Business & Worker Newsletter

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          MAR. 24, 2021

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Resources for small businesses

State to launch new round of Working Washington small business grants on March 29

The Washington State Department of Commerce will open applications for Working Washington Grants: Round 4 on March 29. Applications submitted by April 9th will be considered. Business owners can find information about the program and a link to the application portal at Materials in 16 languages will be available on the site in the coming days. 

This is the fourth round of the Working Washington grant program. Legislators approved $240 million for the current round as part of an early action bill that also provided additional funding for rent assistance and other COVID-19 response efforts.

Read the full press release here.

SBA Launches Portal to Begin Accepting Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Applications on April 8

The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a splash page for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal in anticipation of opening applications for the critical economic relief program on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Prior to the official SVOG application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Those interested in participating can register here.

The SVOG program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion for it. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the program funding to a total of $16.25 billion, with more than $16 billion allocated for grants.

Read the full press release here.

SBA Extends Deferment Period for all COVID-19 EIDL and Other Disaster Loans until 2022

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022.

  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.
  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note.

Existing SBA disaster loans approved prior to 2020 in regular servicing status as of March 1, 2020, received an automatic deferment of principal and interest payments through December 31, 2020. This initial deferment period was subsequently extended through March 31, 2021. An additional 12-month deferment of principal and interest payments will be automatically granted to these borrowers. Borrowers will resume their regular payment schedule with the payment immediately preceding March 31, 2022, unless the borrower voluntarily continues to make payments while on deferment. It is important to note that the interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding balance of the loan throughout the duration of the deferment.

Read the full press release here.

Webinar to help small businesses navigate Washington’s requirements and resources

The COVID-19 Impact is a free one-hour monthly webinar for businesses. Presenters answer open mic questions and subject matter experts answer questions online throughout the webinar. Click here for more information on the monthly series and register online. The webinar is presented in Spanish on Tuesday, March 30, 9 a.m. Click here for more information.

The “Starting Your Business in Washington” webinar, is scheduled for April 14 at 2 p.m. The webinar includes information about business registration and licensing, other regulatory requirements, and resources for further assistance. Click here for more information and to register online or call 800-917-0043.

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COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with their COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts.

As of March 13, more than 2,517,506 doses of vaccine have been given across the state, which is nearly 80% of the 3,165,350 doses that have been delivered to our providers and long-term care programs. Washington is currently averaging 44,165 vaccine doses given each day. This information can be found on the DOH data dashboard under the vaccines tab, which is updated three times per week.

Read the full news release in English here.

What you should know about...

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits extended - update on new federal stimulus

The federal stimulus bill that extends CARES Act unemployment benefits was recently signed into law. The legislation extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Employment Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and continues the additional $300 per week for all eligible claimants until Sept. 4, 2021. By federal law, all claimants will get the additional $300 benefit, except those receiving Training Benefits.

The vast majority of claimants will not experience a gap in benefits as long as they continue to submit weekly claims as usual. It is always recommended to watch for important communications from the department. To learn more and stay up to date, check out the FAQs on the COVID-19 page.

Leverage your unemployment insurance account using the SharedWork program

The SharedWork program is a valuable resource to leverage the employer unemployment insurance account and employees claim benefits. To learn more, contact the local WorkSource Business Services in your area or directly call a SharedWork specialist at 800-752-2500.

When speaking with a specialist, we strive to tell you in less than 60 seconds of your eligibility and opportunity to apply. There is no impact to an employer’s experience rate by SharedWork benefits paid to employees through September 4, 2021 with the Continuous Assistance Act.