City of Olympia-Olympia Downtown Alliance Team Up to Help Local Businesses
A new campaign, “Why I Go Downtown” has been launched by the Olympia Downtown Alliance (ODA) with funding from the City of Olympia. In addition to promoting downtown, the initiative includes a business directory to help people find establishments open for business whether online or via drive-thru storefront https://whyigodowntown.com/supportlocal/. All downtown businesses are eligible to participate and submit information, whether they are ODA members or not. Over 6,000 people have visited the site in the first three weeks of operation. The ODA will soon launch “Promising Notes,” in partnership with Olympia Artspace Alliance and Octapas, to paint murals on boarded storefronts and create short music videos featuring local musicians.
Job Search Portal Available for Those Seeking Work
While many people continue to work from home or have secured temporary unemployment benefits, neither option may be available to certain individuals, especially independent contractors. If you or someone you know needs to work, the PacMtn Workforce Development Council has assembled a list of current in-demand jobs accessible at https://pacmtn.org/job-search/.
SBA Loan Enrollment Temporarily Paused
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, visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus for new information.
Local Resources for Businesses
For many businesses, now might be the best time to prepare for the next phase or level of operations. The Thurston Center for Business and Innovation offers a wider variety of business counseling, training, and support. For more information, see the flyer below:
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Video Tutorial Available
Businesses interested in applying for federal aid may find this video tutorial helpful. It was produced by the Thurston Chamber of Commerce and PacMtn Workforce Development Council: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRe3hVZu27M&feature=youtu.be
Intercity Transit Moves to Reservation-Only Service
Due to the crisis, all regular Intercity Transit routes are suspended. The agency will now operate an on-demand service which requires riders to make an advance reservation. There are no same-day reservations. Reservations must be made by phone or email 2-5 days in advance. The Olympia Transit Center and the Lacey Transit Center will also be closed starting April 13. Please be aware some employees’ ability to get to work may be affected.
Unemployment Benefits Application Checklist
Layoffs have hit us hard. If you or someone you know plans to request unemployment benefits, this checklist will help the process go smoother:
Olympia Launching Virtual Town Hall Series
The Olympia City Council is offering a limited series of weekly virtual town hall meetings for the public focused on the resources available to members of the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The first Virtual Town Hall, “Financial Resources for Individuals and Families”, will be convened by the City Council’s Finance Committee on Thursday, April 9 at 5:30 p.m. The moderated panel includes Mike Reid, City of Olympia economic development director; Chris Wells, executive director of the United Way of Thurston County; and Mindy Reule, chief executive officer and president of the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound.
Residents can register to attend the April 9 Virtual Town Hall through this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4111615341977218573
Resources for Bar and Restaurant Workers
Thank you to everyone keeping an eye out for local bar and restaurant workers. Here are a few links to resource pages:
Restaurants Opportunities Center United
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
Washington Small Business Emergency Grants Available
Governor Inslee has announced a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program using a portion of the state’s Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF). A limited number of grants (up to $10,000) are available to small businesses with up to 10 employees.
To apply please visit: http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/links/crisis/covid-19-resources/.
This link can also be accessed from the home page at www.coronavirus.wa.gov.