As a small business owner myself, I understand the significant and abrupt impact felt by so many hardworking business owners and workers throughout our state.

We are continuing to work with health officials and other state leaders on the steps to allow our economy to safely reopen. In the meantime, there are tools available now to help support businesses that are feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Here are some resources that may be of interest:

Washington Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Legislature provided funding, and the Department of Commerce is implementing, a program offering a limited number of grants (up to $10,000) available to small businesses with up to 10 employees. More information can be found here.

Paycheck Protection Program: The federal CARES Act authorized up to $349 billion to create the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help cover payroll, rent, mortgage and utility costs eligible for non-profits and small businesses with under 500 employees. Find more information here.

Emergency disaster loans: The Small Business Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Program provides targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and non-profits that cannot exceed a rate of 4%, for up to 30 years. The CARES Act allocated $10 billion to provide $10,000 advances to applicants. Find more information here.

Debt relief: The CARES Act included $17 billion for the Small Business Debt Relief Program, offering six months of loan forgiveness for non-profits and small businesses that currently have SBA 504 or 7(a) loans, as well as forgiveness for any similar loans approved, closed or funded before Sept. 27, 2020. Find more information here.

Bridge loans: The Small Business Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program helps businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to potentially access up to $25,000 to bridge the gap while waiting for a decision and disbursement on a direct Economic Injury Disaster loan.

Sen. Billig on Inside Olympia

I joined Austin Jenkins on TVW’s ‘Inside Olympia’ program to discuss the state’s response to the crisis so far and what challenges we face in the coming months. Watch it here.

New efforts to end price gouging

Price gouging is illegal under the Consumer Protection Act, but the Attorney General’s office has received more that 400 complaints since the beginning of March. To protect Washington consumers, the state has launched the ‘See It, Snap It, Send It’ campaign to encourage Washingtonians to provide photos with their complaints. Photos and screenshots are useful tools for investigators looking into these complaints. For more information or to file a complaint, click here.