COVID-19: Business Assistance & Worker Resources
1. Preventative Measures
It bears repeating: wash your hands, avoid touching your face excessively, cover your cough, avoid crowded places, and stay home if you're feeling ill.
The Employment Security Department has programs available to your business. They have implemented emergency rules that may help you and your business in dealing with temporary layoffs, isolation, and quarantine. An overview of available benefits can be found here and details about available programs are below.
3. Export Voucher Program
The Washington State Dept of Commerce Export Assistance Team is available to help companies that need vouchers to help pay for some of the costs for certain business needs.
4. Working Capital Advances
The US Small Business Administration has a program to help small businesses get working capital advances from lenders on export orders and receivables as well as letters of credit.
5. SharedWork Program
SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours. This is a little known but powerful program to help workers stay employed while drawing needed benefits.
6. Temporary Layoffs
Businesses may request to place an employee (or group of employees) on stand by for 8 weeks and your employee can collect benefits without having to look for other work.
If you lost your job due to COVID-19-related layoffs, you may be eligible for Unemployment Benefits. If you or an immediate family member you care for is directly infected, you may qualify for state Paid Family and Medical Leave. Both are administered by the Employment Security Department, but they are different programs with separate eligibility requirements. It is important to note that you cannot receive benefits from both program at the same time.
7. Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment benefits are made available to workers who have been let go from their jobs through no fault of their own and aim to partially replace regular earnings and help meet expenses. The state has relaxed qualifications standards and expedited processing of benefits during the coronavirus emergency.
8. Paid Family and Medical Leave
If you are sick with COVID-19, as with any other illness, a healthcare provider must certify that you 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. It is recommended that you use employer-provided paid sick leave if available.
You do not have to be employed to collect PFML benefits, but you cannot collect Unemployment Benefits simultaneously.
Governor Inslee issued a proclamation stating it’s still safe for people to go outside as long as they remain at least six feet from each other. Grocery stores, doctor’s offices and other essential businesses will remain open. People can still participate in activities such as bike rides, gardening, and dog walking — as long as they follow social distancing rules.
9. Governor's Orders
The newly issued Stay Home, Stay Healthy order:
- Requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity.
- Bans all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes.
- Closes all businesses except essential businesses.
10. King County Public Health Update
Stay updated on the latest public health news through theKing County Public Health Blog >
The Washington Department of Health has published these fact-sheets to help residents decide what steps to take: