Economic and Business Resiliency Newsletter

Economic and Business Resiliency Newsletter

         January 13th, 2022

What you should know about...

Governor's Office

Inslee announces additional resources for Omicron variant

As Washington state is experiencing a dramatic rise in COVID cases due to the Omicron variant, on January 5th, Gov. Jay Inslee announced steps to contain the spread. Inslee did not announce any rollbacks, restrictions or closures.

“We are seeing more COVID cases now than at any point during the entire pandemic and our hospitalizations are near the peak of Delta. Omicron is more contagious, and more people will likely get sick,” Inslee said. “We are providing additional tools and resources to help protect Washingtonians.”

Read the whole story on the governor’s Medium page.

Department of Health

New report tracks the risk of COVID-19 reinfection in Washington state 

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has published a new weekly report that provides an insight into COVID-19 reinfections.  This report includes information on hospitalizations and deaths, demographics, trends over time, and vaccination status of people with reinfection, where DOH has information about both infection events.  Reinfection means a person was once infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, recovered, and later became infected again. A person with reinfection could be fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or unvaccinated.  This report is located on the DOH COVID-10 Data Dashboard and is updated weekly. Learn more…

Washington Listens

Washington Listens helps people manage stress and anxiety they may be experiencing because of COVID-19. If you or anyone you know is having difficulties managing stress, call Washington Listens support line at 1-833-681-0211.  Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.  TTY and language access services are available using 7-1-1 or their preferred method. In addition, see resources and self-help tips from Washington Listens.

DOH COVID-19 Bulletin

Washington State Department of Health publishes a weekly recap of recent COVID-19 News and Updates. This includes the newest numbers of confirmed cases, dates and times of media briefings, updated guidance, and more. Click here to subscribe to the DOH COVID-19 bulletin.

Department of Revenue

Does your business owe personal property tax?

Many businesses own personal property tax and don't realize it. Learn more...

Attend an educational workshop or webinar

Whether you're a new business or have been around for a while, check out our Industry Guides, Events & Workshops to help you better understand your tax obligations.  Learn more…

Employment Security Department

Washington Cares Fund

The Legislature and Gov. Inslee have announced plans to change and improve the WA Cares Fund during the 2022 legislative session, scheduled to conclude in March. Therefore, per direction from the governor, ESD will not collect premiums from employers until April 2022 or until the Legislature gives further guidance. 

However, the existing law still directs employers to collect premiums from their employees beginning Jan 1. Therefore, each employer will need to decide whether they will implement the law as it stands or await legislative action.  

Employers can watch for updates on the WA Cares Fund website as more information becomes available. You can also find a link on the website to sign up for the WA Cares Fund mailing list. For employer-specific details, you can subscribe to ESD's employer newsletter

2022 Lunch-and-Learn Webinar Series kicks off on Jan 19

The monthly webinar series for businesses/employers kickoff is at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Jan 19. The first webinar in 2022 features the Shared Work Program and the Labor Market and Economic Analysis. Register today!

Each month, the webinar features one of ESD's business-friendly programs. Learn about the benefits of state-funded programs focused on helping businesses and employers, including the Shared Work ProgramWork Opportunity Tax Credit,  Paid Family Medical Leave,  Unemployment TaxesWork Source Business Services, and the Yes Vets Program. Preview the lunch-and-learn webinar series here.

Several of Washington's Work Source providers and Chambers of Commerce have partnered with the Shared Work Program to sponsor their employer resources webinar series at the local level. 

Department of Labor & Industries

There's no better time to "START" focusing on safety and health in the workplace

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recognizes businesses that dedicate time and attention to improving their workplace safety culture and reducing hazards, injuries, and illnesses. Gordon Truck Centers is an example of a company at the top of their safety game earning Safety Through Achieving Recognition Together (START) certification from L&I. Learn more…

Wage, Overtime, and Salary Changes for 2022

The minimum wage will be $14.49 per hour in 2022 (up from $13.69). Workers who are 14 or 15 years old may be paid 85% of adult minimum wage, or $12.32 per hour. The minimum wage applies to most jobs, including those in agriculture. In addition, agricultural workers will be eligible to earn overtime after working more than 55 hours per week. The change in the minimum wage also means an increase in the minimum salary an employee must earn in 2022 to be overtime-exempt, which is $52,743.60 a year. Learn More…

Secretary of State

Open for in-person service

Throughout the pandemic, the Corporations and Charities Division has remained open to assist customers with their business needs.  Although things could change at any time, we are currently open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for in-person service. Under state & local requirements, masks are required for anyone visiting.  

