Recent Updates

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

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.

City Resource Pages

Links to COVID-19 information hosted by local municipalities and Tribal Governments:

Financial Institution Update

Please contact your financial institution to discuss solutions for commercial and/or home mortgage loans and remedies. In a recent poll, we are told that virtually all lending institutions are willing to work with individual customers to develop custom repayment solutions. Strategies have included:

  • Loan Forbearance
  • Interest-Only Payments
  • Rate Restructuring
  • Waiving Late Fees
  • Skip-a-Pay
  • Bridge Loans
  • Pausing Credit Reporting
  • Unsecured Lines of Credit with No Origination Fee

Again, not all institutions offer every remedy, so please reach out to your lender directly.

For businesses interested in the Paycheck Protection Program described in an earlier update, we continue to reach out to financial institutions to identify eligible lenders.  To date, we have confirmed:

  • 1st Security Bank
  • Olympia Federal Savings
  • Washington Business Bank
  • US Bank

Businesses: These are NOT Traditional SBA Loans You’re Used To – Please Read

We’ve been hearing feedback from some businesses that SBA loans aren’t applicable to them, don’t provide enough funding and other resistance. Please take a few moments to acquaint yourself with the SBA loan programs including the Paycheck Protection Program Protection Program (which offers loans up to $10 million for impacted businesses and can, in some cases, be forgiven and converted to a grant), and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The Kaufman Foundation summarizes some other differences below.

“Congress has authorized $349B in small business lending with two goals:

  1. Help small businesses cover their near-term operating expenses during the crisis.
  2. Provide cash incentives for entrepreneurs to keep their employees.

This program is intended to help you replace your revenue during this period of severe disruption. In short, there are three major benefits:

  • Larger loans than typical SBA loans. The maximum loan size for businesses is equivalent to 250 percent of the employer’s average monthly payroll costs (e.g., roughly 10 weeks of payroll expenses) or $10 million, whichever is less.
  • You are eligible for loan forgiveness equivalent to major expenses (staff, rent, utilities, and more) during the eight-week period under which the loan is originated.
  • Since many businesses have already been forced to lay off or furlough employees, the program also includes a clause that allows you to qualify for loan forgiveness, up to $10,000 per employee, if you re-hire back to your staffing level pre-crisis (February 1, 2020) by June 30, 2020.

The bottom line: if you keep your doors open as a business and keep your staff employed, your SBA loan converts to a grant.”

When in doubt, apply for the SBA loan. The sooner you get your business in the line, the sooner you may get relief.

“Declassified” – A New Business Resource Webinar Scheduled

Thurston EDC Executive Director, Michael Cade and Thurston Chamber CEO/President, David Schaffert, along with various guests, will provide up-to-date information on business resources, state, federal and local actions, COVID-19 status and advocacy efforts for our community.

This is a virtual talk show that will take place every Thursday at 2:15 p.m.

Where: This webinar will be hosted on Zoom. Click on the registration links above to attend the Zoom session of your choice.

Sign-Up for Unemployment Information and Updates

While we’re doing our best to keep up to changes (and expansions) in unemployment benefits, things continue to evolve every day.  To keep fresh, consider subscribing to the Employment Security Department’s updates roster: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAESD/signup/15249.

Recent updates regarding temporary business shut downs, standby and partial employment options is available here: https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19-employer-information?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery#Temp_shutdowns.