COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
We have compiled the list of resources below to help businesses and individuals quickly find the help they need. We will update it as information becomes available.
Although we are working remotely to follow recommendations for safety and social distancing, we continue to work with and advocate on behalf of impacted businesses and individuals in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. We are available to assist you!
Businesses: If you have questions or concerns about your workforce needs, please contact our Business Services Team.
Individuals: For help with unemployment claims contact the Employment Security Department. For training and employment services contact WorkSource.
Reopening + Recovery Resources
- COVID-19 Response & Recovery Grants for Clark County businesses and nonprofits with up to 100 employees. Up to $30,000 per grant. Applications accepted October 21 through November 1, 2020.
- Association of Washington Businesses’ comprehensive Rebound + Recovery toolkit for businesses to safely re-open for Phase 2.
- PPE Supplies
- AWB PPE Connect – Connects you with manufacturers who supply PPE so you can purchase equipment for you and your employees and re-open your business safely.
- FEMA has launched a PPE exchange dashboard to connect private sector sellers and buyers. *Adobe Connect is needed to open dashboard
- Amazon Business created COVID-19 Supplies to help direct health and safety products, such as facial shields, personal protective equipment (PPE, e.g. N95 masks), digital thermometers, exam gloves, sanitizers and wipes to organizations on the front lines of the pandemic.
- Federal Resources for U.S. Small Businesses – the official federal resource website for U.S. small businesses affected by COVID-19. View federal agency resources, access the latest news and search for a Small Business Advisor near you.
- For businesses wanting to avoid layoffs or ramping up re-hiring, SharedWork might be right for you.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Reopening Business Digital Resources Center
- Under the Governor’s Safe Start approach, businesses can begin operations once guidance has been issued. See Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Ready to Reopen Guide to helping businesses of all types and in all regions navigate the complex process of reopening and evolving post-coronavirus pandemic.
- Reduce COVID-19 transmission in your workplace
- For Manufacturers: COVID-19 Workplace Preparedness Assessment – Impact Washington is providing no-cost Assessments to help businesses prepare to return to work. Using funds authorized by the CARES Act, the Assessment follows COVID-19 Response Operational Guidelines for Manufacturing Facilities posted to the Governor’s website on May 12, 2020.
- If you’re an employer and have questions about the order regarding face coverings for employees, visit the state Department of Labor & Industries common questions page.
Support for Business
- Several programs are available that can help businesses affected by COVID-19, including layoff aversion programs. For companies that includes:
- SharedWork program (videos here) allows employers to reduce hours of permanent and hourly employees by as much as 50 percent; employees can collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.
- If you need to shut down operations temporarily because an employee becomes sick and other employees need to be quarantined, your workers may be able to receive unemployment benefits and you may receive relief of benefit charges. You may request to place employees on standby for up to eight weeks and your employees can collect unemployment benefits without having to look for other work. You may request relief of benefit charges. Workers must accept any telework you offer.
- For temporary layoffs due to a slowdown in business, you may request to place an employee on standby for eight weeks and your employee can collect unemployment benefits without having to look for other work. If on standby, workers must accept any work you offer that they can do without breaking quarantine. Relief of benefit charges cannot be granted in this situation.
- Financial penalties may be waived for employers who file tax reports late, pay taxes late, or do not respond to requests for information in a timely fashion as a result of COVID-19.
- This reference guide lists COVID-19 scenarios that Employment Security and other state agencies may be able to help with.
- Layoff assistance information.
- Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Q&A for employers and workers can be found here.
- WSW joined forces with our partners at CREDC and hosted Zoom calls on March 18 and 20 where we walked through local, state and federal assistance available for impacted businesses. Access the slides from those calls here and watch the 3/20/20 video here.
Financial Assistance for Businesses
- The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications July 6, 2020. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will provide new resources for small businesses, certain nonprofits and other employers. This Small Business Owner’s Guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as some additional tax provisions. To keep up to date contact your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office.
If you need:
- Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees? The Paycheck Protection Program might be right for you.
- A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now? Look into an Emergency Economic Injury Grant.
- To ease your fears about keeping up with payments on your current SBA loan? The Small Business Debt Relief Program could help.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to provide assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program. These loans can help small businesses meet financial obligations and cover operating expenses. We encourage businesses that are experiencing losses to submit Economic Injury Worksheet as soon as possible. You can apply online here for an SBA disaster assistance loan.
