TwispWorks is working overtime to stay on top of the emerging opportunities to support local businesses, non-profits, independent contractors, sole proprietors and the self-employed, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are a business with questions about which program is best for your situation, please email BusinessSupport@TwispWorks.org
Resources to help you plan for the months ahead
For businesses heading into the leaner winter months, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has compiled information related to SBA debt relief here.
For information on how Paycheck Protection (PPP) loans might effect your 2020 Taxes check out this article in the Small Business Guide from the US Chamber of Commerce.
Business Owners & Employees!
Please take our surveys for Business Owner’s and Employees. We are gathering information on the financial impacts of Covid, as well as other information to help understand the challenges to our business community and employees of the Methow Valley. The surveys are part of our ongoing Economic Study, due to be shared in November.
Below is a consolidated list of the most relevant resources developed to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
PPP Loan Forgiveness
On October 8th, 2020 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less (Form 3508S). The SBA began approving loan forgiveness applications on October 2nd and will continue to process all PPP loan forgiveness applications in an expeditious manner.
If you received a PPP loan in an amount greater the $50,000 use the form issued June 16th, 2020.
DOWNLOAD REVISED PPP LOAN FULL FORGIVENESS APPLICATION & INSTRUCTIONS FOR BORROWERS →
In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, the SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:
1. Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
2. Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
3. Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form.
Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.
The state’s application for the Lost Wages Assistance program has been approved. ESD will start processing payments of $300 to eligible claimants for this new program on Monday, Sept. 21. Payments will be retroactive for all weeks for which the claimant was eligible, and for which funding is available from the federal government. For more details visit the Employment Security Department’s website
JOB SEARCH REQUIREMENT
ESD wants you to know that as the economy re-opens, they will be easing back into the job search requirement. Job search is optional through November 9th. As long as job search requirements are suspended, you may answer “no” to the job search question on your weekly claim. You can sign up for alerts from the ESD or get more information on their website
The Employment Security Department (ESD) has seen a significant rise in reports of impostor fraud since the onset of the pandemic. As a result the ESD has taken a number of steps to prevent and investigate alleged fraud including holding payments for an additional 1-2 days to further validate claims. Read ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine’s full statement here.
If you believe you are a victim of impostor fraud report it immediately by clicking here.
The self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers are now eligible for unemployment. We recommend that you sign up to receive the most timely updates from the ESD.
• The ESD has published a guide to the expanded benefits available for the self-employed. Read this guide and follow the instructions to apply for unemployment. THIS STEP IS REQUIRED BEFORE YOU CAN APPLY FOR THE BENEFITS FOR SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS.
• Download the Application Checklist for Expanded Pandemic Unemployment Benefits to ensure you have all the required documentation available when you are ready to submit your claim.
• Create your Secure Access Washington (SAW) account to submit your claim. Need help setting up your SAW accounts? Watch this video from the ESD
Employers have a number of a number of options from the Employment Security Department for their employees including SharedWork plans, temporary layoffs, standby and furloughs.
• Learn more about SharedWork Plans
• Learn more tempoary layoffs, standby and furloughs
If individuals call the WorkSource Okanogan office directly at (509) 825-7310, WorkSource staff can help with Basic UI, Pandemic Unemployment and General SAW account questions answered Mon-Fri, 8am – 5pm. They can also Chat Live with a WorkSource Specialist on www.worksourcewa.com.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Note: Advance funds for the EIDL: Advance have been fully allocated and the EIDL Advance is not currently available.