COVID-19 Weekly Update: September 29th, 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* Local businesses and non-profits have faced harsh economic losses from COVID-19. In light of these challenges, Congresswoman Jayapal is partnering with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide small businesses and organizations with a resources and planning workshop. If you are a business or non-profit owner in the 7th Congressional District—or you serve residents of the 7th Congressional District—and are looking for resources to help you respond to COVID-19, you may join the workshop and discussion on Wednesday, September 30th at 10AM. SBA will provide an overview of programs and services for accessing federal funding, existing funding programs including EIDL, PPP loans and forgiveness, and funding to make your business more environmentally sustainable. There will also be time to ask the SBA questions directly. RSVP is required, please register here.
  • *NEW*Gov. Jay Inslee has issued guidance for miscellaneous venues, including convention/ conference centers, designated meeting spaces in hotels, events centers and other similar venues as part of Washington's Safe Start phased reopening plan. The guidance allows business meetings, professional development training and testing, and substantially similar activities to occur away from business premises and with additional attendees, as long as all requirements are met. Read the full guidance document here.

Worker and Business Resources

  • *NEW* The Downtown Seattle Association is conducting a series of economic outlook/recovery surveys and asking business leaders and decision-makers to participate. We invite Pioneer Square business owners to participate in the Downtown Seattle Association’s Economic Outlook Survey. Information gathered in this survey will help inform our collective understanding of the impact of the coronavirus on different Seattle industries and perspectives on re-opening. Those who enter their contact information will be entered to win a $150 gift certificate to Aerlume-Seattle near Pike Place Market.

  • The Alliance for Pioneer Square has again partnered with Merchant Method to facilitate a series of free workshops with the goal of providing BIA businesses technical assistance. Throughout October and November, Merchant Method will host three workshops over four session on the a range of topics, including marketing and content creation, profitable pricing, and creative collaborations. The workshops will be held on the following dates and times:

1.CThe Infinite Content Model Workshop Part 1: Create Profitable Content Ideas For Your Business
Monday, October 5th 2:00-4:00pm

2. The Infinite Content Model Workshop Part 2: Create Profitable Content Ideas For Your Business
October 19th 2:00-4:00 pm

3. Profitable Pricing For Inventory-Based Businesses: Learn To Think Critically About Your Prices
Wednesday, October 28th 1:30-3:00pm

4.CCreative Collaborations For Small Businesses: A Guide To Creating Valuable Relationships, November 9th 2:00-3:30pm

  • In October, the Alliance for Pioneer Square will host three new Grow with Google webinars to teach you how to help your customers find your business on google search and maps, connect with customers and manage your business remotely, and use YouTube to increase growth. Learn more and RSVP below:

1.CConnect with Customers and Manage Your Business Remotely
Tuesday, October 6th, 2:00-3:00pm

2. Use YouTube to Grow Your Business
Tuesday, October 20th, 2:00-3:00pm

3. Get Your Local Business on Google Search and Maps
Tuesday, October 27th, 2:00-3:00pm

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 City of Seattle is enrolling eligible households into the Utility Discount Program (UDP) to support customers financially impacted by COVID-19. UDP provides a 60% discount on Seattle City Light (SCL) electricity bills and a 50% discount on Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) water/sewer/garbage bills for income-eligible customers. Additionally, to support customers during these unprecedented times, SCL and SPU will not disconnect service for non-payment, are waiving late and interest fees, and making every effort to proactively provide financial support, such as flexible payment plans and access to other assistance programs. Find all potential assistance available here. Customers needing can call 206-684-3000 or send an email here for more information.

  • Mayor Durkan has announced that the City of Seattle will extend its rent relief efforts for City tenants through the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn. The City’s rent relief measures provide rent deferral for for-profit tenants and rent waivers for nonprofit tenants. In addition to the Mayor’s eviction mortarium extension through the end of 2020, the City of Seattle has been offering rent deferment or waivers for City tenants since April 2020. Read the full announcement 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.

  • 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.

Reopening Resources

  • 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.

  • 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 Alliance for Pioneer Square is pleased to announce the PSQ Alley Lighting Matching Fund. With $50,000 in funding from Historic South Downtown, we aim to support alley lighting improvements in Pioneer Square. The PSQ Alley Lighting Matching Fund supports the Alliance’s initiative to address critical public safety concerns and make strides toward alley revitalization. Read more about the fund here. Applications are now open and will be accepted through November 6, 2020 at 11:59pm.

  • 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.

Neighborhood Advocacy

  • *NEW* The Alliance for Pioneer Square will host a virtual information session on Friday, October 16th 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. RSVP here to attend (note, a Zoom link will be provided on Thursday, October 15th 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.
Neighborhood Spotlight

Since the very early days of the pandemic, Two Doors Down, through the kindness and support of regulars, has been offering a meal to Industry friends unemployed due the COVID-19

Bar or restaurant workers laid-off because of the pandemic receive a free burger and fries at their Pioneer Square location on Tuesdays from 11 am to 7p. You can call ahead at 206.324.2337 and identify yourself as Industry OR swing by and dine in house.
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