COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

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The City of Mercer Island recognizes the severe business impacts of the coronavirus measures being implemented across the region. We understand that business owners and employees have many questions surrounding the virus and its effect on business operations and economic security.

To assist in answering those questions, we have compiled resources from national, state, county, and regional organizations for your reference.

Always remember to document your individual or business-related financial impacts. This may help you receive compensation either through your insurance or through potential relief efforts by state or federal agencies.

As the virus spreads, most establishments will be challenged by additional State mandates, special cleaning needs, and reduced staffing or fewer customers due to quarantine concerns. The City is working closely with the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce to provide information specific to local businesses.

The City of Mercer Island recognizes the severe business impacts of the coronavirus measures being implemented across the region. We understand that business owners and employees have many questions surrounding the virus and its effect on business operations and economic security.

To assist in answering those questions, we have compiled resources from national, state, county, and regional organizations for your reference.

Always remember to document your individual or business-related financial impacts. This may help you receive compensation either through your insurance or through potential relief efforts by state or federal agencies.

As the virus spreads, most establishments will be challenged by additional State mandates, special cleaning needs, and reduced staffing or fewer customers due to quarantine concerns. The City is working closely with the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce to provide information specific to local businesses.

  • SBA Disaster Assistance Now Available to all Washington Small Businesses Economically Impacted by COVID-19

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    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has amended its original disaster declaration to apply to all Washington small businesses, regardless of county. These low-interest loans for working capital are now available to any small businesses in the state of Washington suffering economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Small businesses, private nonprofits of any size, small agricultural cooperatives, and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak since January 31 may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

    Apply online: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

    Additional information: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19

    Businesses may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

  • Restaurants Open for Take-Out or Delivery

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    Open Restaurants

    On March 18, the Chamber of Commerce shared a list of local restaurants offering pick-up or delivery.

    These can be viewed on our clickable restaurant links page here.

    Or, for special meal delivery service directly to your home, visit The Custom Plate: https://thecustomplate.com
  • Take the Economic Impacts Survey!

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    The City of Seattle, Greater Seattle Partners, and Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce have distributed a Survey to Measure Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on the region’s businesses and non-profits.

    If you are a local business owner, make sure to take the survey. Results will help inform strategies for regional economy recovery and maximizing state and rederal aid.
  • Support Local Businesses

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    The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce serves as a conduit of information from government to local businesses, business to business, and business to community communications.

    The Chamber is providing daily updates for business resources as they receive the information from the state, county, and city. They are also providing relevant information on how the community can connect and support local businesses.

  • Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

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    If you are a business whose financial stability is affected by COVID-19, there are programs and services available to help, including the following:

    The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) has several programs to help if businesses need to reduce employees hours or reduce their workforce.

    • SharedWork allows employers to reduce the hours of permanent and hourly-paid employees by as much as 50 percent, and the employees can collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. The application and instructions can be found here.
    • Businesses temporarily reducing hours of work for full-time employees may request to place an employee on standby for up to eight weeks and the employee can collect unemployment benefits without having to look for other work.

    The Department of Revenue (DOR) can work with impacted companies to help with any tax payment issues related to COVID-19.

    The Department of Commerce has a crisis planning guide as well as resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

    The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to provide assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury by COVID-19.

    King County Public Health has published a step-by-step guide to help businesses plan for workplace disruptions related to COVID-19.

    For more information on what Washington State is doing, visit their resource page for impacted businesses.

  • Assistance for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

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    If you are a worker affected by COVID-19, there are programs that may be able to help depending on your specific circumstances. Here are the programs (being added regularly):

    On March 18, the Governor announced new measures to help workers including:

    The Department of Labor and Industries (LNI) has published several helpful guides to using paid sick leave or workers compensation.

    The Employment Security Department (ESD) has several programs available if you or a loved one has contracted COVID-19 or if you are laid off work. They have published an easy-to-read reference guide with some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply.

    If you’re struggling with paying your bills during this time, there are several options available in various circumstances.

    • Comcast is offering 2 months free to new Internet Essentials customers in response to recent and anticipated emergency measures associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit www.internetessentials.com for more information.
    The Department of Revenue will have the authority to waive or suspend penalties and interest on certain late tax payments.

    The Department of Social and Health Services is expanding eligibility for Family Emergency Assistance program to now include families without children.
  • King County Public Health - New limits on large gatherings, other emergency strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19

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    On March 16, 2020, in addition to Governor Jay Inslee’s Emergency Proclamation that prohibits large gatherings of more than 50 people, Public Health—Seattle & King County also issued a Health Officer Order to minimize the health impacts of COVID-19.

    The order, issued by Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health – Seattle & King County, prohibits large gatherings of more than 50 people. In addition, the local order prohibits events of less than 50 people, unless event organizers take steps to minimize risk.

    Both the Governor's proclamation and the Public Health order were issued March 16, 2020, effective immediately.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    To limit the spread of COVID-19, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Health Officer Jeff Duchin announced a new Local Health Order that directed public health actions effective Monday, March 16.

    • All events with more than 50 people are prohibited until further notice
    • All events with fewer than 50 people are discouraged and prohibited unless organizers observe COVID-19 prevention measure.
    • All bars, dance clubs, fitness and health clubs, movie theaters, nightclubs, and other social and recreational establishments closed until at least March 31.
    • All restaurants and food service establishments cannot provide dining room service. They may remain open for drive-through, takeout and delivery.
    • All other retail – including banks, grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies – should and may remain open, provided they observe COVID-19 prevention measures.

    Under the order, events include: community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.

    Our guidance documents are in the process of being updated to reflect the new Local Health Order. Please check back frequently.

    For more information visit Public Health - Seattle & King County.
  • Free COVID-19 Recovery and Reconstruction Workshops

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    UW Foster School of Business faculty are offering a series of free workshops to help businesses identify new opportunities and reposition themselves for sustainable growth in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

    Faculty from the University of Washington Foster School of Business are offering a series of workshops to help businesses big and small, pivot to new opportunities and position themselves for sustainable growth over the next two years. Each workshop will include both lectures from Foster School faculty and peer-to-peer discussions that will provide mutual support among business owners.

    Upcoming Workshops

    • Cash and Debt in Good and Bad Times – May 27, 2020
    • Negotiating with Employees, Vendors, and Other Business Partners – June 3, 2020
    • Inventory and Supply Chain Management in Volatile Times – June 10, 2020
    • Leadership in Volatile Times – June 17, 2020
    • Reaching and Engaging Your Audience (or Your Customers) using Technology while Keeping Social Distancing – June 24, 2020

    Follow this link for more information and to register.

  • Honor a Grad with WeLoveMI's Give for Grads Campaign

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    June is synonymous with graduation, but this year looks a little different.

    Are you looking for a special way to honor a graduate? The WeLoveMI campaign has the perfect solution!

    Honor your grad - 12th grader, 8th grader, 5th grader or Preschooler - by supporting one of Mercer Island's many Youth and Education organizations.

    Participating organizations include Mercer Island Schools Foundation, the Mercer Island Boys and Girls Club, Athletes for Kids, Youth Theatre Northwest, the Fine Arts Advisory Council, and many of the Island's beloved preschools.

    These organizations have played a role in educating, enriching, and caring for Mercer Island children from their early preschool days all the way through high school. Support these nonprofits today and help them continue their important work for all future Island grads.

    Visit WeLoveMI.org to make a donation in honor of your grad today!

Page last updated: 08 October 2021, 17:31