COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
In these challenging and rapidly-changing times, it’s hard to know where to turn for the assistance you need. WSW and our partners have compiled the list of resources below to help businesses and individuals quickly find the help they need. We will update it as more 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!
- Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and proclamation. Order extended through May 4.
- “Critical infrastructure” is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- To have your business considered for inclusion on the “essential function” list, complete the Department of Commerce form
Workforce Support for Businesses
Please contact our Director of Business Services Darcy Hoffman with any questions or concerns at email@example.com or 360.608.4949.
- Several programs are available from WSW and WorkSource that can help businesses affected by COVID-19, including layoff aversion programs. Emergency rules were enacted to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation, and quarantine for workers and businesses. For companies that includes:
- SharedWork program (videos here) allows employers to reduce the hours of permanent and paid hourly employees by as much as 50 percent, and the 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 isolated or 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 isolation or 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.
- CREDC is seeking feedback on the extent to which COVID-19 is impacting companies and the broader economy in Clark County. They are sharing this feedback with public officials to ensure visibility on the extent of the current and projected impacts, and of additional policy remedies that could align to help effected companies. Please take a few minutes to respond to the questions in this quick survey. Responses will be aggregated so as not to disclose any vulnerabilities unique to your company.
- 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 businesses impacted by COVID-19. Access the slides from those calls here. and watch the 3/20/20 video here.
Financial Assistance for Businesses
- 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 soon 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 to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury. Congress approved low-interest disaster loans specifically to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 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, and you can apply online here for an SBA disaster assistance loan.
- 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.
- 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)
Job Search + Training Support
Our WorkSource and Next partners are available to assist individuals and young adults seeking job search and training assistance. Although they are following recommendations for social distancing and safety measures and their offices are not currently open to the public, they are available to assist you.
- Unemployment Insurance
- 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)
- Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Q&A for workers and employers
- Layoff assistance information
- Resources and FAQs for employees impacted by COVID-19
- WA State Department of Financial Institutions’ list of financial resources for Washington consumers impacted by the coronavirus
- Clark PUD
- NW Natural
- City of Vancouver (water/sewer)
- Clark Regional Wastewater District
- Waste Connections
- Cowlitz PUD
General Health Information
- Free or low-cost healthcare coverage Washington Apple Health
- Washington State Department of Health
(Note: State hotline available 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily at 800.525.0127)
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- Washington State Corona Virus Response including resources for businesses and individuals and multilingual resources
- Clark County Public Health
- Mental Health Resources
Schools + Education
- K-12 schools across the State are closed through at least April 24
- School Districts
- Clark College and Lower Columbia College have moved to online instruction as of 3/17, and WSU Vancouver as of 3/23
- Kahn Academy has free tools for remote learning, daily schedules, online streaming, guides for parents and more
- Scholastic created a free “Learn at Home” website amid COVID-19 school closures