City of Spokane Valley COVID Resources
Update 2.19.21. Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday signed House Bill 1368, which appropriates $2.2 billion in federal funding that has been allocated to states in response to the ongoing COVID emergency. The legislation takes effect immediately
Update 2.11.21. Gov Inslee announced that the Spokane region will move to Phase 2 in the state’s reopening plan on Feb. 14, allowing restaurants, gyms and entertainment establishments to open to 25% capacity.
Update 2.8.21. Gov. Inslee has signed SB 5061 which relieves employers of individual benefit charges for unemployment claims that occurred between March 22 and May 30, 2020, the period of the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, and caps certain tax rates through 2025. Learn More
Update 1.11.21. Washington State has initiated a new COVID regional recovery strategy. Spokane County is in phase 1. To move to phase 2 in the new plan, regions will have to meet four metrics. Learn more in the “Guidance for Reopening Businesses” section below.
Update 1.11.21 The Paycheck Protection Program loan program, which helps businesses keep workers employed during COVID-19, resumed Jan. 11. Qualified businesses that received loans in the first COVID relief program may apply for a second loan. The program is accepting applications through March 31.
Update 1.5.21. Gov. Jay Inslee has released a new “roadmap to recovery” for the state that outlines a regional approach to economic recovery. Regions are mostly based on emergency medical services (EMS) used for evaluating healthcare services. The final metrics for regions will be calculated Jan. 8 and become effective on Jan. 11.
Washington State COVID-19 website
Access Washington State’s central COVID-19 website with resources, links and updates for businesses, workers and citizens. View general guidance for reopening businesses, county status and what’s open.
Guidance for reopening businesses
On Jan. 5, Gov. Inslee announced the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan, which lays out the process to safely reopen Washington state. The state’s COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard provides data about COVID-19 activity in each county/region as well as a link to a weekly report showing which phase each region is in. The full Healthy Washington phased chart is available here. View the Governor’s Office current COVID-19 reopening guidelines for various business sectors.
Important Reference Documents
- Regional Phase Status (“Roadmap to Recovery”) – Effective Feb. 15, the Spokane Region is in Phase 2.
- Outdoor and Open-air Structures
- Voluntary Contact Information
The following business activities must adhere to the occupancy and operation requirements outlined for their region’s Healthy Washington phase:
Professional Services – Professional Services
Personal Services – Personal Services
Eating and Drinking Establishments – Restaurants, Taverns, Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries
Sports, Recreation and Fitness:
- Fitness and Training
- Outdoor Recreation
- Water Recreation
- Sporting Activities: recreational, K-12, higher education and professional
- Racing: non-motorized and motorized
Indoor Entertainment Establishments
Outdoor Entertainment Establishments
All employers must follow COVID-19 prevention protocols for employees as required by the Department of Labor and Industries. Industry-specific workplace requirements are listed below:
Additional Industry Requirements
General questions from employers about the safe start plan can be directed to the state’s Business Response Center.
Help with locating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The Association of Washington Business has developed a PPE Marketplace website that connects Washington businesses with manufacturers and distributors who supply PPE. Area manufacturers and suppliers can also request to be added to the marketplace. There is also a list of suppliers on the Greater Spokane Inc. website.
Additional resources for business reopening & recovery
- A toolkit for reopening a business (provided free by Association of Washington Business)
- Greater Spokane Incorporated – Business Recovery Resources
- Ready to Reopen: A Playbook for Small Business – a publication of the US Chamber of Commerce
- FEMA Starter Kit for workshop on restarting operations
- Additional AWB resources and guidance to help businesses plan for reopening
- Additional workplace safety guidance on the state’s Business & Workers page.
Financial resources for businesses
Regional Business Tool
Spokane-area Chambers of Commerce have launched a new digital tool to help businesses determine the local, state and federal resources that are currently available and best meet their needs. Businesses can register to receive updates as new resources come online.
Business loan assistance
- Small Business Administration (SBA) programs for COVID-19 Assistance
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This SBA loan helps businesses keep workers employed during COVID-19. Sole proprietors, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, tribal businesses and independent contractors can also apply. Loan applications need to be submitted through a qualified lender. The loan program resumed Jan. 11, 2021.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance. This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 to businesses that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Beginning June 15, SBA is again accepting new loan applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.
- 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.
- 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.
- Main Street Lending Program – The Federal Reserve Board has officially opened its Main Street Lending Program to small and mid-size businesses and has told lenders to start making loans immediately. Borrowers must apply for program loans through a participating lender.
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.
