On this page, small business employees and workers can find links to relief resources, layoff assistance, community-based support groups, and other learning resources to help navigate these challenging times.
The state Employment Security Department (ESD) recommends workers take the following four steps to help ensure their unemployment benefits are filed correctly and start quickly:
- Sign up for the agency’s COVID-19 action alerts.
- Download and review the ESD eligibility checker (pdf). This will help workers determine if they are currently eligible for benefits.
- Download and read the application checklist (pdf) to make sure that you have what you need.
- A SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account is needed to file an unemployment claim. ESD recently posted a video that explains the process to be followed in order to apply for benefits. After reviewing the video, please sign up for a SAW account.
The federal stimulus bill that extends CARES Act unemployment benefits was signed into law in March 2021. The legislation extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Employment Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and continues the additional $300 per week for all eligible claimants until Sept. 4, 2021. By federal law, all claimants will get the additional $300 benefit, except those receiving Training Benefits.
Employee Resources for Service Workers: Undocumented workers, know your rights, rent assistance, utility discounts, bartender grants, artist grants, food and supplies, addiction support, and more! Resources in English and Spanish.
Intro to unemployment insurance webinars: Download the slides from the webinar (now passed). Covering information and benefits available to on unemployed people. By the WA State Employment Security Dept.
Layoff Assistance for Workers and Employers: Resources for both businesses and workers, compiled and created by the Employment Security Department.
Paid Sick Leave Information and Resources: As of Jan. 1, 2018, employers in Washington State are required to provide paid sick leave to their employees. By the WA State Dept. of Labor & Industries
Resources for individuals/employees: United Way of King County’s recommended process for getting help as an unemployed person during the pandemic.
Scenarios and benefits table: Employment Security Department table showing different benefits available that apply in connection to temporary layoffs, isolation, and quarantine for workers and businesses.
COVID-19 Reopening guideance for Businesses and Workers: Governor’s office resources for finances, exporting, employer & worker relations and insurance.
Worker’s Compensation Coverage and General COVID-19 Questions: The State Dept. of Labor & Industries commonly asked questions on worker’s compensation in the time of COVID.
RELIEF SUPPORT & CAPITAL
Relief for undocumented service workers: Están ofreciendo asistencia financiera para TODOS los trabajadores de servicios que experimentan dificultades. Por favor, tenga paciencia, están siendo inundados con solicitudes. Help in Spanish and in English
Various Relief Funding applications and opportunities for workers and employees: Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation page listing various COVID-19 relief resources.
Byrd Barr Place Energy Assistance Program: If you live in Seattle and your household income is at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, you may be eligible for financial assistance with your utility bill. Byrd Barr Place administers the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help households pay for electric, gas, wood, propane and oil heating and Puget Sound Energy’s Home Energy Lifeline Program (PSE HELP) for Puget Sound Energy customers who use gas heat. In addition, Byrd Barr Place also administers the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program that serves eligible households who have been disconnected or are in imminent threat of disconnection. This program assists with drinking water and/or wastewater services. Clients must have an active Seattle Public Utility account to apply for water assistance. Review eligibility criteria and apply online or by mail. You can apply once per year from October through September.
SUPPORT GROUPS & ORGANIZATIONS
Full Service Worker’s Alliance: Composed from individuals actively working in all roles in the full service restaurant industry. The FSWA is determined to bring workers and employers together with Legislators to stand up and protect our Full Service Restaurant culture. The dynamic created by bringing full service workers together creates an engaged community and positive working environment.
Support Seattle’s Local Businesses FB group: Facebook Group for local businesses seeking help.
COVID-19 Seattle-Area Emergency Food Resources Map: City of Seattle Human Services map to help the general public locate food resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ORCA Recovery Card: SDOT is providing temporary, no-cost ORCA Cards for people working in the Little Saigon, Chinatown-International District (CID), Japantown, and Pioneer Square neighborhoods in food service and grocery industries in order to help support small business recovery. The Recovery Cards are fully-subsidized and can be used for unlimited trips on public transit. They were originally valid through December 31, 2021 but the benefits have been extended to the end of 2022.
In order for a business to qualify for the ORCA Recovery Card, it must meet three requirements: 1) It must reside within the geographic boundary outlined HERE, 2) The business must not have more than 5 locations in the City of Seattle, 3) The business cannot already provide a comparable transportation benefit.
You can apply for a Recover card here.
Financial Literacy Guide for individuals during COVID-19: A guide to finances from Annuity, with information from specifics such as taxes, retirement plans, and loans, to the global economy.
Free and discounted remote working tools during COVID-19– Tools include sales, marketing, hiring, collaborative working, finance, customer support, security, and other online tools! From Notion.
Internet Essentials: Comcast is offering two months free internet essentials to new customers in response to emergency measures associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Public Health – Seattle & King County: In recognition that retail food service establishments are financially impacted by measures to control the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID‐19), Public Health is taking specific and immediate steps. On this page you can find resources and policies, in dozens of languages.
Visit our dedicated PPE page to find out how to buy, sell, manufacture, and learn more about PPE resources!
Seattle Good Business Network members from Northwest Sewn and Seattle Made programs have been manufacturing, donating, buying, selling, and providing materials for the production of PPE/face masks. Find out how you can get involved and/or support these local businesses and their initiatives.
Help Support Our Mission
By supporting Seattle Good Business Network, you help support our work to build a vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive local economy, and to help our local businesses when they need it the most. Learn about all the work we do here.