of Economic Development (OED) will be offering technical assistance and launching resources to help small businesses apply for SBA loans.

Read Mayor Durkan’s Press Release Here

To Ease Financial Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic, Mayor Jenny Durkan Signs Emergency Order to Temporarily Halt Evictions of Small Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations
New Action Is Part of Mayor’s Small Business Recovery Package, Builds on Emergency Order Signed on March 14 That Halts Residential Evictions
SEATTLE (March 18, 2020) – To further support small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Jenny Durkan signed an Emergency Order that temporarily halts evictions of small business and nonprofit tenants in the City of Seattle. The order’s temporary moratorium on small business and nonprofit tenant evictions is effective immediately for any action related to the non-payment of rent or due to the expiration of the lease’s term during the moratorium. It will be in effect for at least 60 days or until the termination of the civil emergency declared in the Proclamation of Civil Emergency dated March 3, 2020. The decision to extend the moratorium will be evaluated and determined by the Mayor based on public health needs. 
The new action builds on the steps announced March 10 in the Mayor’s Small Business Recovery Package. It also builds on the Mayor’s March 14 order halting residential evictions across Seattle. 

Read Mayor Durkan’s Press Release Here

Washington State Liquor and Control Board on Help for Licensees During COVID-19

The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has been working quickly to consider steps the agency can take to help licensees throughout this period of business restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are making some temporary modifications to allow businesses to act quickly.
The intent is to allow additional ways for you to engage your customers without having to have your doors open for business. Please note however, the agency does not have authority to change state laws. Unless indicated otherwise, these temporary modifications are effective until a date to be determined later.

For more information check out the Full Bulletin HERE


More Business Resources

Information and links for City of Seattle programs and services for those significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also listed below are other community, county, and state resources that may be helpful to you.

Effective immediately, the City of Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) will defer business and occupation (B&O) tax collections for businesses that have annual taxable incomes of $5 million or less and that pay city taxes quarterly. This will allow small business owners increased flexibility during a period of financial duress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have questions, please call (206) 684-8484 or email:

The Washington State Employment Security Department has programs designed to help individuals and employers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. They have an easy-to-read comparison guide listing some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply. More information for workers and businesses here:

The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) can work with impacted companies that request an extension on tax filing. The law grants the Department authority to extend the due date for excise tax returns. A business may request such an extension from the Department prior to the due date of the return, and, if granted, the business would be allowed to delay reporting and paying its tax liability. If a business needs an extension of more than 30 days, the law requires the Department to collect a deposit from the business. The amount of deposit required is based on the business’ reporting history and how many reporting periods are covered under the extension WAC 458-20-228 (13). Contact DOR at 360.705.6705

DOR may also waive penalties under limited circumstances if a business is late in paying its tax obligation. The law also grants the Department authority to provide a one-time, 24 month, late payment penalty waiver if the business has not owed a late payment penalty during the previous 24 months WAC 458-20-228 (9). Contact DOR at 360.705.6705.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle City Light (SCL) will keep utility services on during the COVID-19 Civil Emergency in Seattle. SPU and SCL customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, regardless of background or immigration status, can request a deferred payment plan with the utilities by calling (206) 684-3000 or sending an email anytime at

The Utility Discount Program (UDP) lowers Seattle City Light bills by 60 percent and Seattle Public Utility bills by 50 percent. To learn more about enrollment in UDP, call (206) 684-0268 or go to:

Effective Monday, March 16, Comcast is offering 2 months free to new Internet Essentials customers in response to recent and anticipated emergency measures associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit for more information.

Hosted by Seattle Foundation, the COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. The Fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible.
To donate to the fund, go here:
To apply for funding, please email:


Worker/Family Resources

Both Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance and Washington Initiative 1433 establish local and statewide paid sick leave for hourly employees working in Washington state. In Seattle, the law requires employers to provide all employees with paid sick and safe time. This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, exempt, and non-exempt employees. Please call the Seattle Office of Labor Standards at (206) 256-5297 or visit Office of Labor Standards PSST page here.

The Washington State Employment Security Department has programs designed to help individuals and employers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. They have an easy-to-read comparison guide listing some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply. More information for workers and businesses here:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Washington Health Plan Finder is opening enrollment to qualified individuals until April 8, 2020. Apple Heath enrollment is year-round.

The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) can provide support in the form of 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). Visit:

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. Visit:

If COVID-19 disrupts a Washington business and causes a mass layoff or closure, ESD and its local workforce development board 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. Visit:

Seattle-based author and artist Ijeoma Oluo and others have organized this fundraiser on behalf of Artists Relief Fund. From the website: “This fund is aimed at helping those in the greater Seattle arts community who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists – but we will try to help as many artists with need in Seattle as we can.” To donate to the fund, go here: To apply for funding, visit: City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture hosted a webinar to share resources and information on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Check out the recording HERE.

This is put together by different individuals and not a specific organization. Be sure to read the fine print carefully. This resource lists education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closures.

Beginning Monday, March 16, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will be distributing lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday at 26 school sites throughout the city. All SPS students can participate. Additional information about meal pick-up will be shared with families tomorrow. These 26 sites will become central locations for family and student resource distribution. Lunch distribution sites can be found on the SPS Family Resources for COVID-19-related Page.