Resources & Tips for Business & Community Leaders
Resources & Tips for Business, Nonprofit & Community Leaders
Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses.
The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration recently released the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. The forgiveness forms, instructions, and worksheets can be downloaded here.
PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan.
This guide is designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.
Apply for COVID-19 Microenterprise assistance grants for up to $5,000 each.
Funds are available on a limited basis, and applicants are not guaranteed assistance. Over $80,000 has been made available for these grants through a Whitman County Community Development Block Grant and Washington State Department of Commerce.
Who qualifies for these grants?
– Small businesses with up to 5 full-time employees (for 5 full-time equivalent)
– Owner and business located in Whitman County
– Financially impacted or closed by COVID-19 and/or Stay Home order
– Business operates from a “brick and mortar” location, not a home business
– Owner’s anticipated household income is within Whitman County LMI Limits in the chart below:
Applications are available from Community Action Center, and the Pullman, Colfax and Palouse Chambers of Commerce, or by email at email@example.com.
This grant funding is available for qualifying microenterprise owners impacted by COVID-10 to stabilize businesses in our Whitman County communities. To request assistance, you must meet the program requirements, submit required documentation, and certify the application form before May 27, 2020, or as directed at the time of inquiry.
Unlike other assistance being offered to businesses, these grant funds are based on COVID-19 impact to your business and to your personal household income.
For your privacy, information collected will remain confidential, used only to meet federal and state record-keeping requirements, and withheld as applicable from disclosure.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announces the opening of curbside retail and issues guidelines allowing retailers to begin curbside delivery throughout Washington State!
During these unprecedented times, we know that you are doing everything you possibly can to support your employees. That’s why we are reaching out to offer our help, if needed, as well as ask for your help with our efforts. Note – if you are a sole-proprietor or self-employed worker impacted by COVID-19, you may be eligible for the new expanded unemployment assistance benefits enabled by the Federal CARES Act. The steps below will help you prepare to apply for these benefits.
First – thank you for your part in helping Washington state flatten the curve! Whether you are enabling your employees to stay home and stay healthy or whether yours is an essential business and you’ve identified how you can provide safe social distancing – your business transformation to prioritize the health of Washingtonians during these historic times is deeply appreciated!
Fundamentally, I hope you and your employees don’t need our Unemployment Insurance services. But if you do, this email provides you with some key steps to take before you lay off or reduce the hours of your staff. With these materials in hand, you will be able to equip your employees with the tools they need to best navigate our Unemployment Insurance system. We have found that the better prepared applicants are, the faster they obtain their benefits.
The enormous demand for our services has led to a 1,000% increase in call volumes and, unfortunately, significant wait times (which we are working to address). Of those calls, approximately 60% are questions that are answered on our website. At the same time, many people have been able to successfully apply – mostly online – and then receive their benefits within 7-10 days after their application is approved. (If they sign up for direct deposit, they can get benefits within 48 hours!)
We want to help you help your staff have a smoother application process so that they can get their benefits more quickly and have a more satisfying experience. This, in turn, will help us reduce call volumes so that our claims staff can focus on more complex customer needs.
Key steps to take right now to support your workers
- Consider SharedWork: If you are able to reduce staff hours rather than laying people off, we highly recommend considering SharedWork. This program allows you to reduce staff hours 10-50% and have Unemployment Insurance provide partial wage replacement against those reduced hours. You can learn more and apply here. In addition to the Unemployment Insurance weekly benefit, those staff members will be able to receive the additional $600 weekly benefit provided by the federal CARES Act through the end of July. Additionally, the CARES Act covers 100% of the costs so it won’t impact your experience rating.
- Prepare your staff for the process: Here is a resource center where you’ll find a template letter for you to use to send to your employees, webinar sign-up information and other tools for your employees you intend to lay off due to COVID-19. This will provide guidance on how they can best prepare to apply and give you a vehicle to answer company specific questions. If you are a larger employer with more than 250 impacted employees and need help customizing your message and frequently asked questions, please contact us for assistance at ESDGPBusinessAssistance@esd.wa.gov.
- Emphasize these four steps: At a minimum, we recommend sharing these four action steps with your staff, especially with the upcoming rollout of the federal CARES Act. We recommend everyone do these right now, before they apply:
- Stay up to date. If you haven’t already, please sign up for ESD’s COVID-19 action alerts. You can do so on the agency’s COVID page (esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19). We send out updated information and instructions through this channel.
- Check your eligibility. Learn more about your eligibility and when to apply for benefits using this eligibility checker. We encourage those eligible for regular unemployment to apply now, and newly eligible to wait until after April 18.
- Get ready to apply. Download the application checklist.
- Set up your account. Watch the tutorial video to set up your account correctly. It is nine minutes long but will likely save a lot of time.
- Come up to speed: Go to ESD.WA.GOV and check out our COVID-19 information section. There, you’ll find FAQs for employees and businesses, preparation checklists and more.