Visit our website for contact options.

Department of Commerce

Do you have customers or employees who need help paying for rent or utilities?

Various county and community organizations are helping folks who are behind on rent or utility payments due to COVID-19. The Department of Commerce's utility assistance and rent assistance web pages provide information you can share in dozens of languages. Families can also call 2-1-1 to learn about help for broadband, food, and other essential items. 

Applications are open for the Innovation Accelerator Program

The Equitable Innovations Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind program to provide ten technology start-ups with up to $100,000 in non-dilutive philanthropic grants, programming, and access to mentors and coaches. The program is designed to support entrepreneurs from underserved and historically marginalized communities. The accelerator is one of the state Department of Commerce's COVID-19 Safe Start projects supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and in partnership with Find Ventures. 

Visit the Equitable Innovations Accelerator website for information and the application. In addition, interested entrepreneurs can learn about the program by attending an optional information session on Jan 14 at 1 p.m.

       o  view last month's session

Liquor & Cannabis Board

Getting Started with Cannabis Central Reporting System (CCRS)

Washington is changing the way it traces cannabis.  The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is simplifying the state's traceability system to reflect the growth and maturation of the cannabis industry and prepare for the future.  Learn more…

As a reminder, to successfully access CCRS, a licensee's email address must match the email address on file that is associated with the business license.  If a licensee, integrator, or lab needs to update their email or determine the email on file for their license, please email  For user guidance, Visit CCRS Resources

Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance

Start Your Business – free Jan 18 webinar

Start Your Business is a free, one-hour webinar for aspiring entrepreneurs or new businesses to gain valuable information about regulatory and registration requirements. The next webinar is scheduled for Jan 18 at 2 p.m. The webinar includes brief presentations from several state agency small business liaisons with dedicated time for questions and answers. In addition, we offer the Start Your Business webinar several times throughout the year; click here for more information and to register.

Grow Your Business – free Mar 24 webinar

Grow Your Business is a free, one-hour webinar for established businesses actively seeking opportunities to grow their business from beyond its current model – new markets, new products, new locations, new staffing, and new financing. Its focus is on government-supported opportunities, assistance, and the regulatory impacts of growth to factor in your planning. The webinar includes brief presentations from several state agency small business liaisons with dedicated time for questions and answers. The next webinar is scheduled for Mar 24 at 12:00 p.m. In addition, we offer the Grow Your Business webinar several times throughout the year;  click here for more information and to register.

ORIA Information Center

We know regulations, you know your business, together we'll make a great team that will keep your business on track with state, federal, and local regulations.  We can answer questions and help with research.  Contact us at 800-917-0043 or via email, chat, or text.

Additional Business Training

Are you thinking of Buying a Business?  Learn step by step how to purchase an existing business

Learn from the experts with SCORE's small business training workshops and webinars.  View All SCORE Workshops in January.

Let's Talk Business

Business Enterprise Startup Training (BEST) courses are available in Vietnamese, Spanish, Hindi, Korean and English.

                                        Tips & Reminders

2022 Federal Tax Filing Season Begins Jan 24

The IRS shared important tips and reminders. Remember, avoid processing delays by filing tax returns electronically with direct deposit.  For most taxpayers, the deadline to submit 2021 tax returns, pay any tax owed, or apply for an extension of time to file is Monday, Apr 18, 2022.

Find more details...

Newsletter Team


Changes to the Newsletter

Previous issues of this Newsletter were published by the Economic Resiliency Team within the state’s Joint Information Center (JIC) at Camp Murray.  The JIC was one of main components of the Incident Command Structure created at Camp Murray to manage the initial response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Incident Command post at Camp Murray is no longer active and the function of the JIC has been disseminated into state agency communications offices. A collective of 7 agencies are now working together to maintain this Newsletter. These agencies are:

  • The Governor’s Office
  • Department of Commerce
  • Employment Security Department
  • Department of Labor & Industries
  • Secretary of State’s Office
  • Department of Revenue
  • Emergency Management Division of the Military Department

Future issues of this Newsletter will continue to highlight COVID-19 business impacts and other relevant economic and business resiliency information. To opt-out of receiving future issues of this Newsletter, click the “Manage Subscriptions” link at the bottom of this Newsletter.


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Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA)