How you can help support your local businesses
Many of our local Pierce County businesses are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out Bankrate’s guide to learn more about how you can help your local small businesses.
Tools for Reopening
www.backtoworktoolkit.com A toolkit for reopening the office and getting back to work. Joint project led by Madrona alongside Seattle Venture Community, leading Tech, Retail, and Aerospace Companies in the region and lead the Seattle Metro and Bellevue Chambers of Commerce
Reopening Business Digital Resource Center – US Chamber of Commerce portal for detailed information for businesses broken down by state, sector, and businesses in addition to tools and other resources.
Information & Resources
HR & Employee Assistance: Help companies navigate changing rules around paid leave, unemployment, and at-risk employees. Information and resources will connect business to topics including but not limited to: Emergency Family & Medial Leave Expansion Act, Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, and Interaction for Emergency FMLA and Paid Sick Leave. Learn more at rapidresponsesouthsound.com
Free PPE for Pierce County Businesses: Pierce County has placed an order for one million masks along with infrared temperature guns. Please complete the form at www.piercecountywa.gov/6861/Request-Business-PPE if you are interested in receiving PPE for your business.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Find information for Pierce County businesses here at tpchd.org
The Employment Security Department: ESD has provided a few pages and forums to answer the most common questions from businesses and workers:
- Q&A for Employers and Businesses
- Q&A for Workers.
- Self-employed/independent contractor page: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/self-employed
- Expanded unemployment/CARES Act page: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/cares-act
- Updated unemployment page: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment
- Help page: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/help
Governor Inslee’s Office: A compiled list of business resources from the governor’s office. Learn more here
Washington State Department of Health: Recommendations for workplaces and businesses in Washington State. Learn more here
Planning for a Coronavirus Pandemic: A Guide for businesses and organizations: This printableguide from Seattle-King County Public Health provides great recommendations for businesses on how to address the Coronavirus pandemic. Find it here
Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County: Our local EDB has published a dedicated page for business resources for the COVID-19 outbreak. Find it here
Tri-weekly informational webinar for businesses: The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and the Economic Board for Tacoma-Pierce County are holding a tri-weekly webinar for businesses to stay informed on economics/disaster relief, employment, health, and legal topics as they relate to COVID-19. Go to tacomachamber.org for speaker information and log in instructions.
Open enrollment periods for insurance: Special enrollment periods have been opened during the coronavirus pandemic. Find more information here on property/liability, business/commercial, and event cancellation insurances.
CARES Act Chart Employer Program Chart: This is a quick reference guide put together by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. More information here: https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-small-business-covid-19-emergency-loans
Pierce County Connected: COVID-19 Emergency Fund is a joint effort between United Way of Pierce County and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. This fund supports organizations providing services to address urgent needs and the disruption of basic human services to Pierce County’s most vulnerable populations due to COVID-19 and the necessary public health measures to address it. Learn more here.
Small Business Assistance’s Economic Injury Disaster loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. These resources will assist local businesses to keep their workforce and stay in business. Businesses are encouraged to apply online whether they believe they are eligible or not.
City of Tacoma: City of Tacoma COVID19 Stabilization Loan Program with loans up to $15,000
Due to the negative economic impact COVID-19 and mandatory shutdowns are having on small businesses, the City of Tacoma will be offering small loans that require no repayment for a year. Loan payments will be deferred for 12 months after loan closing. This means that if your business is approved for a loan and we close in April 2020, you will not have to make any monthly payments until April 2021. During that time, interest will accrue on the loan.
- Must be a small business with 10 or fewer employees who have a physical establishment (home-based businesses are not eligible) within Tacoma City limits.
- The business must have been operating in Tacoma for at least a year.
- The business must be able to document a significant loss in revenue/sales due to COVID-19.
Pierce County: Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program Loans up to $10,000
Pierce County small businesses who have experienced significant economic injury as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for this loan program if they meet the below criteria. This loan program enacted by the Pierce County Council is a direct action to keep businesses in operation and protect jobs threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Business must be physically located in unincorporated Pierce County
- Have 10 or fewer employees (including the business owner)
- Be in operation for one or more years
- Demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in revenues attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic
The Association of Washington Business’ list of resources for businesses, including loans, grants, Insurance, tax information, telecommuting resources and more.
Return to work Covid-19 Tool Kit – This website, developed in King County for employers, has an amazing step by step with download templates to get your office/company back to business from a HR perspective. Joint project led by Madrona alongside the Seattle Venture Community, Leading Tech, Retail and Aerospace Companies in the Region and the Seattle Metropolitan and Bellevue Chambers of Commerce. www.backtoworktoolkit.com
Restaurant Employee Relief Fund supplies grants to be made to restaurant industry employees who have been impacted by COVID-19, including a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Grants will be awarded as soon as possible to those individuals who meet the prescribed eligibility criteria. Learn more here.
SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours. The linked page gives an overview showing how thousands of Washington employers have used the SharedWork program to:
- Support business stability
- Retain skilled workers
- Reduce payroll costs
- Be a smart alternative to layoffs
- Explore training programs that develop workforce skills
To get more information about the SharedWork program,
go to: www.esd.wa.gov/SharedWork
On March 18, 2020 Representative Derek Kilmer voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. If passed, his federal bill would provide expansion of paid leave. Requires employers to allow workers to accrue sick leave up to 14 days in the event of a public health emergency. It proposes a cap on the amount of financial assistance. For sick leave – $511.00 per day ($130,000 annual wage); for family leave – to $200.00 per day ($75,000 annual wage).
Washington State Department of Commerce reported there may be a ruling this afternoon (3/18) regarding expanding and/or limiting restrictions on access to unemployment benefits (such as waiving the one week waiting period). Some employers have reported their employees have been denied benefits. They are encouraged to apply again.