Worker and workplace assistance
Employment Security Department
The Washington State Employment Security Department is updating information daily.
- Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 5061 on Feb. 8, 2021, which relieves employers of individual benefit charges for unemployment claims that occurred between March 22 and May 30, 2020, the period of the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, and caps certain tax rates through 2025. Learn More
- Learn about current state unemployment benefits which have been expanded to include many people who were traditionally not eligible, including self-employed and independent contractors. Workers who are laid off or furloughed temporarily can file unemployment claims here.
- The state Employment Security Department has created a frequently asked questions page with information about the federal CARES Act stimulus package.
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
- 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.
Managing workplace safety
The State Department of Labor and Industries, Washington State Department of Health, and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can provide guidance and resources to employers and workers. Information is available for specific industries, such as construction, manufacturing, retail, delivery services, agriculture, and food & beverage.
- Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statewide mandatory face covering order effective June 26 and an updated facial covering order on July 24. Read best practices for business owners in meeting these face covering requirements.
- The Washington State Department of Health recommends that employers notify their local health jurisdiction if they suspect COVID-19 is spreading in the workplace, or if the employer is aware of employees who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 symptoms.
- Associated Industries has developed training videos for employers to help workers understand appropriate techniques for hand washing, mask-wearing, glove and hand sanitizer usage.
The state’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner has information regarding health insurance, business insurance, event cancellation insurance, travel insurance and more.
Washington State has set new requirements for commercial airports and recommendations for airlines. This is a statewide approach to the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect the health and safety of workers, passengers and crew in the aviation sector.
Area Chambers of Commerce
Greater Spokane Inc. and the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, in addition to other local chambers, maintain an extensive COVID-19 website that provides helpful resources, state and federal news and policy updates, and online webinars to help businesses in the recovery process.
Spokane-area chambers have launched a digital tool to help businesses determine the local, state and federal resources that are available and best meet their needs. This includes financial resources. Businesses can also register to receive updates as new resources become available.
Support for families and individuals
- Spokane Valley Partners can assist area families that need food assistance. Mobile food bank distributions may be scheduled. Contact the agency at 509-927-1153 for more information.
- Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP) may be able to help area residents with rent, mortgage, utility bills and basic internet service fees. To seek assistance, please email SNAP at email@example.com, or call 509.319.3010 or 509.456.7627, ext. 7200.
- Drive-in WiFi hot spots are available in the area for those who need internet connectivity.
- 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 healthcare, childcare, insurance and more.
- Visit the Internal Revenue Service website for information on individual economic impact payments initiated through the CARES Act.
- The pandemic can cause stress for individuals and families that are facing unique challenges. Resources and support programs are available to provide assistance with mental and emotional well-being. Please reach out if you need guidance.
- The Fig Tree Inland NW COVID-19 resource map on Google provides the locations of local agencies and support services that can assist families, including food banks, senior centers, emergency services and other options.
- Second Harvest has teamed with Food Lifeline and Northwest Harvest to create an interactive map of food banks and meal programs statewide.
- Residential landlords and renters should be aware of Governor Jay Inslee’s extension of the eviction moratorium, which remains in effect through March 31, 2021.
- Via Gov. Inslee’s proclamation, energy, water and landline telephone companies are prohibited from disconnecting any residential customers from energy, landline telephone or water services due to nonpayment on an active account, except at the request of the customer. It also prohibits companies from charging fees for late payment. This proclamation has been extended through April 30, 2021.
Public health information
- Update 12.20.20. Washington State has approved the use of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Here is the state’s plan for vaccine distribution.
- The Washington State Department of Health recently announced the launch of WA Notify, a tool designed to alert users that they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. The goal is to reduce the spread of the virus. The tool works through smartphones, doesn’t share any personal information and is private. Users must opt in to participate. For more information, including how to active it on your smartphone, visit WANotify.org.
- Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statewide mandatory face covering order effective June 26; the governor issued a proclamation July 2 extending the face covering requirement for businesses statewide and halting county advancements. Businesses may not serve any customer not in compliance with face covering requirements.
- View a list of COVID screening and testing locations in the Spokane region.
- Employers who need local guidance on physical distancing, food service and other COVID-19 related health 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.
Reopening your business
Ready to Reopen: A Playbook for Small Business – a publication of the US Chamber of Commerce
Research and Data
The Spokane Business Library is a collaboration between the Spokane County Library District and Spokane Public Library that provides web-based access to numerous research and information databases.
Marketing resources for all businesses
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:
Spokane Regional Health District Covid-19 Food Establishment Guidance
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