Business and Worker Newsletter

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   May 21, 2021      

What you should know about...

Updated statewide guidance on COVID-19 requirements

On May 13, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a presumptive June 30 end date for many COVID-19 capacity restrictions for businesses. In addition, the governor signaled that all counties will move to Phase 3 as of May 18, 2021, and that fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be mandated to wear face coverings, whether indoors or outdoors. Businesses may continue to require face coverings by all customers if they choose, and continued vigilance around sanitizing and social distancing indoors is encouraged.  You can read more here.

For employers, the Department of Labor & Industries has issued guidance on how to safely implement the new face-covering standard for fully vaccinated employees.  

Unemployment waiting week waiver going back into effect

On May 7, 2021, a new rule went into effect to waive the unpaid waiting week. New unemployment applicants will now be paid for the first week they are eligible for unemployment benefits. Anyone who was not paid for their waiting week for weeks ending Jan. 9, 2021, or later will be reimbursed retroactively after May 7, 2021.  Anyone whose waiting week ended Jan. 9, 2021, or later will get a payment for their waiting week the same way they’ve been paid for other weeks. If this relates to you, check the alerts in your eServices account for more information. The rule will stay in effect until further notice.

Resources for small businesses

Federal grants for shuttered venue operators and restaurants still open

The U.S. Small Business Administration is currently operating two grant programs – the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.  You can continue to find information about available federal and state grant and loan programs on the Washington State Department of Commerce’s business grants page at  

Business webinars

Start Your Business – free June 10 webinar

Start Your Business is a free, one hour, webinar for aspiring entrepreneurs or newly-started businesses to gain valuable information about business registration and licensing, other regulatory requirements and resources for further assistance. The next webinar is scheduled for June 10 at 9 a.m. The webinar includes brief presentations from several state agency small business liaisons with dedicated time for questions and answers. Click here for more information about the SBRR webinars and to register online or call 800-917-0043.

SharedWork to Host Virtual Conference June 8 & 9

Attend the first-ever WIN with SharedWork! Virtual Conference. The conference includes sessions on what businesses need to know to: leverage the new laws and emergency rules that benefit businesses using SharedWork, use new labor market information and tools, calculate UI taxes and protect their business experience rating, gain insights on other business benefit program offerings, and more! Businesses will have the unique opportunity to chat one-on-one with their local Workforce and WorkSource business services teams during the “Meet & Greet” segment to gain an inside look at the local targeted business strategies and rebound efforts in their area; all at no cost to you. Join us at the Win with SharedWork! A new path forward to economic recovery  virtual conference to aid in the businesses recovery plan. Register today for free here.