Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, our industry has been severely impacted. Through our research, we know that visitation to Washington is down over 70% and this doesn’t include the loss of business from our in-state customers. And we’ve heard from so many of you and understand the significant challenges you face.
For many years, the WTA has relied on our amazing members for support and we can’t thank you enough. As a token of our appreciation, we would like to offer those who have paid their 2020 membership dues a credit for advertising on ExperienceWA for the dollar total of your membership. This credit can be used at any time in 2020 or 2021. Contact me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or at 425-444-0589 to learn more. For those who have not paid for membership this year, we completely understand that you need to prioritize your business and employees during this crisis. We will extend your membership through the rest of 2020.
Additionally, the WTA will continue to provide the most up-to-date information on how businesses can utilize federal and state resources to stay afloat during this crisis. Make sure to regularly check our industry website, watourismalliance.com for the most current information. In the meantime, we would like to give you an update on what the WTA is actively working on to provide support to our members and industry stakeholders.
The WTA recently launched a new website called showWAlove.com that gives Washingtonians a chance to support their local tourism-related businesses by purchasing gift cards now for later use. This project is completely free for businesses and users and so far close to 1000 businesses have been listed. If you offer an online gift card and would like to set up a free listing, just go to showWAlove.com and click on Post a Listing or click here. It only takes 2 minutes. If you don’t have an online gift card option, but want one, click here to quickly and easily make one.
Please continue to communicate with the WTA and your regional DMO partners. Our industry has never faced a challenge like this, but if we work together and use our collective ingenuity, we will come out of this stronger than ever before.
On March 27th, the President signed into law the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (the CARES Act), the largest economic relief act in our country’s history. The tourism industry in Washington has been devastated by this crisis, but tourism-related businesses can find relief through new or strengthened existing federal programs as a result of this legislation.
Click here for a helpful guide to relief is available to different types of businesses or organizations.
Click here for an explanation of the Small Business Administration Coronavirus Economic Injury Disaster Loans. *Grants of up to $10,000 is available within three days, regardless of approval: A cash advance (grant) of the loan, up to $10,000, can be provided to the borrower upon request. SBA is required to provide the grant within three days of receiving the loan application. The grant is provided regardless of whether the borrower is ultimately approved for the loan and does not have to be repaid.
Click here to learn about Small Business Express Loans. These are for small businesses who need quick a one-time loan for a major expense. Example: A restaurant needs to replace a walk-in refrigerator.
Click here for a guide on the Emergency Stabilization Fund.
Click here to learn about Economic Relief for Airports and Tourism, including Community Development Block Grants.
Here is more information on Business Tax Provisions including payroll tax deferral. Click here for more information.
It is expected that the U.S. Treasury, Small Business Association and other agencies will need some time to fully implement these resources and application features, though it is hoped that most will be operational in the next two weeks.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2020
The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) today launched
showWAlove.com, a new online program to help support local Washington
businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Data from national tourism research firm
Tourism Economics estimates that 4.6 million U.S. travel industry jobs may be
lost by May 31 – roughly 40 percent of all tourism-related jobs. That
constitutes more than 75,000 jobs in Washington State and means local
restaurants, hotels, attractions, tour operators, and destination marketing
organizations will bear the brunt of these losses.
Buy Now. Play Later.
While social distancing restrictions are in effect, the showWAlove.com offers a platform for
Washingtonians to help hard-working business owners and employees. People can support
their favorite local businesses by purchasing gift cards for future use. They
can search for restaurants, lodgings and retail establishments by region or type
of business and then connect with that business to buy gift cards.
Hundreds of businesses have gift card offers on
showWAlove.com and inventory continues to grow. Businesses that don’t currently
offer gift cards will be able to learn how to expand their online presence on
the showWAlove.com website through webinars and additional resources. The WTA
is committed to helping the small businesses in Washington use every tool
available to get through this uncertain time.
“Recovery has to begin now,” said David Blandford, WTA Co-Chair.
“This is just one initial measure of support and others will follow. We hope
this program can help stabilize businesses and preserve jobs. Together we can
show Washington’s tourism industry love during this unprecedented crisis.”
About the Washington Tourism Alliance
The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) is a 501[c]6
organization established by industry stakeholders with the sole mission to
develop and sustain Washington State destination tourism marketing. The WTA
procures and administers funds for state destination tourism marketing
activities and creates and implements a strategic statewide destination
marketing plan. www.watourismalliance.com