Monthly Archives: September 2020

Update on small business assistance

September 28th, 2020|

Dear Neighbors,

As I wrote you last week, our federal, state and local governments are stepping up assistance for people and businesses affected by the pandemic. In addition to the rental, mortgage, and child care assistance that I listed in my previous e-newsletter, they are also offering generous help for small businesses. You can find details described below.

Loans and debt relief

The state Department of Financial Institutions has a website dedicated to the state and federal resources available to small businesses, including emergency loans.

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance
    This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties that does not have to be repaid. This complements the traditional SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which has been in place for the entire nation, all territories and Washington, D.C. since mid-March. Approval notification is estimated at approximately three days. The program is currently accepting applications.
  • Paycheck Protection Program
    Primarily for payroll expenses, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provided loans for small businesses. The program is not accepting new applications, but is now accepting applications from loan recipients for forgiveness.
  • SBA Debt Relief
    The Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This covers all principal, interest and fees on current and new SBA 7(a) loans made through Sep. 27, 2020, for up to six months.
  • Express Bridge Loan
    The SBA’s Express Bridge Loan allows small businesses that have an existing business relationship with a participating lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Grants

Puget Sound Energy Foundation is providing grants to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 serve and reopen operations. Grant sizes range between $1,000 – $20,000. Next deadlineOctober 1 with awards in December.

Technical assistance coaching

King County offers small businesses technical assistance coaching from a U.S. Treasury Certified Community Development Financial Institution. You can use an online request form through this site, or call 206-331-3275 (Relay 711) and leave your contact information. A coach will call back within two business days for a coaching call, with a language interpreter on the line if requested.

Webinars with up-to-date info, and live Q & A

The state puts on a monthly webinar series presents information specific to Washington small businesses. The series features brief presentations from state and federal agencies and open-mic Q & A time. Topics include unemployment insurance, returning employees to work, PPP and EIDL loans, workplace safety, face covering requirements, and other subjects important to employers.

Stay in Touch

If you’d like to follow what I’m working on, you can like my official legislative Facebook page here.

Please don’t hesitate to stay in touch. Stay safe and take care.

Always,

Senator Karen Keiser
Chair, Senate Labor & Commerce Committee
Senate President Pro Tempore

Rental, mortgage, and child care assistance

September 18th, 2020|

Dear Neighbors,

As we enter the fall still feeling the effects of the pandemic, state and local governments are stepping up assistance for people in need. If you need emergency help with food, housing, or other services, contact King County Crisis Connections (call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 877-211-9274). If you are in need of rental or mortgage assistance or child care, or you know someone who is, you can find information below about programs to help. In my next newsletter, I will provide information about assistance for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Child Care

For families facing new child care needs during the pandemic, Child Care Aware of Washington operates a free statewide referral line to connect families with vacant child care slots. Call 1-800-446-1114 or contact them here. The Working Connection Child Care program helps lower-income families and working parents pay for child care. When a family qualifies for benefits and selects an eligible child care provider, the state pays a portion of the cost. The City of Seattle also operates a local child care subsidy program for city residents.

Additionally, many of our local school districts are partnering with community organizations to provide low-cost child care while students are doing distance learning:

  • Federal Way Public Schools is partnering with Right At School to offer families who qualify for Free & Reduced Meals a 25% discount for high-quality, flexible 2020-21 school year child care.
  • Highline Public Schools is partnering with community organizations to provide fee-based child care at several sites. Fees will be charged on a sliding scale.
  • Kent School District is partnering with the YMCA and Champions to offer child care at select schools on weekdays, open to all KSD families for a weekly cost.
  • Renton School District is partnering with Right At School to provide fee-based child care for elementary school students at three sites across the district: Hazelwood, Maplewood Heights, and Sartori.
  • Seattle Public Schools is partnering with the City of Seattle and community organizations to provide full-day child care in nearly 50 elementary and K8 schools while buildings are closed for COVID-19.
  • Auburn School District and Tukwila School District provide information for local families, as well.

Rental Assistance

For people having trouble paying rent or facing eviction due to the financial hardships brought on by the pandemic, there are several sources of assistance. King County provides a wealth of information here, but several particular programs are worth highlighting.

The United Way of King County has expanded its rental assistance program to meet the increased need during the pandemic. One month of rental assistance is being offered to people in King County struggling to pay rent due to the coronavirus.

Another source of rental assistance for residents of Auburn, Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, SeaTac, or Tukwila is the Multi-Service Center’s Covid program. They accept a limited number of applications each week from households affected by the pandemic. Applications open on Sundays for the following week.

Finally, for people facing eviction, King County is participating in our state’s Eviction Rent Assistance program, which is funded by federal CARES Act dollars. If you are in need of assistance to forestall eviction, you can fill in a form online to be entered in the lottery pool. Drawings are held weekly, starting this week, to select tenants who may apply.

Mortgage Assistance

Homeowners who cannot pay their mortgage may have the right to temporary forbearance. The federal CARES Act provides protections for homeowners with federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) backed mortgages (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac). If you don’t have a federally or GSE-backed mortgage, you still may have relief options through your mortgage loan servicer.

You can get assistance by contacting your mortgage servicer, or by calling the state Department of Financial Institutions at their toll-free number 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334) to learn how best to contact your mortgage servicer, and to learn more about your options.

In addition, if you would like to talk to a housing counselor, you can call the Washington Homeownership Hotline at 1.877.894.HOME.

Stay in Touch

If you’d like to follow what I’m working on, you can like my official legislative Facebook page here.

Please don’t hesitate to stay in touch. Stay safe and take care.

Always,

Senator Karen Keiser
Chair, Senate Labor & Commerce Committee
Senate President Pro Tempore