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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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More on COVID-19 at the Governor's OfficeKing County, and City of Federal Way.

As a resource for our network, the Chamber wants to make sure our members have access to information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our businesses. In addition to the resources below, the Chamber will share updates from community partners on our Facebook and Twitter. Together, we're working to get you information as we Take The Federal Way to business success.

Economic Recovery

PSE Foundation Offers COVID Recovery Grants: In July, the PSE Foundation launched a new $400,000 competitive grant program to aid the community and their customers in response and recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nonprofit and public charity organizations located within PSE’s 16 county service and operation areas can apply for a grant to be selected through a competitive process. Deadlines are August 31 and October 1, with funding awarded in October and December respectively.

The program seeks to fund programs and/or services to ensure community members have access to shelter, food, or personal protection equipment (PPE). Funding will also be considered for organizations that provide these critical services or programs to community members so they can continue to keep doors open by funding deep cleaning expenses, equipment, PPE or other mandated health and safety requirements.

The application and program details can be accessed at: www.psefoundation.org and questions related to the PSE Foundation can be sent to psefoundation@pse.com.

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Update (8/3/2020): Round 2 applications due 5pm on August 19.

Small businesses may now apply online for the Federal Way COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant Program. The City program will distribute federal CARES Act funds to local businesses. Round 1 applications will be accepted until midnight, July 15, 2020. The online application works best using the Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge browsers.

For assistance with the grant, or to request a paper or electronic application, a hotline is available at 253-835-2414 or email, CovidGrant@cityoffederalway.com, for more information.

Washington Employment Security has programs to help businesses and workers affected by COVID-19 with a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for individuals and employers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a Guide to help independent contractors and self-employed individuals secure funding under the CARES Act. The Spanish version of the guide can be found at uschamber.com/ICGuideESPThis morning (5/20), the U.S. Chamber published a new Paycheck Protection Program Guide to Forgiveness. Like the previous guides, this document provides businesses with an easy to understand explanation of what they need to do to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans.  Click here to download the guide.  Please note, this guide will be updated as new guidance is issued by the Dept. of the Treasury.

Also, we continue to update our Reopening Business Digital Resource Center as new state guidance is issued.  Click here to access the resources center, and see below for more information.

The U.S. Treasury Department updated the FAQs on Paycheck Protection Program, now including answers to 28 questions. The online version of the PDF which can be found (and is likely to be updated again) at www.treasury.gov/cares under Assistance for Small Business. (4/14/20)

Governor Inslee announced a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Up to $5 million in funds are provided through the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund and administered by the State Department of Commerce. The grant program will provide a limited number of businesses in Washington’s 39 counties with a grant up to $10,000.

U.S. Congress has approved $350 billion in emergency loans for small businesses to help them keep workers employed. In fact, if small businesses maintain or later restore their payrolls, they may not have to repay some of the loan. Here’s a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help your small business through the process.

As of Thursday morning, April 16, the U.S. Small Business Administration has lapsed in appropriations for disaster funding. SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. EIDL applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more about other relief options available for small business, click here.

Update (5/18/20): The U.S. Treasury has posted the U.S. Small Business Administration Form for PPP Loan Forgiveness which includes the policy rules on how forgiveness will be calculated.

All other available forms and documents related to PPP Loans can be found here.

Update (6/15/20): To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.

Update (6/17/20): Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020.

In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

    • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
    • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
    • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

Click here to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.
Click here to view the Full Forgiveness Application.

The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) portal reopened for Agribusinesses who were excluded in the first round.  Apply here.

Important note about those who applied for SBA EIDL before March 27 and had an application number that began with a “2.” Even though the website will say it is for agribusiness only, SBA Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) has confirmed that if someone with a 200 series EIDL loan number (meaning that they were in the initial group and need to reapply) they WILL be able to re-apply and have their new loan number tied to their original loan number so they don't lose their place in line.   contact our SBA Office of Disaster Assistance directly at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Eligible Emergency Protective Measures Fact Sheet, which provides guidance on the types of emergency protective measures that may be eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program in accordance with the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration in order to ensure that resource constraints do not inhibit efforts to respond to this unprecedented disaster.

Business Resources

At this time (3/13/20), childcares and early learning programs may remain open and are not affected by the Governor’s order to close schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, March 17-April 24. King County Public Health offers Guidance for Childcares.

King County Public Health has issued guidance for Retail Business and Service Operators.  Venues such as grocery stores, drug stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and other retail establishments may and should stay open, as long as they follow guidance aimed at maximizing excellent hygiene, social distancing, and cleaning.

Public Health Orders issued on March 11. In addition to Governor Jay Inslee’s Proclamation that prohibits large gatherings of more than 250 people, Public Health—Seattle & King County is also issuing a Health Officer order to minimize the health impacts of COVID-19.

An actionable resiliency plan could mean the difference between business continuity under adverse conditions and business closure. The Small Business Development Center offers a downloadable copy of its Business Resiliency Guide and Business Resiliency Plan, which can be customized by small business owners to meet their specific needs.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to plan and respond to COVID-19. This guide is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus virus and the CDC will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. CDC has maritime and airline industry guidelines.

The Washington State Department of Health offers Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations to lower the impact of COVID-10 in the workplace by reducing transmission among staff, protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications, maintaining business operations, minimizing effects on other entities in the supply chains, and more.

The Washington Department of Commerce at the request of the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner shares the notice that to be covered against any business losses due to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19, you would need to have purchased an additional endorsement to your policy.  Information about how different types of insurance coverage may be affected by coronavirus in Washington state here.

King County offers a Planning Guide for Businesses and Organizations for COVID-19. The County also has an anti-stigma toolkit with social media tools, a poster, infographic, and other information to help you prevent, interrupt, and respond to stigma. Starting on May 18, 2020, King County residents are directed to wear face coverings in most public settings.

The Governor’s Office has compiled a partial list of resources to support economic retention and recovery related to the coronavirus. Financial, export and employer and worker assistance is included in the Resource List for Washington State Businesses and Workers impacted by COVID-19. Public Health Orders and Proclamation issued on March 11.

Update (11/15/20): Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a four-week statewide set of restrictions in response to the recent rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Washington and across the country. The restrictions are statewide and will take effect Monday, November 16 at 11:59 PM and will remain in effect until Monday, December 14. The modified restrictions of restaurants, however, will take effect Wednesday, November 18 at 12:01 AM.

Update (6/23/20): Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced a statewide mandatory face covering order that will take effect Friday, June 26.

The state Department of Labor & Industries filed on May 26 that Washington businesses that decide to open or operate may be cited and fined for unsafe workplace conditions under emergency rules. The closure order and the Safe Start Plan to reopen businesses are in place to keep workers and the public safe and to prevent the spread of the easily transmissible coronavirus.

Stay Healthy

Lakehaven Water & Sewer District maintains a chlorine residual in its water system at all times to prevent the spread of viruses in the water. More on Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater.

Public Health – Seattle & King County is taking proactive steps to protect the health of our community by making Recommendations to Slow the Spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and reduce the number of people infected. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website (kingcounty.gov/COVID) or blog (publichealthinsider.com).

COVID-19 has caused many nonprofits to shift their focus to emergency planning for an infectious disease. Nonprofit Risk Management Center wants to remind organizations that you may already have plans in place to help mitigate the risk of a public health crisis. Now is a good time to re-visit contingency plans and start training staff on how to handle a crisis.

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