COVID -19 and Your Business

The City is keenly aware that our businesses continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are many resources and suggestions for mitigating the negative impacts on your business. Stanwood businesses are the backbone of this community and keep our local economy moving and we are here to assist you. We are monitoring the coming financial assistance for businesses and strongly urge businesses to review the SBA Loan and Grant Programs links below. Stay patient with the SBA sites as the system is overwhelmed but the SBA is working these technicalities out.
Please contact Jennifer Ferguson, Jennifer.ferguson@ci.stanwood.wa.us,    
360-454-5209 with questions on any of the resources available.

SMALL BUSINESS GUIDANCE AND LOAN RESOURCES

COMPLETE THE BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT SURVEY

Stanwood and Camano Island Businesses are asked to complete this Economic Impact Survey to help our region recover from the economic effects of COVID-19. The survey also provides the opportunity for respondents to reach out for help and get “back to business” as quickly as possible.

Businesses and non-profit organizations in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties are invited to complete this survey. The information will be used to identify the extent of the economic impacts, suggest ways to speed recovery, and support requests for state and federal emergency funding. The survey report will not include individual responses; it will combine them with those of all other respondents. The deadline to complete the survey is March 31, 2020. The data will be analyzed quickly and then the results will be provided based on location, so the City will receive this information about our business community directly.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

If your employees are affected by COVID-19, Employment Security has programs that may be able to help. They adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. Use this link to access the Unemployment Department https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19

DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE-TAX PAYMENT RELIEF

The Department of Revenue has set up assistance for businesses and will provide extensions for filing and paying tax returns, tax assessments, and billings that come due during the state of emergency. Work with taxpayers that have payment plan agreements to extend payment dates and reschedule a planned audit (contact the auditor). To request relief, Business owners can request the relief above by sending a secure email in their My DOR account or by calling Revenue’s customer service staff at 360-705-6705, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Businesses with a temporary registration that have had their event cancelled should notify the Department by replying to the original email they received when they received their temporary certificate. If they no longer have the original email, they may email communications@dor.wa.gov to cancel their temporary registration.

TESTING FOR the COVID19 VIRUS

The Public Health Department is asking that businesses communicate Washington state’s guidelines around COVID-19—including testing—as broadly as possible to the workforce and their families to help with any confusion. The attached testing guidelines is a one pager that you can use to get the message out. TESTING GUIDELINES

FINANCES

Loans
· The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering disaster loans up to $2
  million (flyer), with an interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit
  available elsewhere. Nonprofits can apply too, at a 2.75% interest rate.
  Apply here.
· SBA’s Washington Disaster Declaration: here

Grants 
· NEW Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund writeup (update expected week of         3.23.2020)
· NEW Facebook is soon offering small business grants. Stay tuned.
· NEW Snohomish County Coronavirus Response Fund grants

Insurance: If employers have bought the right endorsements, insurance policies may cover cancelled events or businesses losses. Contact the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner at 1-800-562-6900 or go to www.insurance.wa.gov for more information.

Tax Help 
· Federal: IRS Coronavirus tax relief 
· State: The Department of Revenue offers extensions on tax filings and certain
  late fees, as well as rescheduling audits and more time to file or renew a
 business license. Contact the department at 360.705.6705 for more information.

Help to pay your employees
· The Employment Security Department has new emergency rules in place. For     example, workers who are ill with COVID-19 can qualify for benefits. Also,    
  workers that are exposed and quarantined while the business remains open
  can now qualify for unemployment insurance. This ESD Unemployment chart 
  can help determine which benefit applies to your situation. This FAQ page for 
  workers and businesses answers questions and gives resources to help relieve
  the burden of temporary layoffs.
o Paid sick and safe leave (and FAQs about how it applies to COVID-19)
o Unemployment insurance 
o Paid Family Medical Leave (and FAQs about how it applies to COVID-19)
o Workers’ Compensation FAQs and link to apply

Small Business Guidance
· Federal:
o  U.S. Small Business Administration guidance and loan resources 
o U.S. Small Business Administration export working capital program. For    
  exporters, the SBA’s Export Working Capital Program can help small
  businesses gain access to capital.
o U. S. Chamber Small Business Resources for Surviving Coronavirus
· Washington: 
o Washington state small business resiliency guide 
o Washington small business guidance

Telecommuting Resources 
· Xfinity - Internet Essentials will increase speeds from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all customers. This speed increase will happen automatically - no action is required by customers. In addition, new customers will receive two months of free service. Click here for more details.
· Jamm - a voice and video collaboration and communication for teams working remotely is offering it free of charge. This service integrates well with Slack.
· Google - Hangouts Meet, which allows up to 250 participants and live streaming up to 100,000 viewers per domain, and G-suite is available to all customers free of charge until July 1, 2020.
· Loom - This video recording and sharing service offers boosts to free service plan, discounted prices on LoomPro and free access for educational institutions through July 1, 2020.
· Microsoft 365 E1 - free 6 month trial
· LinkedIn - 16 courses offered for free - “Remote working - setting yourself and your teams up for success”
· DropBox - offering free Dropbox Business and HelloSign Enterprise subscriptions for 3 months to nonprofits and NGOs focused on fighting COVID-19. If you are an organization working to stop the virus or provide relief, apply here.
· LogisticsManagement - Librestream Onsight platform remote expert app free. This allows remote work to maintain the benefit of in-person meetings (content markup, shared visual/audio, and more).

