BIAW realizes the burden placed upon you and your employees by Gov. Inslee’s decision to shut down construction, determining that it “is not an essential activity.” To assist during this incredibly difficult time, below is a list of important resources available to you, your employees, and your business. A more comprehensive list can be found at
Unemployment: Should you face the difficult decision to temporarily lay-off employees, please know that given the current public health crisis and the temporary shutdown of non-essential businesses across our state, access to unemployment benefits has been increased to help relieve the burden of temporary lay-offs for workers and businesses.  
  • Employees who are laid off work as a result of the governor’s Stay-at-Home order issued on March 23 are eligible for unemployment benefits.  
  • When an employee applies for benefits, they should select “laid off” as the reason for separating from an employer. Choose "Company temporarily closed" from the secondary options.
  • This does not apply to employees who are considered essential critical infrastructure workers, as outlined by the governor.
  • As new information emerges, this is subject to change.
  • Work search requirements are optional for all claimants until further notice.
  • Employees can request standby status for up to 12 weeks.
  • The one-week waiting period to be eligible for unemployment benefits is waived.

Visit the Washington State Employment Security Department here for more information or to apply for benefits.

Paid Family and Medical Leave: If an employee is sick with COVID-19, as with any other illness, a healthcare provider must certify that they are unable to work in order to qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave. Quarantine (and school closures) are not qualifying events under this program.

Health Insurance: Apply for or renewing a health insurance plan through Washington Health Plan Finder (through April 8) »

Crisis Connection: Washington Connection benefit portal video on applying for food, child care, cash, long-term care and health care for individuals with disabilities.
Small Business Administration (SBA): SBA will be providing up to $2 million in Disaster Assistance Loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the COVID-19.

The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75%.

SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years, and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship. Find out more »

B&O Extensions: The Washington State Department of Revenue is allowing businesses to request a one-time, 24-month penalty waiver if you have not owed a late penalty in the last 24 months. Also, businesses can request a 30-day extension of B&O taxes without payment or 30+ days with deposit. Find our more »

IRS Extends 2020 Tax Filing: The deadline for filing tax returns has been extended to July 15. The IRS will waive penalties and interest on tax payments for 90 days. Learn more »
For additional resources on COVID-19 including important documents in Spanish, please visit  BIAW’s resource page »

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