Helpful Resources for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to threaten a health crisis, legislators, businesses, and communities are forced to wrangle with a different kind of crisis - economic hardship and uncertainty. Many businesses have closed, both temporarily and permanently, and unemployment rates in Washington state and across the nation have skyrocketed. Governor Inslee’s latest stay-at-home order for Washington State announced on March 23rd took effect on the evening of March 25th and will last for a minimum of two weeks.
The virus has put a halt on numerous businesses who are now facing unexpected cash flow challenges. As revenue streams dwindle or disappear, many businesses are left wondering how they’ll fare through the pandemic. Some cities have passed eviction freezes for the months ahead, but the question still remains on how they’ll make up for the rent when the freeze ends. As tenants struggle, landlords can expect to see their revenue impacted too. Some industries have been hit harder than others with the hospitality industry seeing the biggest impact.
“Restaurants are closing. They are hoping for a bailout, but many will not reopen. There will be a flood of second-generation restaurant listings in two months adding to the saturated market,” said Kelly Gaddis who specializes in retail and restaurant transactions. Conversations in a market that was booming just weeks prior have currently shifted to rent concessions or discounts.
“I've helped review several letters and emails to and from landlords and restaurant tenants. In the end, I'd recommend a landlord to keep that tenant, allow for abatement, work on percent rent until the numbers reach that of 2019 again and defer those costs to the end of the term. It's way cheaper than re-tenanting a dark restaurant space.” Kelly added, “You can help your favorite restaurant by buying gift cards. This gives them a cash injection at a time when they need it most.”
The hope is that economic recovery will resume promptly, but many are opting to wait before leasing more space or closing a sale. In any market, the best course of action is always to get informed and make a plan. In that spirit, we’ve compiled a list of available resources to help businesses weather the impact of the virus in our region and choose the best course of action for their business. We will continue to update the list as more information becomes available.
If you need assistance assessing the best commercial real estate plan for your situation, reach out to a member of our team. We’re here to help.
- Coronavirus Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Washington State Coronavirus Response
- Governor Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" Executive Order
- Clarification on Essential Business Status for Governor Inslee's Executive Order. If you need further clarification on whether your business is on the list, fill out this form.
- City of Seattle COVID-19 Small Business Relief Executive Order: Mayor Durkan’s Order regarding B&O Tax Deferrals, Loan Assistance, Fund Expansion, Utility Relief, and Recovery Task Force.
- Internal Revenue Service announced the federal income tax due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.
- Filing and Payment Deadlines Questions and Answers
- Department of Revenue Washington State, Business Relief During COVID-19 Pandemic: This action addresses a broad range of taxes: business and occupation tax, real estate excise tax assessments, leasehold excise tax, forest tax, and other taxes administered by the Department.
- City of Seattle is offering relief to small businesses by extending the B&O tax filing and payment deadline until later this year. Read guidelines for filing an extension here.
- COVID-19 Tax Relief for Tacoma Business
- The City of Bellevue announced it would defer Q1 and Q2 local Business & Occupation tax payments for certain small businesses to October
SBA Loans and CARES Act: Help for Businesses and Information
- The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is directly from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is offering up to $2 million in assistance to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. The loan must be repaid but can be deferred for up to one year. Apply here.
- A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- The Economic Injury Loan Emergency Advance is an emergency advance of $10,000 for small businesses. To access the advance, you first apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan mentioned above and then request the advance. You do not need to pay back the advance if it's awarded to you (you still need to pay the loan).
- The Paycheck Protection Program is meant to incentivize small businesses to not lay off workers and to rehire laid-off workers that lost jobs due to COVID-19 disruptions. The program offers loans up to $10 million. These loans are government-backed but will come from private banks. Small businesses and sole proprietors can begin applying on April 3rd. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can begin applying on April 10. To apply you can take the loan application form to your bank. All or some of the loan may be forgiven if you follow the requirements outlined.
- The SBA Debt Relief Program provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans. The SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees for six months. The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
Assistance Applying for a Loan
- SCORE has business mentors available to help you navigate financial challenges and apply for loans.
- The Washington Small Business Development Center is sponsored by the SBA to help small businesses. They provide one-on-one assistance, webinars and business resources.
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: What Small Businesses Need to Know
- Frequently Asked Questions On Small Business Loans In Coronavirus Relief CARES Act
- CARES Act Flow Chart for Small Businesses
Additional Help for Businesses
- Small Business Stabilization Fund provides working capital grants in amounts up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses (deadline for the first grant was March 25, but more grants will open)
- Washington State Department of Commerce Small Business Emergency Grant Program (coming soon)
- Amazon’s Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund is intended to support qualifying businesses in Seattle (SLU and Regrade neighborhoods) and Bellevue.
- Washington Federal Bank is offering 5-year business lines of credit with 90 days interest-free to businesses affected by COVID-19.
- Pierce County Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program to qualify businesses must be located in unincorporated Pierce County, have 10 or fewer employees, be in operation for 1+ years and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in revenues attributable to the pandemic
- Facebook's Small Business Grants Program is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits.
- Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 from U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave
- Washington State Employment Security Department for businesses affected by COVID-19 addresses frequently asked questions about unemployment benefits as it relates to COVID-19
- SharedWork Program is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours.
- Washington State Department of Labor & Industries: Common Questions About Paid Sick Leave and Coronavirus
- Washington State Department of Labor & Industries: Common Questions About Worker's Compensation Coverage and Coronavirus
- Can't Pay Your Worker's Comp Premiums? L&I Can Help
- Big Table provides assistance, grants, and resources for restaurant industry employees
- Golden Rule Charity provides grants for restaurant industry employees
- Restaurants Care provides financial assistance for restaurant industry employees
- Employment Development Department provides relevant information and rights of restaurants industry employees
- The Plated Fund: Restaurant workers in King County who have been financially impacted by all the closures can apply for the $500 grant.
Important Business News
- Trump announces extension of tax deadline for coronavirus victims, including businesses
- Seattle Mayor Freezes Business Evictions As County Asks For Property Tax Relief
- City of Spokane Halts All Foreclosure, Evictions
- $2 trillion coronavirus deal: Who will get stimulus checks and when?
- What's Inside The Senate's $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Package
The information contained herein has been gathered from sources we deem reliable, we have no reason to doubt its accuracy, but we do not guarantee it. Please verify all information with your accountant before filing for a loan or grant.