Covid-19 Small Business and Rural Community Webinar 6-11-20

On Thursday 6/11, the WTA held a special small business and rural webinar. 

Re-opening guidelines leave many questions for small businesses, but our speakers helped provide some answers. We also heard from one community’s mayor about the challenges of re-opening and there was a lengthy Q&A at the end. 

 Lauren Jenks – Assistant Secretary of Environmental Public Health in the Department of Health

Lauren discussed the new guidelines and the role her office plays in managing this crisis. 

Jeff Spann – Industrial Hygienist in the Division of Occupational Safety & Health consultation of the Department of Labor and Industry

Jeff works with a variety of different industries and spoke about safety and health for both the public and employees of small businesses in the tourism industry, such as outfitters, B&Bs, small hotels, and restaurants. 

Mayor Soo Ing-Moody – Mayor of Twisp, WA

Mayor Ing-Moody discussed how the town of Twisp, located in the popular tourism region in the Methow Valley, is proactively working with local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.   

To view a recording click here. Use this password: : 3N^6Ft@#

Covid-19: Business Resources

Dear Partners:

The tourism industry in Washington and throughout the world is facing an unprecedented crisis. While we’re hopeful that our state can slowly begin to open in May, but the return to normalcy will be counted in years rather than months. The WTA remains committed to doing everything possible to keep our partners and industry stakeholders connected to the resources they need to navigate this crisis. We are continuing to work with industry leaders to remind legislators about the importance of tourism to our economy and to craft guidelines to safely reopen tourism-related businesses in our state.

Here is an updated list of links to help you find the resources you need:

Federal Resources CARES Act: This toolkit provided by US Travel helps tourism-related businesses and organizations navigate the full CARES Act. US Travel also has provided a helpful FAQ about the CARES Act.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Congressional leaders and the administration forged an agreement to supplement the program. The $481 billion agreement provides an additional $321 billion for the PPP, $60 billion for the EIDL program, $75 billion for healthcare providers and $25 billion to expand testing capacity (including $11 billion for states to increase testing).
  • SBA Debt Relief: The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This covers all principal, interest and fees on current and new SBA 7(a) loans made through September 27, 2020 for up to six months.
  • Express Bridge Loan: The SBA’s Express Bridge Loan allows small businesses that have an existing business relationship with a participating lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Small Business Development Centers: These centers will help you navigate available SBA loans and provide you with no-cost business consulting.
Export Credit Insurance: This program protects you in case your customers overseas are slow on paying receivables or go out of business. It allows you to commit to export sales without fear of loss during the pandemic.


State Resources

  • On 4/27 Governor Inslee announced easing of outdoor restrictions.
  • The Department of Commerce has created a list of COVID-19 Business Resources.
  • Small Business Resiliency Assistance: offering technical assistance for small business owners from culturally and historically disadvantaged communities.
  • Small Business COVID-19 Back-to-Work Planner: (Part 1) is designed to help plan the steps necessary to open your business once the state says it’s safe to do so.
  • Humanities Washington Grant: Humanities Washington is honored to provide rapid-response funding to humanities and cultural non-profit organizations in Washington State facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus. Funding for this grant is provided by the CARES Act and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  •  Washington Hospitality Association: A coronavirus resource guide for the restaurant and lodging industry.

If you have questions or other resources, please don’t hesitate to communicate with us. Contact Mike Moe at mike@watourismalliance.com.