April 20 COVID-19 Special Edition: Eastside Cities Launch New Initiative to Help Businesses, Message from Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Submit Your Comments for Tomorrow's Council Meeting, Cascade Water Alliance Hosts Live Online Gardening Class, Resources for Businesses and More!

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this week in kirkland

April 20, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Eastside Cities Launch Collaborative COVID-19 Business Response


(re)STARTUP425 offers one-on-one technical assistance and resources to Eastside small business owners, nonprofits, sole-proprietors, and gig workers in partnership with Business Impact NW

The cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond, and Renton today launched (re)STARTUP425, a collaborative effort to connect Eastside small business owners, nonprofit leaders, and sole proprietors with available business support resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through its website, (re)STARTUP425 will provide one-on-one technical consultations on business financial assistance programs, a calendar of relevant webinars and other resources, and a restaurant map that identifies Eastside restaurants and cafés open for carry out.

“We know that our small business community faces immense challenges due to COVID-19,” said Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold. “This is especially true for businesses that have historically faced barriers to full economic inclusion, such as businesses owned by people of color, women, and immigrants. I’m proud that we are moving quickly in collaboration with our regional partners to provide these businesses with the support they need to navigate the landscape of relief programs available to them.”

The cities have contracted with Business Impact NW to staff (re)STARTUP425’s Business Response Team. This team will provide free, one-on-one, technical consultations to:

  • help businesses understand resources available to them;
  • prepare businesses to qualify for and access eligible grants and loans; and
  • help businesses complete grant and loan applications.

Business assistance programs can be confusing and difficult to navigate, particularly for those businesses without an existing relationship with a commercial bank or similar financial services. The Business Response Team aims to fill that need by advising business owners to help them understand and apply for city, state, federal, and private economic relief programs related to COVID-19. Recognizing that business owners may experience language barriers in the existing processes, the Business Response Team is available to assist in multiple languages through a phone interpretation service. The services provided by the Business Response Team will be free to Eastside businesses.

Business owners who are not certain what relief programs they are eligible for, where they need to apply, and what documentation they may need for each program are able to submit their questions online to be answered by dedicated Business Response Team members. Once business owners understand what programs will best support their survival and recovery, a Business Response Team member can assist in gathering required documents, filling out applications, and submitting forms.

"We are excited to partner with (re)STARTUP425 to offer additional resources and assistance to Eastside businesses,” said Domonique Juleon, Chief Program Officer of Business Impact NW. “As a community development financial institution, and a nonprofit, we are available to help business owners understand the current status of many of the relief programs – whether those programs are open, funded, closed, or may reopen. We understand that the availability of current financial assistance programs is dynamic, and our program will adjust to those changing conditions as needed.”

The Business Response Team program is geared toward small businesses and nonprofits of all industries and verticals, including arts and cultural nonprofits, microbusinesses (like hairdressers, nail salons, and home cleaning services), and contractors within the five cities.

“Many of the available federal and state resources for small businesses are being granted on a first come first serve basis," said Councilmember Kelli Curtis. "Those types of processes don’t work well for businesses not connected to the financial system through relationships with financial professionals. The Startup425 cities are stepping up to meet that need by offering critical guidance to those small businesses that don’t have other options.”

The (re)STARTUP425 effort refocuses the cities’ Startup425 partnership, which began in 2016 and supports small businesses and entrepreneurs, on helping small businesses and nonprofits navigate the dynamic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The (re)STARTUP425 program is accessible at re.startup425.org.

Message from Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold

Recently, the CDC recommended cloth face coverings when visiting places where social distancing is challenging. Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold has a few tips on wearing cloth face coverings, and wants to remind you that social distancing is still the best thing we can do to continue our efforts to flatten the curve. 

Still image for Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold video

Submit Your Comments for the April 21 Council Meeting

City Council

The Kirkland City Council’s next “virtual” meeting takes place tomorrow (Tuesday, April 21). The meeting uses video conferencing technology provided by Zoom in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. The regular business meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and is preceded by a 5:30 p.m. study session.

