• Washington State Join Information Center - Small Business News

    February 11, 2021

    State Legislature is likely to soon pass additional aid for small businesses

    Washington State Legislature House Bill 1368 is the early-action bill that would provide $240 million for a new round of Working Washington business grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The legislation would allocate some of this aid to businesses temporarily forced to fully closed due to COVID-19 impacts, and to businesses that have not closed but have had overwhelming impact from the COVID recession. The bill has passed the House and is currently being considered in the Senate. Assistant Director Chris Green of Commerce’s Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness provided an update on details of the bill during a recent interview with the Association of Washington Business.

    Washington Requirements and Resources webinar for businesses start-ups

    The Washington Small Business Liaison Team is launching a new training opportunity for people starting a business. The free, one hour webinar includes information about business registration and licensing, other regulatory requirements and resources for further assistance. The webinar is scheduled for March 2 at 9 a.m. Click here for more information and to register online or call 800-917-0043.

    New resource for information and technical assistance for small businesses

    A new website created by the Washington State Small Business Recovery Working Group aims to simplify and supplement details provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and provide current information on available relief programs for Washington's small businesses and eligible non-profits, as well as the organizations that assist them. 

    The goal is to help as many Washington small businesses and non-profits as possible access the help they need. Information will be added and updated as new guidance is released and as new resources become available.

    SBA takes steps to improve First Draw Paycheck Protection Program loan review

    The U.S. Small Business Administration is taking steps to improve the First Draw Paycheck Protection Program loan review so that small businesses have as much time as possible to access much needed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds. 

    The SBA is working in close partnership with the new federal administration to further leverage its resource partner network and expand on multilingual access and outreach about the PPP. Updated PPP information, including forms, guidance and resources is at: www.sba.gov/ppp and www.treasury.gov/cares.

    Unemployment insurance bill signing

    Gov. Jay Inslee and the Legislature prioritized critical relief and support for Washington’s employers and unemployed workers by signing Senate Bill 5061. This is the first bill Inslee has signed into law this session, indicating just how important it is to the economic health of our state.

    Washington's Employment Security Department (ESD) has begun to provide tax relief to employers before their next payment is due in April and will communicate directly with employers, so they have the information they need for their 2021 tax payments. For unemployed workers, ESD will be ready to deliver the new, higher minimum weekly benefit amount as soon as it takes effect on July 1, 2021.

    With passage of the ESSB 5061, SharedWork benefits paid or reimbursed by the federal government are not charged to experience rating accounts of employers or to employers who are liable for payments in lieu of contributions. Because of this bill, ESD will not charge any amount of SharedWork benefits that are paid or reimbursed by the federal government. Under the Continued Assistance Act, full federal funding for SharedWork benefits lasts until the week ending March 13, 2021.