Layoffs
Guidance 
· Layoff assistance for Workers and Businesses

Temporary layoffs 
Apply for SharedWork, a smart alternative to layoffs
· Temporary layoffs: Standby for up to 8 weeks, partial employment status or furlough

Permanent layoffs 
Educate employees to contact WorkSource 
· Job search or retraining through Dislocated Worker program
· File a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN)

Business Preparation 
· Federal: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business preparedness checklist 
· State: WA Emergency Management Division page

Travel 
· CDC Guidelines for travel health information

Legislation of note 
· NEW The latest update on the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) signed into law on 3/17/2020 - K & L Gates.
· Summary of latest Congressional act on COVID-19 response

Toolkits, Checklists, and more Resources
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 
· Graphics toolkit 
· Resources, Response and Impact 
· Workplace Tips for Employees 
· Coronavirus Response Toolkit
State 
· NEW Washington state’s official COVID-19 website 
· NEW Emergency Management Division Business Re-Entry Registration: website and PDF 
· Governor Inslee’s office resource links and links specifically for businesses 
· Governor Inslee’s News Releases
Schools 
· Federal: National School closure map 
· State: WA school guidance and resources
Other Resources 
· Veteran affairs coronavirus update page 
· National Association of Manufacturing’s COVID-19 Resources

Health and Business Safety
Federal
· Center for Disease Control (CDC)
   o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Fact Sheet
   o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Interim Guidance for Businesses
      and Employers

   o Business cleaning/disinfecting guidelines (CDC) 
   o NEW More cleaning/disinfecting guidelines (EPA) 
· OSHA’s Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF) · Prescriptions: Walgreens and CVS to waive drug delivery fees during crisis · Higher risk people: follow this Centers for Disease Control guideline.

State 
· WA Department of Health COVID-19 page 
· Washington State Department of Health Resources and Recommendations 
· Health insurance enrollment: WA Special enrollment period Health Benefit Exchange 
· WA State Hospital Association

Local 
· Prevention Mitigation Strategies for Seattle-King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties (PDF)

  1. Jennifer Ferguson

    Jennifer Ferguson

    City Administrator

Business Resiliency Resources

WSBDC Business Resiliency Guide
https://localsnoco.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Business_Resiliency_Guide_Final-1.pdf


Creative Strategies to Boost Your Business

Offer Gift Certificates for funds now, business later opportunities.

Consider Curbside Service or even Delivery if you have extra staff that can deliver food or items to your customers.

Offer Discounts or Specials

Partner with other businesses to offer specials

Promote your business neighbor’s offers and specials

Enhance your online presence. Update your website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter information with your new hours and or new services and offers or specials.

Update or create your Google Business Listing

Update or create your DiscoverStanwoodCamano PLACES business directory listing on DiscoverStanwoodCamano.com

Your weaknesses may become a strength
Do you have times that you’re quite slow with few customers? Now’s a great time to make that known, some people may be more likely to visit you when they know there won’t be a crowd.

You can go further by running specials on things that are perishable or introduce a product/offering of the day. This is something you can promote online to stimulate interest even if you don’t offer the ability to buy online.

It may be the right time to explore an ecommerce option for your business. You don’t need to offer every product online to start to move the needle, technically adding ecommerce can be surprisingly easy and affordable though you do need to navigate fulfillment from online shipping to in-store pickup

If your business is open, tell people

Post your plans and hours on your website prominently (include on your contact page, your home page, etc.) and post to social media.

Share your efforts to keep people safe. In addition to taking all prudent precautions like washing your hands, identify your protocol to keep your business clean and sanitary then communicate what you’re doing. Again, post it prominently on your website, share it to social media, hang a flyer on your door or windows. This is also a chance to share the processes you’ve had in place all along.

Helpful Resources for accurate and up to date information:

Snohomish Health District

Center for Disease Control

World Health Organization

Washington State Department of Health

County Department of Emergency Management


Supporting our Public Safety, First Responders and Healthcare Workers

We have a resilient community but this virus outbreak is affecting each and every person in some way. We are thankful for our public safety, first responders and healthcare workers who are the first line of communication and connection to those who are or may become infected with the COVID-19 virus or other seasonal illness. Our public safety, first responders and healthcare workers need your support as they are your customers too. They have put protocols in place to keep our community safe and practice all of the necessary measures to not spread the virus. The City has learned that some businesses have turned away public safety, first responders and healthcare workers and employees thinking they are infected. We discourage this practice and ask that you become informed on all aspects of COVID 19. Check the Snohomish Health District website or social media page for updates. https://www.snohd.org/

Potential Financial Resources

Federal legislation recently passed to address the outbreak classified as a disaster under the Small Business Administration, which will allow business owners to access low-interest loans to mitigate the economic impact. SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. 

Two Ways to Apply

Apply By USPS: Businesses are encouraged to fill out and submit the attached worksheet.
  1. COVID-19 SBA Economic Injury Worksheet
  2. COVID-19 SBA Loans Fact Sheet

Completed applications should be mailed to:

U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center    
14925 Kingsport Road  
Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Apply Online: You may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov.ela

SBA Customer Service Center
1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.