Business & Worker Update: Dec. 16, 2020

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Dec. 16, 2020

The Business and Workers update is a weekly newsletter providing news and information to help businesses and workers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The information is compiled by the state Economic Resiliency Team (ERT), part of the Joint Information Center.

What should Washington workers and employers know?

Dec. 16, 2020

What you need to know about...

Business grants


Update: Working Washington business grant applications being processed now

Friday, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. was the priority application deadline for the current round of about $100 million in Working Washington business grants. Approximately 28,000 applications were submitted and Commerce is processing those as quickly as possible. Applicants will be notified before Dec. 31. It’s important that applicants be sure to check their email regularly – including spam folders – for notifications.

The focus of the grant is to help small businesses with annual revenue of less than $5 million that have been most affected by the governor’s most recent public health order, such as full-service restaurants and fitness centers, and businesses that have experienced significant cumulative losses such as bowling alleys and music venues.

The application portal will close today at noon. If Commerce is able to fund all eligible businesses and funding remains, the agency may be able to consider applications submitted after Dec. 11.


Need help navigating next steps for your business? WA Small Business Development Center provides no-cost advising and technical support

These are uncertain and challenging times for many small businesses, and it can be hard to know how to figure out next steps. The Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted by Washington State University and the U.S. Small Business Administration, has more than 30 expert business advisors working in communities across Washington state.

SBDC advisors provide one-on-one, confidential, no-cost advising services. They can help with strategy and business planning as well as advice on nuts-and-bolts operations. Examples of issues they can advise on include:

  • Identifying sources of capital or other financial help
  • Effectively handling difficult employment issues
  • Implementing tools that strengthen your virtual or e-commerce operations
  • Options for pausing or closing your business

This team is dedicated to supporting small businesses and they want to help. Visit for more information or call them at (833) 492-7232 to set up an appointment.

What you need to know about...

Unemployment updates


Apply for extended benefits when PEUC expires on Dec. 26 

PEUC is Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and it’s a federal program that expires on Dec. 26. Extended Benefits (EB) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are both federally funded programs. Under federal law, there will be fewer available weeks of EB beginning the week of Dec. 13. If you are receiving PUA, that reduction began the week of Nov. 22.  Federal law reduces the number of weeks for both programs. Extended Benefits (EB) changes from 20 to 13 weeks beginning the week of Dec. 13.  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) changes from 46 to 39 weeks beginning the week of Nov. 22. Curious about why this change is occurring? Learn more about benefit extensions.


COVID-19 update: Job search requirements currently optional

Job search requirements are currently suspended for regular and extended unemployment benefits. When the requirements are reinstated, you will need to comply with the job search requirements specific to Extended Benefits. When claiming extended benefits, one must contact at least four employers each week.

What you need to know about...

Resources for small businesses


Streamlined Small Business Requirements and Resources (SBRR) webinar in 2021

The new streamlined one hour webinar features brief presentations from state partners and more “open-mic” dedicated time for more Q&A. Join us for the first 2021 SBRR webinar on Jan. 28 at 9 a.m. Click to preview agenda and register online.