The more questions you can answer for your employees related to your particular business, the more successful they will be. Do what you can to help your employees take their time and prepare themselves before filing for unemployment. You will also find the most current information related to experience ratings and other updates for employers.
Thank you for helping us support your team!
Commissioner, the Employment Security Department
The coronavirus is causing financial difficulties for businesses across the U.S. Here is a complete listing of all of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce coronavirus resources for small businesses.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit for COVID-19 impacted employers. Click here to view the guide.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created an employer guide to Paid Leave Programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view the guide.
The U.S. Travel Association has created a list of resources for 501(c)6 organizations. To view the resource document click here.
Governor Inslee is offering 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.
Click the link below to view the application process and apply:
COVID-19 Resource List
City of Pullman: https://www.pullman-wa.gov/cms/one.aspx?pageId=16532442
City of Moscow: https://www.ci.moscow.id.us/#tab68314d11-db47-436d-ae6f-8b19c6ad0667_0
Pullman Chamber: www.pullmanchamber.com
Moscow Chamber: www.moscowchamber.com
Centers For Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Small Business Administration: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
State of Washington: www.coronavirus.wa.gov
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries: https://www.lni.wa.gov/
Idaho Department of Labor: https://labor.idaho.gov/dnn/COVID-19
Idaho Department of Commerce: https://commerce.idaho.gov/covid-19/
Washington Department of Commerce: http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/links/crisis/covid-19-resources/
Find out what the federal government’s coronavirus stimulus programs mean to your small business in this presentation from Inc. in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Whitman County, WA – United Way of Whitman County has launched a community fund to provide immediate assistance for those affected by COVID-19. Resources from this fund will be deployed to address the urgent health and economic needs of impacted individuals and communities as well as to provide basic human services. Priority will be given to nonprofit organizations that provide community safety nets and to those with strong connections to populations made vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During times of uncertainty, Americans come together to support their neighbors and their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic is a new challenge for all of us, but the human desire to help one another is not. Please donate and help our community rise to help those who need it most in this crisis.” -Eric Fejeran, Interim Director United Way of Whitman County
One-hundred percent of all donations will be dispersed to nonprofits serving individuals and families in need; no administrative cost will be reserved. Disbursements will be made as soon as funds are received and immediate needs are identified. The United Way of Whitman County will serve as a funnel of local donations and emergency funds from agencies such as FEMA. They will gather input from the agencies they presently assist and other non-profits who are in dire need of contributions. A heavy emphasis will be placed on providing food and basic living supplies to residents throughout our county.
Pullman resident and United Way of Whitman County Board member Chris Oakley said, “While staying home is a necessity at this time, it prevents me from holding the hands of assisted living residents or collecting food from my neighbors for our local food banks. I am so grateful that the United Way has provided me with a way to help that does not put me or others in Whitman County at risk.”
Donate to the Whitman County Community Relief and Recovery Fund by following the links at www.whitmanunited.org or by mailing donations to P.O. Box 426, Pullman, WA 99163 For more information on this topic contact Eric Fejeran at 509-332-3691 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Fejeran Interim Executive Director
United Way of Whitman County
PO Box 426 ~ Pullman, WA 99163
Businesses are also encouraged to utilize the Main Street Advocacy Toolkit for resources on measuring impact, communicating with elected officials, and effectively sharing the success of your efforts.
“There is a good chance that you, like many small business owners, are wondering how the financial fallout of the coronavirus (COVID-19), will impact your business. For many, it isn’t just a question of lost sales, but uncertainty around how to best protect your livelihood, support your employees and manage ongoing operational costs.
However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, as the U.S. Small Business Administration announced on March 12, 2020, that they will be offering low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to impacted small businesses. The interest rate on these loans will be 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. Loans can be repaid over a period of up to 30 years. Here’s a quick overview of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program with details below.”
“The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is hitting the United States hard, forcing shutdowns of schools and businesses and prompting government officials to issue orders forcing people to stay in their homes and avoid all but the most essential outside travel. On March 13th, President Trump declared a national emergency due to the virus sweeping through communities from coast-to-coast. In the wake of this crisis, small businesses have been hit the hardest: many state governors have closed down restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and non-essential retail stores, causing entrepreneurs to experience significant losses in revenue. The problems posed by this viral outbreak for small business owners are myriad and potentially devastating. Fortunately, there are ways of alleviating these problems, and large-scale relief initiatives are on the horizon. Whether your business has been shut down or remains open in some capacity, outlets for relief already exist or are on the way. In order to aid and inform owners of small businesses, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to coronavirus issues and solutions. We wish you good luck during this difficult period.”
SBA Amends Disaster Declaration- Assistance Now Available to all WA Small Businesses Economically Impacted by COVID-19
Tips for Business & Community Leaders Working to Address the Social and Economic Fall-out from the Coronavirus
The number one issue in addressing the Coronavirus is to protect public health as much as possible…however, as with many disasters, there is also an “invisible disaster” that affects businesses and communities due to changes in consumption, supply chain disruptions, social distancing and other factors.