The agenda for the April 21 meeting is available on the City website. The meeting can be viewed in real time via the live stream on the City website at: http://www.kirklandwa.gov/depart/council/Meetings/WatchCouncilMeetings.htm and is televised on Comcast Cable Channel 21 and Frontier Cable Channel 31.

As always, the Kirkland City Council welcomes public involvement at its meetings and would like to encourage community members to take advantage of its available options for remote participation, including the public comment voicemail line, at 425-587-3090, or the public comment email account at: councilmeetingcomment@kirklandwa.gov.

Comments received through voicemail and email by 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, will be read into the record during the Council Meeting, with the following caveats:

  • When and if a particular agenda item receives a large number of comments, the City will read into the record three (3) comments representing each side of the presented issue. The comments will be selected based on the date and time received, giving priority to the earliest received comments.
  • City leadership will read submitted emails verbatim up to a three (3) minute limit, exactly as if the commenter was providing their testimony in person. (Comments from the public received during “Items from the Audience” in a typical meeting are limited to three minutes in length.)
  • The deadline for comment submittal for inclusion in the meeting (provided the comment is not related to a heavily commented agenda item as outlined above) is 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21. NOTE: comments received after the deadline will be provided to the Councilmembers for their review at the City’s earliest convenience.

Moving Forward: This Week in Kirkland Published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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The City is revising its publication schedule for This Week in Kirkland, which has provided daily COVID-19 updates and information since the onset of this pandemic on February 29. Beginning today, (Monday, April 20), This Week in Kirkland will arrive in your inbox on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As always, if you would like more information on the City's continued response to COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 information webpage. If you need access to resources, visit the City's online resource guides at: resources for Kirkland residents and resources for Kirkland businesses

If you are interested in learning about ways to serve the community during this time of need, visit our ways to help webpage. 

Cascade Water Alliance Hosts Live Stream Event: Creating Garden Sanctuary During the Pandemic

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Gardening is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors while we're all staying home and staying healthy. Join Cascade Water Alliance gardening expert Jessi Bloom and We Need Water for a live steam Q & A at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, with information about creating a garden sanctuary.

Topics include growing food, collecting water, container gardening for small spaces and some useful plants to grow! For more information about this event, visit the Facebook event page

Facebook and Puget Sound Energy Offer Support to Small Businesses

COVID-19 business resources

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is giving away $100 million in small business grants to up to 30,000 businesses across 30 countries where Facebook operates. The application for businesses located in Seattle and King County opened 10 a.m. today, (Monday, April 20). For more information about this program, including eligibility requirements and other information, visit the Facebook for Business Small Business Grants Program website. The application period is open through 11:59 p.m. on May 6.

Puget Sound Energy Offers Financial Assistance

To help small businesses withstand the impacts of COVID-19, Puget Sound Energy will not be disconnecting customers for nonpayment during this time and will work with customers on options such as payment plans and selecting new bill due dates. For more information on things you can do to reduce your energy consumption at your business, particularly if your building is unoccupied or low vacancy during this pandemic, visit the Puget Sound Energy website.

City of Kirkland Resources for Businesses Webpage

The City launched its online resource guide to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Cancelled Events

Because physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, the following events are cancelled:

KU Kids at Kirkland Urban
Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Kirkland Urban
425 Urban Plaza
For more information, visit: https://www.kirklandurban.com/event/ku-kids/2145540093/

Recycling Collection Event

Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
11605 132nd Ave. N.E.
For more information, visit: https://www.kirklandwa.gov/depart/Public_Works/solidwaste.htm

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
All Chamber events through May 21 are cancelled
For more information, visit: https://kirklandchamber.org/

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows through April 30 are postponed
For more information, visit: http://www.kpcenter.org