Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for an SBA loan, as are self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and sole proprietors. These loans, which are eligible for forgiveness, will be made by banks, credit unions and other lenders. Local businesses can learn more by visiting the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.
Here’s a shortcut to SBA loan/grant application: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
If you are a business considering one of these options, review this particularly helpful fact sheet to find out whether you qualify and understand how funds can be used: Small Business Fact Sheet.
*Please note, the forgivable loans offered through the Paycheck Protection Program are offered for up to $10 Million for qualifying businesses who maintain certain levels of employment.
We will continue to monitor options for non-traditional workers as new information becomes available. In the meantime, CNBC has offered some initial suggestions: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/17/freelancers-should-do-this-now-to-protect-against-crises-like-covid-19.html
The CARES Act provides $2 Trillion in COVID-19 relief funding, including $377 Billion for struggling small businesses. NPR has summarized impacts as follows:
The Washington Department of Health has added COVID-19 information in multiple languages. If you know of non-English speakers who are having difficulty accessing info, please direct them to: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020/HealthEducation
Local Cities are evaluating a number of measures to ease impacts to local businesses. Among them are allowing businesses to defer first quarter taxes until July 31, 2020 and not assessing interest or late fees on utility bills while the Emergency Declaration remains in effect. Check with your local municipality to see what relief options are available in your area.
Starting March 26, the Chamber will host a COVID-19 response talk show every Thursday starting at 2:00 pm. After presentations, which cover everything from cash flow strategies to the most recent resources available for recovery, participants can engage experts in a Q+A dialogue to get additional details and advice. Register at: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oQvL9YuPQpaFAOlaXuTgYg
To view a list of essential businesses or request a clarification, visit https://coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business.