Beyond its direct health implications, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is causing massive disruption to organizations large and small worldwide. We at the Economic Development Council for Island County (EDCIC) take seriously the economic hardships faced by Island County businesses. We’ve compiled the following list of resources to stay on top of the latest developments as it pertains both to well-being of your employees and the operations of your business. This list of resources is being continuously updated.
Paycheck Protection Program Opens today, April 3rd!
>> Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap. Check with your bank to see if they are participating in this program. <<
The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed. Businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day. The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses. The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. For more information visit SBA’s webpage.
SBA COVID-19 Disaster Loan Program Open for Applications!
Small businesses in Island County are now eligible to apply for low‑interest U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
PLEASE COMPLETE EDCIC’s COVID-19 ECONOMIC SURVEY!
We are requesting Island County businesses to complete a survey in an effort to collect information. The clearer the picture we can gather on the economic impact in Island County, the better we can communicate to the state government our level of need. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/M6RDSTW
SBA disaster loan applications are already being accepted. And starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for loans under the SBA Paycheck Protection Loan (PPPL) program. Businesses interested in a PPPL have been advised by the U.S. Treasury Department to apply as quickly as they can because there is a funding cap.
Stay tuned for an announcement from the WA Department of Commerce of the Small Business Emergency Grant Program which will use $5 million from the governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund. This statewide grant program is target at small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 including those in Island County. Grants will be $10,000 or less, to provide bridge assistance with operating expenses. The EDCIC will administer this program in Island County.
USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19. Read full announcement: https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_RD_SA_COVID19_ProgramImmediateActions.pdf
On Sunday March 23, Governor Inslee issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation. The order takes effect immediately and will remain in place for a minimum of two weeks. This proclamation will:
• Require every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity
• Ban all public and private gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes
• Close all businesses except essential businesses
The order states that Washingtonians can still participate in outdoor activities like bike rides, hikes, and working in their yard, as long as they maintain proper social distancing or at least six feet from each other. Essential businesses will remain open including grocery stores and pharmacies. Many tourism-related businesses were also deemed essential including hotels, rental car companies and many transportation organizations, as well as restaurant take-out and curbside services.
By this evening, March 25, all non-essential businesses must close. Teleworking from home is still allowed.
Businesses can visit the Washington State Business Re-Entry Registration website to clarify or certify status, or to petition their non-essential status.
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers and CDC Pandemic Planning Checklist for Business – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- For Workers Affected by COVID-19 – Washington State Employment Security Department
- Layoff Assistance – Washington State Employment Security Department
- Latest Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Information– Island County
- Cleaning for Health in a Business – Spokane Regional Health District
- Paid family and medical leave program– Washington State
- Governor’s COVID-19 Website for Impacted Businesses and Workers – maintained by the state’s Joint Information Center and is in addition to the Governor’s webpage specifically dedicated to COVID-19.
- Financial Assistance for Businesses
- The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to provide assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury in an eligible disaster area. Congress approved up to $7 billion in low-interest disaster loans specifically to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. These loans can help small businesses meet financial obligations and cover operating expenses.
- The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) created a page dedicated to business relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers – Washington Governor Office
- For businesses where individuals cannot work from home, the Governor’s office is providing guidance on what businesses are essential, building on the federal government’s and California’s definition of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.
- Businesses that want clarity around what is and is not considered “essential” or wish to petition for being part of the list before the order officially goes into effect should email: email@example.com ASAP.
ADDITIONAL GENERAL RESOURCES
- National Law Review Daily Updates
- Harvard Business Review: What it Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting
- Implications for Business McKinsey & Co. report continuously updated.
- Research and insights relating to COVID-19 Goldman Sachs reports.
- Eye on the markets COVID-19 research compilation J.P. Morgan report includes economic and market research to date; will be continuously updated
EDUCATION AND ENTERTAINMENT
Stuck indoors or without social contact for the next foreseeable days? Enjoy exploring these:
- 360-degree tours of some of the most remote and beautiful U.S. National Parks
- 450 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free
- 12 famous museums offer virtual tours
- 13 free services to use while social distancing from Headspace to Happiness Planner