COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

City of Spokane Valley Business Resource Guide

Washington State COVID-19 website

Washington State has rolled out a website with resources, links and official updates for businesses, workers and citizens to understand the state’s response related to COVID-19.

Help for businesses and workers

COVID-19 Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

UPDATE 4/20/20: Congress and the White House are reportedly nearing agreement on another round of stimulus funding for small business relief through the CARES Act. If your business did not receive funding in the first round of SBA disaster relief (PPP or EIDL loans/grants) reach out to your financial institution and make sure your application is ready to send. Sign up for SBA updates to receive the most recent news.

The CARES Act, a $2 trillion economic stimulus package created to address COVID-19 impacts, was signed into law on March 27. The bill includes support for individuals, small businesses, large corporations, hospitals and public health, education systems, and local, state and federal government programs.

  • Economic Impact (stimulus) Payments. Visit the Internal Revenue Service website for information on individual economic impact payments. Citizens are encouraged to file 2019 tax return as soon as possible; payments should begin arriving as early as mid April. The IRS has set a website to allow individuals to track their payments.
  • CARES Act update posted by Washington State Employment Security Department (YouTube)

Business loan assistance

Federal resources

Small Business Administration (SBA) programs for COVID-19 Assistance

The SBA is promoting four funding options for Coronavirus relief:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This is an SBA loan that helps businesses keep workers employed during COVID-19. Sole proprietors and contract workers can also apply for this loan. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. Loan applications need to be submitted through a qualified financial institution. Businesses should contact their current bank or lender to see if they are offering PPP.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance. This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 to businesses that are experiencing temporary difficulties. It does not have to be repaid. This complements the traditional SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which has been in place since mid-March.  
  • SBA Debt Relief. This program will provide relief to businesses with current and new 7(a), 504 and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest and fees on these loans.
  • Express Bridge Loan. This program enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. This loan may provide vital economic support to a small business to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
  • For additional information, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955 or e-mail

State resources

The Washington State Department of Commerce (DOC) has set up a resource website that addresses COVID-19 related issues, including employment, financial assistance, insurance, health updates, small business tools and more.

Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant. This state program will provide a limited number of grants up to $10,000 to support existing small businesses with 10 or fewer full-time employees. The program will utilize up to $5 million to provide grants throughout the state. Applicants must have been in business for at least one year. Be sure to complete as many fields as possible in the application form prior to submittal. Applications for this program (for Spokane County) closed at 5 p.m., Friday, April 17.

Other grant/loan programs

  • New! US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative that will offer $5,000 grants to provide short-term relief to employers across the United States and its territories.  Apply here.

Relief for tax filing

  • Federal Taxes. Most IRS 2019 filing returns are now due July 15. The IRS has posted filing and payment deadline Q&As to address additional extensions, first quarter estimated tax payments, IRAs and HSAs.
  • State Taxes. The Annual 2019 return is now due June 15; the Quarter 1 return is now due June 30 for those that file quarterly. Businesses should still file tax returns even if they are unable to pay. Contact the Department of Revenue for additional information.

Support for families

Find financial resources for Washington families on the State Department of Financial Institutions webpage. Families can find additional support on the state’s COVID-19 webpage regarding a wide-range of needs, such as healthcare, childcare, insurance and more.

Residential landlords and renters should be aware of Governor Jay Inslee’s Moratorium on Evictions, which remains in effect through June 4.

Employment information for employers and workers

The Washington State Employment Security Department is updating information daily regarding employment benefits. Here are some direct links:

  • New 4/20/20. State unemployment benefits have been expanded to include many people currently that were previously not eligible, including many self-employed people and independent contractors.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a proclamation giving high-risk workers the right to protect themselves from COVID-19 without jeopardizing their employment or loss of income. The action provides high-risk workers with additional rights and protections.
  • The state Employment Security Department has created a frequently asked questions page with information about the new federal stimulus package known as the CARES Act. This act will impact state employment benefits.
  • Workers who are laid off temporarily or who have their hours reduced due to COVID-19 may be able to receive unemployment benefits. Employees can file for employment benefits here.
  • Employees who are asked to quarantine by a medical professional or public health official as a result of exposure to COVID-19, but are not sick, and who are not receiving paid sick leave from their employer may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
  • Workers of employers who have shut down operations temporarily because an employee is sick, and as a result, those workers have been asked to isolate or quarantine as a result of COVID-19, may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • Employees that contract COVID-19 and need to take time off can utilize employer-paid sick leave time if it is available. The Department of Labor and Industries has information about Paid Sick Leave. When this leave is not available, Paid Family & Medical Leave may be available to help.
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Learn more.
  • Print this easy-to-read reference guide that provides a list of scenarios related to COVID-19, and the benefits that may apply to workers who are impacted.

Workers’ Compensation coverage and benefits

The State Department of Labor and Industries has guidance for employers of healthcare workers and first responders regarding the Industrial Insurance Act, which allows for healthcare and treatment of COVID-19 when work-related activity has resulted in probable exposure to the virus and certain criteria are met.

Insurance information

The state’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner has information regarding health insurance, business insurance, event cancellation insurance, travel insurance and more.

Export assistance

The state’s Export Assistance Team/Division can help companies identify alternative markets and provide firms with STEP Vouchers to defray the costs of trade show or trade mission fees, airfare, interpreter and translation services, business matchmaking, export training programs and more.

In addition, The Small Business Administration’s Export Working Capital Program can help small businesses obtain working capital advances from lenders on export orders, export receivables or letters of credit.

Office of the Governor

What’s open, what’s closed and the latest state news

Washington State has rolled out a website with resources, links and official updates for businesses, workers and citizens to understand the state’s response related to COVID-19.

Washington State Gov. Inslee has issued a statewide order that requires everyone in the state to stay home and stay healthy, unless they pursue an essential activity, through May 4. The order bans all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes. It closes all businesses except for essential businesses. If you are unsure if your business should close, you can submit an inquiry to the state via this online form.

The Governor’s Office is continually updating resources for businesses regarding COVID-19 related restrictions, financial assistance, export assistance, employer and worker assistance, and insurance assistance.

Area Chambers of Commerce

Greater Spokane Incorporated and the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, in addition to other local chambers, are maintaining a COVID-19 website that provides helpful business resources, related state and federal news and legislation, and online webinars to help businesses in the recovery process.

Public Health information

Employers who need local guidance on social distancing, food service and other COVID-19 related issues can contact the Spokane Regional Health District.

The health district has issued helpful recommendations for businesses and other organizations that seek guidance in taking precautions to minimize COVID-19.

The Washington State Department of Health also provides helpful statewide resources and recommendations.

Marketing resources

Resources for all businesses:

Keeping your small business going during a crisis
Navigating COVID-19 for Small Business

Facebook resources
Twitter resources

Funding campaigns (crowdfunding, gift card purchasing, etc)

Buy Now, Play Later Initiative set up by Washington Tourism Alliance to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak by encouraging customers to purchase gift cards. Businesses can sign up for the program here.

The Spokane-area Chambers of Commerce have launched a program to support regional small businesses that are closed due to COVID-19. It encourages financial donations to help purchase gift cards at nominated small businesses. The gift cards will be donated to area nonprofits and will generate revenue for participating small businesses.

Guidance for restaurants:

National Restaurant Association – information and resources
COVID-19 Survival Guide for Restaurants (Modern Restaurant Management)

Guidance for travel/hotel/tourism businesses

Destination International – recovery plans, free webinars