COVID-19 Business Resources

City of Seattle, Greater Seattle Partners, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is collecting information on the effects of COVID-19 on businesses, non-profits, arts, and workers in the Seattle region.

Take the COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey

Webpage will continue to update with new resources

Additional resources for communities impacted by COVID-19

We at the Office of Economic Development are hearing the widespread impact of COVID-19 on our smallbusinesses and are taking immediate steps to mitigate financial stress. We recognize COVID-19 presentsmany immediate and long-term challenges and uncertainties for public health and economic stability. TheCity of Seattle's Office of Economic Development is committed to responding to and supporting our smallbusinesses to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.

In a series of press releases within the past week Mayor Jenny Durkan announced several initiatives to helpsupport small businesses, working people, and vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 outbreak,including:

    1. Deferral of B&O taxes
    2. Expansion of Small Business Stabilization Fund
    3. SBA Disaster Loan Technical Assistance
    4. Relief for Utility Payments
    5. New Small Business Recovery Task Force
    6. Temporary moratorium halting residential evictions
    7. Federal CARES Act

As these efforts begin to roll out, we continue to work to determine effective, immediate ways to help oursmall business community. Here are some resources.

Eligible businesses include those that have annual taxable income of $5 million or less and currently pay Citytaxes on a quarterly basis. Businesses will have until late 2020 to pay their B&O under this plan. The Cityestimates that 20,000 businesses could be eligible for this, based on B&O reporting. You can requestdeferral by sending an email to tax@seattle.gov with your request and customer number or UBI. For moreinformation, contact Finance and Administrative Services at 206-684-8484

City of Seattle will commit approximately $1.5 million in one-time Community Development Block Grant(CDBG) funds to the Small Business Stabilization Fund, an emergency fund that provides working capitalgrants in amounts up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses. Read Mayor Durkan's 3/12 press releaseabout the Executive Order to help small businesses. Applications are accepted through 11:59PM Wednesday, March 25th.

CDBG funds are tied to requirements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)that must be met for the City of Seattle to access these funds. Allocation of these funds must address thehousing, homeless, community development and economic development needs of the City's low andmoderate-income residents and neighborhoods.

Learn more and apply

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The business owner must have a low- or moderate-income (≤80% of the Area Median Income).
  • The business must have five employees or less.
    • The CDBG definition is a business that has five (5) or fewer employees, including the owner(s). All employees, part time and full time, on the business payroll at the time of loan application will be counted. The term "employee" includes all owners of the business on the payroll, even if the owner's "salary draws" are not on a regular basis.
  • The business must have a physical establishment.
    • Eligible applicants must have a physical business address within the City of Seattle. You can check for eligibility here.
    • An ineligible existing business applicant is one that has a physical business location outside of the City of Seattle. Nonprofits are not an eligible micro-enterprise business.
  • The business must have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19.
    • Federal regulations require that the business provide proof of loss of revenue due to a destabilizing event, typically through a profit loss statement.

On Monday, 3/16/2020, the SBA announced their disaster declaration regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.King County, along with 13 others in WA, have been approved for disaster loan assistance. Small businessesin the primary and contiguous counties are now allowed to apply for low-interest loans to help during thisperiod.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to amaximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impactwithout hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applicationsat. The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 16,2020.

OED offers free accounting and finance consulting services for eligible applicants that need assistancenavigating the requirements of the SBA loan application process. Business eligible for this service must haveless than 5 employees and be less than 80% AMI.

All SPU and SCL customers can apply for the Utility Discount Program (UDP) if their financial stability hasbeen jeopardized by COVID-19, regardless of background or immigration status. Eligibility requirements canbe found here.

UDP lowers Seattle City Light bills by 60 percent and Seattle Public Utility bills by 50 percent. This allowsincome-eligible residential customers to access heavily discounted utilities by simply signing a short formthat attests to their household income, rather than having to provide income documentation. This willprovide immediate and lasting utility bill relief for customers who are unemployed or underemployed due tothe COVID-19 outbreak.

To learn more about enrollment in UDP, call 206-684-0268 or send an email 24/7.

The Mayor has appointed former Governor Gary Locke and former Council President Bruce Harrell to lead the COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Task Force, which will advise on long-term policy recommendations and provide technical assistance and outreach. A list of Task Force members can be found here.

The moratorium suspends residential evictions related to the non-payment or partial payment of rent for 30days and also prohibits late fees or other charges for late payment of rent. Property owners may not issue"Pay or Vacate" notices for nonpayment of rent during this period nor initiate an eviction action with thecourts.

The order further directs that action upon existing pay or vacate notices cannot be taken. For tenants whomust appear in court, the moratorium should be used as a defense. If a tenant does not appear in court, the court may grant a continuance to allow the matter to be heard at a later date, after the moratorium haslifted.

The temporary moratorium will begin immediately in the City of Seattle for any residential eviction actionrelated to the non-payment of rent. Tenants are required to continue paying their rent if they are able andshould work with their landlords on payment plans if they are experiencing financial hardship.

Economic Impact Study- To better inform our long-term planning, we are coordinating with regionalpartners to conduct a survey to capture the economic impact of COVID-19 to small businesses. This will beannounced next week and available on our website as well as our social mediachannels.

OED Small Business COVID-19 Weekly WebinarAs this is a rapidly developing issue, we will be holding weekly calls to share new developments, hear aboutthe impacts you are experiencing, and answer your questions. Please join us every Wednesday, from11:00am- 12:00pm.

*March 27, 2020 - Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act 

The CARES Act provides federal relief to individuals, big corporations, small businesses, state & local governments, public health, education, and others. Click here to read a summery of incoming resources.