Resources for Businesses

 You can download a summary of the federal resources available to small businesses here.

Updated: May 21, 2020 

City of Seattle Resources 

Moratorium on Evictions of Small Businesses and Nonprofits: On Monday, May 4, Mayor Durkan signed an Executive Order to extend the moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions in the City of Seattle until June 4, 2020. The moratorium on nonprofit and small business evictions impacts independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Along with halting evictions, the order also prevents eligible small businesses and nonprofits from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment during the moratorium. You can learn more here. 

COVID-19 Lease Amendment Toolkit: The City of Seattle's Office of Economic Development (OED)has partnered with Communities Rise and Perkins Coie to launch a new toolkit to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic explore options for their commercial leases with a goal of remaining in their spaces. Building on the eviction moratorium for small businesses and nonprofits signed by Mayor Durkan, the new COVID-19 Lease Amendment Toolkit for small businesses and nonprofits provides a suite of tools - including template lease amendment language - to assist small businesses and nonprofits who are navigating the negotiation of their commercial leases with their landlords. Small businesses and nonprofits that have 50 or fewer employees are also eligible for a free, 60-minute consultation with a legal professional to assist with any COVID-19 commercial lease-related questions. Businesses and nonprofits can access the toolkit here.  

Seattle Protects: Public Health - Seattle & King County announced a health directive for all workers and residents to wear cloth face coverings in all indoor public settings and outdoor public spaces where maintaining social distancing could be difficult. The directive took effect on May 18, 2020. The City heard from many small business owners who were struggling to source face coverings and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their employees. That's why the City created Seattle Protects, which is a new online marketplace to connect local manufacturers with organizations, businesses, nonprofits, community groups, and individuals in need of cloth face coverings. Visit the marketplace to browse local manufacturers inventory. 

Utility Payment Relief: Small businesses that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 now have additional flexibility to defer their utility payments to the City of Seattle. To set up a deferred utility payment plan, call Seattle City Light or Seattle Public Utilities at 206-684-3000, or send an email here. We'll be sure to keep your lights on and your water running in the meantime, regardless of your ability to pay.   

B&O Tax Deferment: Small business owners with an annual taxable income of $5 million or less can defer on their quarterly B&O tax payments to preserve cash on hand and ease the financial burden caused by COVID-19. If you have questions about this source of tax relief during the epidemic, please call (206) 684-8484 or email: tax@seattle.gov

The Seattle Public Library: The Seattle Public Library (SPL) is helping businesses find accurate market data to pivot and explore the viability of new services and products, and start new businesses too. SPL also provides nonprofits with remote access to a valuable grant seeking database called the Foundation Directory.  Click here to learn more.  

Small Business Stabilization Fund: Mayor Durkan and OED launched our Small Business Stabilization Fund so that Seattle-based, low and moderate-income small business owners with five or fewer employees could apply for a grant award of $10,000. We received nearly 9,000 applications , and the City had available funds to award 250 grants. A second round of grants will be awarded to an additional 150 businesses in the amount of $10,000 through additional federal funding. OED will select new awardees from the original pool of applicants. All those who are interested in donating funding to support small businesses can email covidpledge@seattle.gov.   

Technical Assistance : The Office of Economic Development (OED) provides technical assistance to businesses to:

  • Understand available financial resources, including loans and grants 
  • Check eligibility for loans and other resources 
  • Apply for SBA loans and complere the application, including Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), SBA Express Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief. 

Please call the Seattle Office of Economic Development at 206-684-8090 from Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email OED at oed@seattle.gov anytime to recieve free assistance. Youn can ask for language assistance and recieve interpretation over the phone. For businesses outside Seattle, Washington State resources can be found here

Weekly Webinars with the Office of Economic Development: OED hosts weekly webinars for small businesses to share new developments, hear about the impacts you are experiencing, and answer your questions. Please join us every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.. Register at https://bottomline.seattle.gov/.  

