COVID-19 Weekly Update: May 5, 2020
Pioneer Square Business Stakeholders-

The Alliance for Pioneer Square is working diligently to support the Pioneer Square community through the COVID-19 virus outbreak. This is the ninth in a series of weekly messages outlining impacts and resources available. Find the March 11th here, March 17th here, March 24th here, March 31st here, April 7th here, April 14th here, April 21st here and April 28th here.

*Please see this week's new resources and opportunities highlighted in   RED *

What's Happening

On May 1st, Governor Jay Inslee extended the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order to May 31st which enforces the following measures and provides a framework for a phased approach to reopening Washington's economy:

  • Require every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity.
  • Ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes.
  • Close all businesses except essential businesses.
  • *NEW* Washington's Phased Approach: Phase 1 Starts Tuesday, May 5th.

Financial Resources

  • *NEW* National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) CARES grants provide up to $300,000 to cultural nonprofits to support a range of humanities activities across the fields of education, preservation and access, public programming, digital humanities, and scholarly research through December 31, 2020. Funding may be used for short-term activities that emphasize retaining or hiring humanities staff at cultural organizations across the country to maintain or adapt critical programs during the pandemic. The deadline to apply is May 11, 2020Applicants will be informed of funding decisions by June 2020. For more information, click here.

  • Seattle Sounders FC announced that the club is launching a targeted relief effort in the fight against COVID-19. The organization is establishing the Seattle Sounders FC Relief Fund, aimed primarily at supporting individuals, non-profits and small businesses in the neighborhoods surrounding CenturyLink Field that have been adversely impacted by the postponement of the 2020 MLS season due to the current public health crisis. These districts include SoDo, Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District. The current grant cycle is open through May 14. Apply for the Fund here.

  • SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Washington Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • OED provides technical assistance to businesses applying for SBA loans and understanding the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aids, Relief & Security). This includes helping businesses navigate the application process and documentation. For general inquiries, please email or call 206-684-8090.
  • Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications here.
  • Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Note, the deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 16, 2020.
  • The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic development has compiled a summary of the CARES Act and a SBA FAQ.

  • The SBA, under the Paycheck Protection Program, is a offering loans designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. 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. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

  • As closures, cancellations, and loss of work due to COVID-19 impact the King County cultural sector, 4Culure Cultural Relief Fund will distribute $1 million over the coming months. The first round of funding will be distributed beginning April 1 through May 15. Apply at any time within that time frame

Worker and Business Resources

  • *NEW* Yelp has announced $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent, local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services during this period. Information on what options are available and eligibility can be found here.

  • *NEW* Interaction Design Association (IxDA) Seattle is pairing local creatives with small businesses and organizations in the greater Seattle area, offering volunteer support to help businesses adapt during COVID-19. Volunteers can provide guidance and help with: customer experience, communication strategies, and implementation. Review project guidelines and a full list of services here.

  • *NEW* The Alliance for Pioneer Square has introduced a new section on our website to help provide businesses guidance and resources for best practices as they prepare to reopen their doors to customers.

  • OED Resource Hub: OED has created a comprehensive resource page for workers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and is providing technical assistance to support small businesses. News and information about new policies and resources available from the City of Seattle, the State of Washington, the federal government, and our philanthropic partners can be found on the OED's weekly Bottom Line blog.

  • OED is hosting weekly informational webinars for small businesses to share new developments, hear about impacts experienced due to COVID-19 and answer questions. Businesses can join the OED every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Register here for the next webinar and visit here for this week’s recording.

  • Grow with Google is hosting its small biz livestream on Wednesday, May 6th from 9:00AM - 10:00AM to share the latest resources from Google and other partners to help support small businesses. Discover tools, tips and resources to help manage your business remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn how to update critical business information online to keep customers informed, and how to host virtual meetings and events. Small Businesses and Non-Profits are encouraged to register here for the event.

  • The Office of the Mayor has created a page contains information and links for City of Seattle programs and services that may be helpful for residents significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Federal Government has launched a comprehensive webpage for small business owners to research their options.

Neighborhood Advocacy

  • The Alliance for Pioneer Square is hosting a virtual information session on Friday, May 8th from 1:30-2:30p on the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on Pioneer Square, relief and resources available from the City State and Federal government to all those impacted by the crisis, and the Alliance’s response to support our neighborhood. RSVP here to attend (note, a Zoom link will be provided on Thursday, May 7th to those who RSVP). Find the April, 24th 2020 meeting slides here and the webinar recording here.

  • On Thursday, April 16th, the Alliance for Pioneer Square hosted a one hour workshop in partnership with Merchant Method, aimed at providing a video marketing toolkit for businesses in Pioneer Square. The live-streaming of this workshop can still access a recording of the the presentation here. Additional training resources which can be downloaded here to further assist businesses as they scale up their video marketing efforts.

  • The Alliance for Pioneer Square, in collaboration with DEI Creative, has launched an online marketplace as a tool for member businesses to generate revenue through online sales during the Coronavirus pandemic. Read DEI Creative's full press release about Support Local here.To participate in the Pioneer Square Marketplace, register your business here.

Partner Efforts

  • The City of Seattle has capped Third-Party delivery app commission fees at 15 Percent. On Friday, mayor Jenny Durkan announced an emergency order capping third-party, app-based delivery platforms’ commission fees at 15 percent until unrestricted in-house dining returns. The policy requires that drivers receive 100 percent of tips, and it is illegal for third-party delivery companies to reduce driver pay rates in response to the new rules. This commission cap will allow restaurants that may not have considered these apps to transition to a third-party delivery service without facing further financial stressors.

  • *NEW* The Washington Nightlife & Music Association’s (WANMA) independent music venues have joined forces with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), to collectively urge Congress to help protect the music industry. To lend your support, contact your Senators and Representatives and let them know you support NIVA here and WANMA here. WANMA has also put together a quick and easy guide with key points to include in the call/email. Click here to email Senators, Representatives and all Washington State elected officials

Neighborhood Spotlight
The London Plane

Through donations made by neighbors, friends and customers over over the past few weeks, the London Plane restaurant has been able to donate and deliver nearly 13,000 meals to the staff of the University of Washington Medical Centers, Harborview & Seattle Children’s Hospital.

The London Plane has continued this partnership, with a plan to provide ongoing meal deliveries on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future, having raised close to $83,000.00 through their Feeding UW Hospital Staff Go Fund Me fundraiser.
Additional Resources

Please let us know how we might best support you. Feel free to contact any of us with comments, questions, suggestions, or concerns.

The Alliance Team