- From the SBA, Coronavirus Recovery Information in Other Languages
- WA State Department of Revenue (DOR) can work with impacted companies that request an extension on tax filing. Affected businesses that owe Washington taxes may qualify for the following assistance (follow each link to learn more):
Guidance & Planning Resources for Businesses
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19
- Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 resource list for impacted Washington businesses and workers
- WA State Department of Health’s Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations
- Greater Portland Inc. list of resources for Greater Portland businesses
- SCORE can help small businesses connect with a mentor to get customized, remote one-on-one advice for disaster planning and business continuity
- Washington Small Business Development Center (WSBDC)
- Columbia River Economic Development Council
- Cowlitz Economic Development Council
- Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments
- Association of Washington Business (AWB) Resources for Employers impacted by COVID-19
- Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC)
- Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce (KLCC)
- Department of Commerce
Resources for Individuals
Whether it’s help finding a new job, signing up for unemployment benefits, searching for childcare or health questions, resources are available.
Update November 10: The job search requirement to receive unemployment insurance benefits is suspended through December 7. Get details and alerts from the Employment Security Department.
Historically high filings for unemployment insurance mean delays getting through on the phone and online. A little preparation before filing could save you time and reduce stress.
A few tips:
- Start by reading a list of Frequently Asked Questions WA State Unemployment Insurance FAQ.
- Then go to the unemployment website and review the checklist, watch the how to open a SAW account video, and see other resources. Spending a little time reading and preparing could make the filing process go more smoothly.
- An easy-to-read comparison guide lists some of the most common COVID-19 scenarios that may occur and the benefits that may apply (paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, paid family & medical leave, and industrial L&I insurance)
- Layoff assistance information
- Resources and FAQs for employees impacted by COVID-19
Job Search + Training Support
- Next (ages 16-24)
- Companies are hiring, see a list of current job openings
- Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Q&A for workers and employers
- WA State Department of Financial Institutions’ list of financial resources (mortgage, student loans, rent, utilities, food, etc.) for residents impacted by the coronavirus
- Clark PUD
- NW Natural
- City of Vancouver (water/sewer)
- Clark Regional Wastewater District
- Waste Connections
- Cowlitz PUD
- Search for internet service providers
- Locations with free Wi-Fi
Health and Health Care
- Beginning June 26, Washingtonians, with some exceptions, are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and in outside public spaces when unable to physically distance from others. Click this link to read more.
- WA State Health Care Authority Options for COVID-19 testing and treatment of the uninsured
- Free or low-cost healthcare coverage Washington Apple Health
- Clark County Public Health
- Resources for Immigrants (some in other languages)
Mental Health + Grief Support
- If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the Southwest WA Crisis Line at 800.626.8137
- Mental Health Resources
- Stepping Stones
- Columbia River Mental Health Services
- The Children’s Center
- Catholic Community Services
- Family Solutions
- Al-Anon Family Group Electronic Meetings
Resources for Hispanic and Latinx Communities
- Clark County Latino Youth Conference
- Fourth Plain Forward
- Latino Community Resource Group
- Southwest Washington League of United Latin American Citizens
- Business Resources – Columbia River Economic Development Council
- If your child care facility closed due to COVID-19 concerns, contact Child Care Aware of Washington’s Family Center at 1.800.446.1114 or firstname.lastname@example.org for help searching for alternative child care. Child Care Aware is a nonprofit statewide child care resource and referral program for Washington State.
- Educational Service District 112 Child Care Resource and Referral line 360.952.3466
- If you are an essential worker or first responder and need immediate childcare, WeeCare is opening up its full directory across the nation and 24/7 service to find, locate and place you immediately at a home daycare for back-up care. To learn more visit https://weecare.co/daycare-near-me or call 310.929.9579.
Additional Resources click here
As we continue to address the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 health crisis, the workforce system plays a vital role.
Individuals that are out of work are turning to the workforce system for many of the benefits and services included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. In addition, businesses are continuing to reach out to us for assistance in identifying and implementing options to meet their evolving workforce needs.
Read our newsletters about what we have been experiencing and how we are working to assist companies and individuals so our region and economy can recover.