Business Impact Survey: The COVID-19 Business Impact Survey seeks to understand the experiences of businesses, nonprofits, and independent workers who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Your voice will help inform our short and long-term strategies to help the economy. As a thank you for participating in the survey, OED is randomly selecting five participants to win a $50 gift card redeemable through the Intentionalist's Gift Card Market Place for each round of the survey. Complete the Business Impact Survey by May 21.

Communities Rise: The Communities Rise COVID-19 legal clinics are an opportunity for Washington State entrepreneurs, small businesses, community organizations, and nonprofits who have suffered adversely from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to receive free legal advice during a 45-minute remote consultation with a volunteer attorney. Learn more here.

State of Washington Resources 

The Washington State Employment Security Department has adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for businesses you can learn about hereClick here to view a side-by-side comparison of possible COVID-19 scenarios and State of Washington benefits available for small businesses.  

Tax Filing Flexibility and Waived Penalties: The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) can work with impacted companies that request an extension on tax filing. Your business can request such an extension prior to the due date of the return, and, if granted, your business would be allowed to delay reporting and paying taxes. DOR may also waive penalties under limited circumstances if your business is late in paying its tax obligation. For more information, please contact DOR at 360.705.6705.  

Unemployment Benefit Charge Relief: Employers may be eligible for relief of benefit charges if an employer needs to shut down operations temporarily because a worker becomes sick and other workers need to be isolated or quarantined as a result of COVID-19. For more information, click here. 

SharedWork Program: This program 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. While on the SharedWork program, employees are not required to make an active search for work. To apply, click here.  

Business Resiliency Resources: The Washington Small Business Development Center is providing a Business Resiliency Toolkit and Guide to help businesses statewide navigate emergency and crises. They can also provide free technical assistance to businesses applying for Small Business Administration Disaster Loans. For more information, visit their website here.  

Federal Resources 

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans:  The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides small businesses with 500 employees or fewer up to $10 million in forgivable loans to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone and are provided through financial institutions/lenders. Find more information on this SBA webpage or in this Treasury Department Information Sheet for Borrowers. Small businesses in Seattle are now eligible to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. These loans can offset reduced revenues and other economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, new guidance on PPP Loan Forgiveness has been released and can be access here.  

The City's Office of Economic Development (OED) is offering technical assistance to help small businesses apply for PPP loans. Visit our website with detailed directions about applying for these loans here. or call (206) 684-8090. You can also access language assistance by calling (206) 684-8090. All callers can leave a message, and bilingual staff will call back with in-language support.  


Non-Profit, Private, and Philanthropic Resources 

Digital Undivided: The Doonie Fund makes micro investments in Black women entrepreneurs. Grants will be awarded until funds runs out. To apply visit their website.   

Red Backpack Fund: 
Global Giving will be awarding grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by Covid-19. Grants will be awarded until funds runs out. Visit the website for more information.   

GoFundMe: The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative is intended to support our local businesses facing financial loss. Search live campaigns by visiting the GoFundMe website.  

Amazon's Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund: Amazon has launched a fund to support neighborhood small businesses in Seattle (South Lake Union and Regrade neighborhoods) and Bellevue. Eligible small businesses will need to: 1) have fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue; 2) be service or retail establishments open to the general public (dental establishments and corporate offices for instance, will not qualify). Eligible small businesses can apply here.

The Seattle Sounders FC Relief Fund ("Fund"): This fund was established by RAVE Foundation to support individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits located in CenturyLink Field and in the neighborhoods surrounding CenturyLink Field that have been adversely impacted by the postponement of the 2020 MLS season due to COVID-19. To find out more and apply for benefits, see their website. 

Washington Federal: If you are a business that has seen a 10 percent or greater drop in revenues due to the impact of COVID-19, Washington Federal can provide emergency funding for your small business. They are offering five-year business lines of credit up to $200,000 with 90 days interest free. More info here