Seattle – Business Resources For COVID19

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Our team at Mercy Corps Northwest put our minds together to create a resource on everything from where to find free food, how to entertain your kids, and the best ways to support your businesses during Coronavirus shifts and changes. Take a scroll through this article, and pass it along, to help us give voice to the small business owners in the SeaTac area. 

Here’s where to turn when you don’t know exactly what you need

211info.org – Whether you need food, healthcare resources, or shelter—or you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for—211info is always available for support. For quick access in 240 languages, call 211 or 1-877-211-9274, or email help@211info.org.

Información para obtener asistencia financiera, alimentos gratuitos, recursos de atención médica gratuitos y más
211info.org: Si necesitas alimentos, recursos de atención médica o refugio, o si no está seguro de lo que está buscando, 211info siempre está disponible para recibir apoyo. Para un acceso rápido en 240 idiomas, llame al 211 o al 1-877-211-9274, o envíe un correo electrónico a help@211info.org.

Here are a few resources to support you in continuing operations at a safe distance

On-demand Delivery Services – If you’re looking to keep your food-based business open, we recommend looking into on-demand delivery services such as Caviar, Postmates, Grubhub, Doordash and Uber Eats. With the quarantine in effect, more folks are turning to ordering meals through delivery services.   

Offer Future Use Coupons and Gift Cards To keep income flowing, businesses should consider offering gift cards and coupons for later use on their products. This can be as complex as adding gift cards to your website, or as simple as creating a Venmo/Cashapp account and creating a promo code that you’ll honor for future use.

Seattle Area Open Restaurants and Bars – A very helpful app to connect residents to restaurants and bars offering takeout so we can encourage all to support local businesses. 

Here’s where you can find assistance funds for your small business

SBA Disaster Assistance – The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Their services are ideal for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho that have been impacted by COVID-19. The application deadline is December 20, 2020. Read more about what you need to know here

City of Seattle Small Business Stabilization Fund – The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development offers funds for qualifying small businesses, providing working grants in amounts up to $10,000. The Emergency Fund for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 has a target outreach of small businesses with low-income owners located in neighborhoods at high risk for displacement. Applicants must meet criteria and the deadline to apply is March 25. 

Amazon’s Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund – Provides cash grants to local small businesses. There is no deadline but applicants must meet the criteria. 

The WA Department of Revenue – Provides COVID-19 Related Relief for taxpayers such as adjusting payment plan amounts, waiving penalties, and giving extensions to business owners that have annual taxable incomes of $5 million or less and pay city taxes quarterly. If you have questions about this program, call (206)684-8484 or email: tax @seattle.gov.

Washington State Resource for Businesses and Workers – For employers that want to keep from losing highly-trained employees, the Washington State Employment Security Department can provide support in the form of unemployment benefits and time off options such as Shared Work, Partial Unemployment, Standby, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Layoff assistance.

Here’s where you can find employer and employee relief resources

Financial Help For Workers and Owners – For employers and employees looking for financial support, King Country has disaster-related unemployment assistance and financial help related to mortgages, student loans and more.

Job Opportunities

  • WorkSource connects people looking for immediate work at grocery stores, cleaning companies, healthcare, and social services due to the impacts of COVID-19. 

Rent

  • Residential Evictions for nonpayment of rent in Seattle have been temporarily halted for 30 days or until Seattle’s coronavirus emergency ends.

Utilities

  • Seattle’s Utility Discount Program (UDP) lowers Seattle City Light bills by 60 percent and Seattle Public Utility bills by 50 percent. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Seattle City Light (SCL), and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will keep utility services on during the COVID-19 Civil Emergency in Seattle. PSE is waiving late fees for customers and SPU and SCL customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, regardless of background or immigration status, can request a deferred payment plan that includes reversed late fees. 
  • Tacoma Public Utilities’ Emergency Assistance Program will provide a utility credit of up to $250 for eligible single-family households, usable toward utility bills, extended their due date from 15 days to 12 weeks, and will waive late fees.
  • Pierce County’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP) pays heating bills directly to utility companies for eligible applicants. Payments are based on eligible household’s fuel usage for the past 12 months and income.
  • Comcast is offering its Internet Essentials program free to new, low-income customers for 60 days (normally $9.95/month). All customers will receive a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem and WiFi router. To sign up, applicants can visit the website or call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish. Comcast’s Internet Essentials customers are eligible to purchase a Low-Cost Computer for $149.99. 

Here’s where you can find free & affordable healthcare resources

Community Health Access Program (CHAP) is a telephone assistance program serving King County residents by connecting them to health insurance, health care services and other resources. CHAP services are free and confidential, connecting individuals to free or low-cost medical providers and assists with low-cost or public health insurance enrollment such as Apple Health, which is open year-round.

Washington State Health Care Authority is now allowing undocumented adults to apply for Alien Emergency Medical if they need COVID-19 testing and treatment. Washington Health Plan Finder is opening enrollment to qualified individuals until April 8, 2020 and the Washington State Insurance Commissioner is requiring insurers to waive co-pays and deductibles for testing of COVID-19.

Here’s where you can find free food and groceries

Northwest Harvest SODO Community Market – Offers pre-bagged produce, prepared foods, and shelf-stable groceries for pick-up. 

School Sites for Student Meal Support

King County

Snohomish County

Pierce County

Tacoma Public Schools is offering their students free breakfast and lunch at 13 locations.

Here’s where you can find childcare, free education, and entertainment for your kids

Boys & Girls Club of King County will provide child care at nine locations around the Seattle metro area with the ability to host between 1,500-1,800 children each day. Please call your nearest Boys & Girls Club to check on availability and space. The Y is offering full-day break camp at ten of their YMCA branches. Please register click the link to register by specific location. If you have any questions, please email registration@seattleymca.org

Seattle Public Schools, Kent Public Schools, Highline Public Schools, Renton School District, Everett Public Schools, and Tacoma Public Schools all provide comprehensive lists of popular online digital learning resources for elementary and secondary students.

Read-Alouds features famous children’s authors reading books and Storyline Online streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books.

Scholastic Learn at Home and Free Online Education Subscriptions provides parents and educators access to projects and online learning opportunities for elementary students. 

Mercy Corps Northwest is working hard to provide additional resources and financial tools to businesses in-need. Please reach out to erios@mercycorps.org with any additional questions.