Message from Mayor Pete Kmet to the Tumwater Business Community:
March 30, 2020
The COVID-19 Pandemic has already impacted and will likely continue to generate significant economic and employment challenges in our community and beyond. The City is doing all that we can to minimize the impact on our residents and businesses – and to help where we can. We have created a webpage to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19, visit www.ci.tumwater.wa.us and click on Resources for Businesses. We are also extending support by offering these considerations to the business community. Read more here...
Building Inspections, Permits & Plan Reviews
City of Tumwater building inspectors are conducting a minimum number of inspections only on construction activity considered essential under Governor Inslee’s Stay Home order. While construction activity and inspections are significantly limited until the order is lifted, City staff are available and hard at work reviewing and processing permits so that construction can resume as quickly as possible. Please note that the date for adopting 2018 building codes has been extended to November 1, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which should help to expedite permit review.
Tax Relief for Businesses
To ease the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the City is offering relief to businesses by extending the B&O tax filing and payment deadline until later this year.
1st Quarter 2020 B&O tax filing deadline is extended to July 31, 2020.
This is an option for businesses who need help getting through the current financial hardship they may be experiencing due to COVID-19. Businesses may continue to file on a quarterly basis.
Questions? Staff are available to assist you by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (360) 754-4136,
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Temporary Suspension of Plastic Bag Ordinance Enforcement
We want your employees and customers to feel comfortable. Accordingly, the City has temporarily suspended enforcement of the single-use plastic bag ordinance during the declared public health emergency, to meet the increasing demand for groceries and other supplies, and to protect the health of grocery workers and shoppers. This is effective until further notice.
The City is suspending water shut-off for non-payment and late payment penalties are suspended during this public health emergency. Payment plan options are available for residential and commercial customers impacted by COVID-19.
Questions? Staff are available to assist you by email at email@example.com or by phone at (360) 754-4133, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Save Small Business Fund
The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers who are suffering during the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and its territories. Small businesses employ nearly half the American workforce, and keep our neighborhoods running and make them feel like home. Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as possible. These are supplemental funds to help over the next days and weeks when every dollar counts.
Apply today! The application is short. It will take about 10 minutes to complete, all you will need is your business's W-9 form. Grants will be awarded on a weekly basis, but you only need to apply one time to be eligible for funding.
The Save Small Business Fund is an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
The Kiva lending community has an important role to play in supporting U.S businesses with loans to survive this economic crisis. As our lending program in the U.S. is direct, Kiva has the agility to expand their program program and support in order to have more impact, as the need for Kiva’s affordable and risk-tolerant capital increases every day. In response to the economic challenges presented by COVID-19 in the U.S., Kiva has introduced a six-month grace period on repayment, expanded eligibility requirements, and increased the maximum loan amount to $15,000.
If you’re a lender or small business owner in the U.S., find more information here, or apply for a loan. The Kiva community is behind you.
Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants
Apply for up to $10,000 in emergency funding
Governor Inslee is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A limited number of grants, up to $10,000, are available to small businesses with up to 10 full-time employees.
Grant funds can be used for rent, supplies, inventory, utility bills, consulting, marketing, training, etc. Funds can not be used for payroll, capital equipment, travel, office equipment, and computer software.
Applications can be submitted to the Thurston County Economic Development Council (EDC) – Download the application, fill it out electronically, and email it to grants@ThurstonEDC.com.
More details and application materials can found online.
Federal Small Business Assistance Programs
For small businesses in Tumwater, there are multiple financial assistance programs offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help businesses struggling with the impacts of COVID-19. These programs can be accessed through a local SBA lender.
The Thurston County Economic Development Council can assist you in accessing these funds via the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-821-6652, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All SBA programs are open to businesses with less than 500 employees.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a low-interest loan from the SBA to help businesses keep employees on payroll or rehire employees laid off during the COVID-19 crisis.
Loans have a two-year duration at a 1% interest rate. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Funding is available beginning April 3, 2020. Learn more about the program on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
The SBA Debt Relief program offers a temporary reprieve for existing SBA loans for a period of six months.
All principal, interest, and fees on SBA loans can be suspended for a six month period.
Learn more about the program on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
SBA Express Bridge Loans are available for businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender. Small businesses can access up to $25,000 quickly to overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to COVID-19.
Employment eResources for Job Seekers and Business Owners
If you are recently unemployed or a small business owner looking for assistance, Timberland Regional Library offers helpful resources on their Employment Support webpage.
Are you a business owner or entrepreneur looking for information? Check out free online Business Development resources.
Are you a job seeker looking to improve your skills? Online Career Development resources can help you prepare your skill set.
COVID-19 Economic Recovery Initiative
The City is joining our regional partners to create a coordinated approach to mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 on our community. The Regional Economic Recovery Task Force includes the City of Lacey, City of Olympia, City of Tumwater, City of Yelm, Experience Olympia & Beyond, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, Port of Olympia, Thurston Chamber of Commerce, Thurston County, Thurston Economic Development Council and local Tribal Nations.
Small businesses hit by the loss of revenue because of the COVID-19 outbreak can find a list of resources on the Thurston Economic Development Center website.
Collecting Unemployment Benefits
The Washington State Employment Security Department can provide support in the form of unemployment benefits. For employers that want to keep from losing highly-trained employees, these unemployment benefits can be received through, or while covered by, Shared Work, Partial Unemployment, and Standby. This allows certain workers to collect unemployment while remaining with their employers and not actively seeking other jobs.
Paid Leave Program
The Paid Family and Medical Leave program can provide paid leave benefits for Washington workers who need to take time off from work due to a serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Certification by a healthcare provider is required for applications for Paid Family and Medical Leave due to a serious health condition.
Rapid Response Services
If COVID-19 disrupts a Washington business and causes a mass layoff or closure, Employment Security Department and its local workforce development board partners can respond with Rapid Response services and funding to help impacted workers get connected to unemployment benefits and re-employment services, including re-training, worker support services, and referrals to other social services.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration may be able to provide assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury in an eligible disaster area. Congress approved up to $7 billion in low-interest disaster loans specifically to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. These loans can help small businesses meet financial obligations and cover operating expenses.
The Washington State Department of Revenue has information about business relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have a larger list of local bankers, financial associations, telecoms, utilities and major employers that may be able to provide relief, such as:
- Deferred bills, waived fees, discounts, no-interest loans and other support.
- Debt and late-penalty forgiveness for companies and workers in order to help keep people employed.
- Favorable credit terms for firms that encounter cash flow problems.
For more information, email Community Development Director Mike Matlock.