Resources for Businesses
Last updated July 28, 2020. Please check back for updates as more resources are identified.
COVID-19: Resources and Relief for Businesses
This page is dedicated to help businesses stay in business. For additional support, please contact:
Economic Development Specialist
Email James Palmer
Updated Guidance for Specific Industries
Governor Jay Inslee has announced the following revisions to the Safe Start Washington Plan:
Slight revisions have been made to the Personal Services workplace safety guidance to be followed by barbers, stylists, beauticians, and cosmetologists. The amended guidance lifts some requirements (access through front entrance, requirement of customer hand-washing before service, and requirement providing each customer with a new cape) and clarifies other requirements. While personal service providers may not be able to distance six feet from customers, booths and workstations should be appropriately spaced or be separated by physical barriers.
Weddings and Funerals
Under the new guidance, ceremonies will remain permitted, but receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies must adhere to current guidance; for all phases, maximum indoor occupancy is 20%, or up to 30 people, whichever is less, as long as social distancing can be observed.
These revisions will take effect on August 6, providing a grace period for weddings and funerals previously scheduled to take place or readjust their plans.
Monroe CARES Grant Program
On Wednesday, June 17, the City of Monroe announced the establishment of of the Monroe CARES grant program to disburse $110,000 in CARES Act funds to businesses and non-profits affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The program will disburse funds through two grant programs: The Small Business Relief Grant will make available $60,000 for Monroe businesses, and the Community Relief Grant will make available an additional $50,000 for non-profit organizations that serve Monroe’s most vulnerable residents.
Guidelines, eligibility information and the application for the Small Business Relief Grant can be found on the grant’s webpage.
Community Relief Grant guidelines and eligibility criteria are under development and will be announced in early July.
Monroe Business Newsletters
The June 2020 Monroe Economic Development Special Phase 2 Newsletter includes important updates for businesses reopening in Phase 2. Governor Inslee announced on Friday, June 5 that Snohomish County would be moving to Phase 2 effective immediately. This special edition newsletter provides details and links to general and industry-specific guidelines businesses must follow to reopen in Phase 2, and helpful information for businesses to confirm or ascertain their maximum capacity details.
The June 2020 Monroe Economic Development Business Newsletter includes important updates on Snohomish County’s application for a variance to advance to Phase II, financial resource and assistance programs, and announcements regarding events taking place in Monroe.
The May 2020 Monroe Economic Development Business Newsletter includes important updates regarding the Safe Start Washington phased economic reopening, the metrics used to determine the appropriate time to transition between phases, guidance for businesses reopening in Phase 1 and much more.
Resources for Monroe Businesses and Workers
This document will help Monroe Businesses and their workers identify and navigate the various Federal, State and local assistance programs being made available during the COVID-19 crisis. These programs include loans, grants and special considerations for filing taxes and unemployment insurance for businesses as well as information on extended and enhanced unemployment benefits, cash grants, payment moratoriums, student loan relief and other programs for individual workers.
The city hosted a Virtual Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, April 14, in which Mayor Geoffrey Thomas and Economic Development Specialist James Palmer provided further details of the relief programs described in the Business Resources section below. Click here to access the presentation from the Town Hall.
Essential Business vs. Non-Essential Business
On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a Proclamation directing all residents immediately to heed current State public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as the State Public Health Officer may designate as critical to protect health and well-being of all Washingtonians. This order goes into effect Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at midnight (2400 hrs).
- Are you an Essential Business? (PDF) (City of Monroe letter to businesses)
- Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers (Governor’s office)
- Business Re-Entry Registration (Washington Military Department)
If your business provides an essential service please register with the State using this form. While registering does not guarantee you will be permitted to operate, it provides consistency about how these decisions are made. We are awaiting additional details about how the order will be implemented.
There is relief available, and resources to help you better understand COVID-19 from a business perspective.
- Resources to help workers and employers prepare for COVID-19 (U.S. Department of Labor)
- Information about resources small businesses can access now to navigate their business through the COVID-19 pandemic (Small Business Administration)
- Programs and initiatives (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act)
- Resource List for COVID-19 Impacted Businesses and Employees (Governor’s Office)
- Business Resiliency Toolkit (Washington Small Business Development Center)
- Support for affected employers (Washington State)
- Help your business manage crisis (WA State Department of Commerce)
- Business relief during COVID-19 crisis (WA State Department of Revenue)
- Resources for Employers (Association of Washington Business)
- Resources for small and large businesses; tips on how to manage the impacts; and how-to worksheets and webinars on building business resiliency (Greater Seattle Partners)
- Information for Businesses/Employers(Snohomish health District)
- Resources for Businesses in Snohomish County (Economic Alliance of Snohomish County)
- Small Business Assistance Resources (PDF) (compiled by King County Public Health)
US Chamber of Commerce announces Save Small Business Fund
The US Chamber of Commerce has announced the Save Small Business Fund to provide grants to US small businesses in "economically vulnerable communities" impacted by the COVID-19 shut down (the entire 98272 zip code qualifies). These grants will be on a "rolling basis" meaning a first come first serve basis while funds are available. To qualify you must:
- Employ between 3 and 20 people
- Be located in an economically vulnerable community
- Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic
The application process opened on April 20; visit the Save Small Business Fund page for more information and to apply.
Working Washington Grant Application Closed
The Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant administered through the Washington State Department of Commerce and Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) closed the application process on Friday, April 10th at noon. EASC received 2,298 applications, of which 145 will be forwarded to Commerce for a final cut. Monroe Businesses submitted 149 applications. The process for EASC to review and score these applications before sending up to Commerce will likely go to the end of April and be submitted to Commerce sometime early May. Awards could be expected to be announced by June.
U.S. Small Business Administration Halts Loan Funding
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that the $300+ billion funding provided in the C.A.R.E.S Act has been exhausted, and the SBA has ceased taking applications for all loans, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Additional funding programs are being debated in the House and Senate, and Congress is expected to hammer out a deal in the coming days. Should additional funding be approved, please remember that the PPP can only be applied for through an SBA-approved lending institution, and borrowers who wish to apply are directed to their lending institution. Some financial institutions are continuing to take applications, but only to fill a queue so that if and when new funding is announced, they will be ready to start processing new loans and send up to SBA immediately. Check with your financial institution to see what their procedures are for taking new applications for PPP loans. The EIDLs are applied for directly on the SBA website, which is no longer taking applications until new funding is appropriated. Keep checking back to the SBA website for the latest information on if and when they will start accepting new applications.
Republic Services has temporarily suspended mandatory garbage service for non-essential businesses that have closed during this pandemic. Please contact Republic Services for additional information.
Join and support our local businesses on this newly created Facebook page hosted by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce.
Monroe’s Delivery & Takeout Options Amid COVID19.