COVID-19 Weekly Update: September 15th, 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 part of a series of weekly messages outlining impacts and resources available. Find each weekly email to date on our website.

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

What's Happening

  • *NEW* Mayor Durkan has announced up to $11.6 million in funding for homeless service providers to help cover COVID-19 costs in 2020. Funding to these agencies, which include Chief Seattle Club, Compass Housing and The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), will cover additional costs incurred as a result of modifications in physical space, operations and support services designed to ensure the safety of individuals accessing these services and to maintain higher-level services throughout the pandemic. Read the full announcement here

  • The Alliance for Pioneer Square/Pioneer Square BIA is providing COVID-19 Retail Kits to Pioneer Square businesses, with funding from Historic South Downtown, in support of it's Pride and Resilience effort. The “Pioneer Square Welcome Back” kits will be available to all street-level businesses. Alliance staff and neighborhood volunteers will distribute kits to businesses throughout September. Find more information here.

Reopening Resources

  • Visit Seattle has created the All Clear King County Pledge, a health and safety pledge that allows them to curate a list of businesses within King County that are making health and safety a top priority. Participating businesses will receive a toolkit with shareable digital badges, social media verbiage, and printable signage to signify their pledge promise and provide reassurance to customers. Review full guidelines and take the pledge here.

  • The City of Seattle is launching a series of Phase 2 reopening toolkits to help small businesses authorized to reopen under the Governor’s guidance to navigate public health requirements and financial considerations. The toolkits provide critical information for small business owners, including a reopening checklist, resources to access Personal Protective Equipment and financial assistance, testing information, and rent and commercial lease assistance. The City has toolkits for the following industries: Restaurants and taverns, Personal services, Professional services, In-store retail, Fitness and training, Domestic services. The toolkits are available on the City’s new reopening website.

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

Financial Resources

  • *NEW* The Seattle Metro Chamber, which serves as the King County Associate Development organization, is working to ensure that $580,000 in federal funding reaches king County small businesses. This is part of the $10 million that Washington state received for small business support from the federal CARES Act. Awards of $5,000, $7,500 or $10,000 are available to small businesses within King County. Find more information and apply here. Applications close September 28th.

  • SBA is accepting EIDL applications from qualified businesses. Businesses that have not previously applied may now apply for the loan which can be used for debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a PPP loan. Read more and apply 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.

Worker and Business Resources

  • *NEW* In response to requests from neighborhood stakeholders, our partners at The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) will conduct a virtual de-escalation training on Wednesday, September 30, 12:30 – 4:00 PM. In this 3.5-hour virtual training, participants will learn to better identify levels of crisis and appropriate approaches to engage with people in challenging circumstances. Please Note, Class size will be limited to a maximum of 14 participants to ensure a meaningful experience for all participants. Registration will be first come, first served. Due to limited class size, participation will be limited to one person from any business. Once we reach the maximum number of participants, we will maintain a wait-list and notify you if a space becomes available.This is the first in a series of ongoing trainings, additional trainings by DESC, as well as other Pioneer Square partners, will be announced soon. Funded in part by Historic South Downtown. Register here today! Note this training is available for first floor businesses only.

  • *NEW* The Seattle Metro Chamber in partnership with the SLU Chamber, Alliance for Pioneer Square, and Queen Anne Chamber will host District 7 Seattle City Council member Andrew Lewis on September 23rd, from 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, for a discussion of issues the district's business community is facing. We will hear from a panel of District 7 businesses on their experiences this year and questions for Council member Lewis on COVID-19 concerns and reopening difficulties, public safety efforts, rent and mortgage relief, and more. RSVP here.

  • Last month, we hosted a three-part webinar series with Google on how businesses can reach customers online with Google, use data to drive growth, and make their business websites work. A copy of the presentation slides and recordings from all three events is available here.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a four-month ban on evictions for most renters, allowing some people who are unable to pay rent to stay in their current housing through the end of the year. Learn more here.

  • King County has created a new program to assist households economically impacted by the coronavirus due to illness, loss of income or unemployment who have been unable to meet rent obligations and are at risk for eviction. King County is accepting interest forms from tenants, small landlords, large property landlords and managers, manufactured home park owners and managers, and local nonprofits who wish to participate in a new Eviction Prevention and Rent Assistance Program. Over $41 million is dedicated to helping local area residents. Learn more about the program here.

  • Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced an extension to the moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small businesses evictions in Seattle. The extension puts the moratorium in place through December 31, 2020 and while in place, property owners cannot issue eviction notices unless there is a threat to the health and safety of the community. The order also prohibits late fees due to late payments on rent. Find more information here.

  • Seattle City Light (SCL) is reaching out to local business communities to share information about resources and services offered in response to COVID-19 to help during these challenging times. In addition to flexible payment plans, SCL is offering bill deferral to all customers and free virtual energy assessment to identify energy saving tips to save customers money on their electricity bill. Learn more about eligibility and request Seattle City Light bill deferral or a virtual energy assessment here or call (206) 256-5200.

  • 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 philanthropic partners can be found on the OED's weekly Bottom Line blog.

  • The Office of the Mayor has created a page containing 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

  • *NEW* Support Seattle's Small Businesses: Two weeks ago, the Alliance for Pioneer Square called on our community to act in support of small businesses. We asked our community to voice support for the Small Business Safety Pledge drafted by Seattle Neighborhood Business Districts, including the Alliance, to redefine expectations for basic needs and safety measures to ensure clean, safe, welcoming and vibrant business districts. On Monday, Sep. 14th, the Pledge with overwhelming support of 500+ signatures, was delivered to City Council and the Mayor's Office. We are keeping this pledge open for anyone still interested in signing on. Read our call to action and voice your support here. Signatures are still being collected, add your support!

  • *NEW* The Alliance for Pioneer Square will host a virtual information session on Friday, September 18th from 1:30-2:30p where we will be presenting on the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on Pioneer Square, and the Alliance’s response to support our neighborhood. We will be joined by representatives from DESC and Compass Alliance to provide an update on their organizations' activities. RSVP here to attend (note, a Zoom link will be provided on Thursday, September 17th to those who RSVP). Find previous meeting slides and webinar recordings here.

  • 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

  • Mayor Durkan has launched “Seattle Protects”, an online marketplace to connect local manufacturers and businesses with organizations, communities, and individuals in need of cloth face coverings. Seattle Protects seeks to help local organizations, businesses, and nonprofits struggling to find face coverings at the scale necessary to serve their workforce. Learn more here.
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