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COVID-19 Updates; Supporting Local Businesses; Seattle Parks and Social Distancing; Supporting Artists and the Arts; Weekly COVID-19 Community Webinars; Canceling District Office Hours

COVID-19 Updates

Two More Emergency Proclamations: Eviction protection for residents, nonprofits, small businesses

Since my last update, the Mayor has issued two more emergency proclamations, both regarding eviction moratoriums. The first halts residential evictions, the Council took this up at our Monday Full Council meeting and the Council amended the proclamation to last for 60 days instead of 30 understanding that this crisis may continue longer than 30 days. The second emergency proclamation was issued on Thursday and addressed concerns that Council raised on Monday about small businesses and non-profits.  I appreciate the collaboration with the Mayor’s office for accepting my input to expand the eviction moratorium from 30 to 60 day and to include non-profits, regardless of number of employees.

US Small Business Administration Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that King County small businesses and nonprofits are now eligible for low-interest Small Business Administration disaster loans of up to $2 million. Visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela to apply and receive additional disaster assistance info and download applications. You can also call the Small Business Administration disaster assistance customer service center for more information at 800-659-2955 or email.

Council Passes Legislation Providing Emergency Funding for Small Businesses and Utility Relief

The Council passed a bill, Council Bill 119757, sponsored by Councilmember Tammy J. Morales, on Thursday to transfer $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the Small Business Stabilization Fund, to support small businesses facing financial challenges in Seattle resulting from  COVID-19.  Federal CDBG criteria require this Fund to be exclusively for businesses with 5 or fewer employees and business owners must have a household income at or below 80 percent of Area Median Income. For information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit OED’s website. Applications are expected to close on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

A separate bill, Council Bill 119758, sponsored by Councilmember Alex Pedersen, passed by the Council waives interest charges on past due utility bills during this crisis for residential, small business, and nonprofit customers.  Flexible payment plans are available and a no shut-off policy is in place as well.  To access deferred payment plans through Seattle City Light or Seattle Public Utilities, customers can call 206-684-3000 or send an email here. Professional translations for City utility services are available when you call 206-684-3000.

Links to COVID-19 Resources

Here are links to COVID-19 resources for public health updates, emergency orders, business support, worker support,

  • Please check my weekly blog for updates here.
  • The Seattle City Council has a webpage with extensive links on resources here (with a newly added table of contents for easy navigating).
  • Mayor Durkan’s page has daily updates here.
  • King County Public Health has a daily update here.
  • Updates from Governor Inslee, including emergency orders, are here.

Supporting Local Businesses: Restaurants Open for Take-Out/Delivery

I want to stress how important it is to continue practicing social distancing, but we can still support our local businesses. While restaurants, bars and coffee shops are closed for dine-in service through March 31 by order of Governor Inslee, they can remain open for carryout and delivery service, while adhering to COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines.

The West Seattle Blog has a fantastic article up about local businesses that are still operating, for takeout and to-go, and how you can support them. Please check it out here. The West Seattle Junction Association has a Junction Delivery Pickup and online services website with information about establishments in the West Seattle Junction.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is installing temporary load zones near restaurants to facilitate pick up service. SDOT noted “The first locations to receive temporary loading zones will be in areas with high concentrations of restaurants on blocks that do not otherwise have enough loading options.”

Restaurants can request a loading zone near their establishment by emailing 684-Road@seattle.gov or calling (206) 684-ROAD – be sure to provide business address and contact information.

The West Seattle Blog also has a list of our grocery stores and their updated hours which you can see here. Please note that our Safeway stores are reserving the 7am – 9am hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and high-risk individuals, so if you do not fall into those categories please do not shop during those hours.


Seattle Parks Update on Parks, Trails and Open Spaces and Social Distancing

I’ve received reports of people gathering and not practicing social distancing in parks and trail areas.  These reports are coming to me from constituents who are elderly or have medical conditions, and are at greater risk if infected by the COVID-19 virus, as well as from concerned members of the public.

The Seattle Department of Parks and Recreations notes: Our parks, trails, and open spaces are currently open. If you decide to visit a park, please follow public health guidelines and please practice social distancing. See some additional suggestions from @NRPA_news below.


Supporting Artists and the Arts

This week, the City announced $1.1 million in relief for artists, and arts and cultural organizations. Learn more here.

The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture has set up a $1 million Arts Stabilization Fund, focusing on arts and cultural organizations that have been impacted by the moratorium on events and public gatherings. These organizations rely on ticket sales, attendance and fundraising efforts. The grant program will be administered through the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.   Additionally, the City invested $100,000 in two community-based relief funds, Seattle Artist Relief Fund, and COVID-19 Artist Trust’s Relief Fund.

Many artists support themselves through gig work and may not be eligible for protections offered to employees. The performance aspect of their art requires public gatherings, which have been prohibited, and artists are organizing to support themselves. I’m proud that the City is stepping up to provide relief for artists and cultural organizations, as we cannot lose our important art institutions during this crisis and must retain those cultural spaces for the future.

 

Weekly COVID-19 Community Webinars

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods will be hosting weekly webinars every Friday from 2:30-4:00pm that connect community to information regarding COVID-19. Each week will cover different topics.

You are invited to participate in this City of Seattle webinar series aimed at providing consistent and updated information about COVID-19 and its impact on your communities. Please feel free to share this invitation with your staff, trusted advocates, and community partners.

COVID-19 Community Webinar

March 20 | 2:30 – 4:00pm

What you need to know about housing, groceries, and public utilities.

Join via Skype: http://bit.ly/DONwebinar  

Join via Phone: 206-386-1200 ext 720627#

This webinar is intended for agencies and community members working and living in the greater Seattle area.

  • Get accurate and updated information about COVID-19
  • Hear from Seattle Office of Housing, Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment, Seattle Public Utilities, and Seattle City Light
  • Participate in a live Q&A session

Limited capacity of 250 people. This webinar will be recorded.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods will be hosting weekly webinars every Friday from 2:30-4:00pm that connect community to information regarding COVID-19. Each week will cover different topics.

The City of Seattle encourages all residents to stay informed. Get up to date information from kingcounty.gov/covid.

 

Canceling District Office Hours

Unfortunately, due to social distancing requirements of the current COVID-19 pandemic I am canceling my in-district office hours scheduled March 27th.

Here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours moving forward. These are subject to change.

  • Friday, April 24, 2020
    Southwest Customer Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St
  • Friday, May 29, 2020
    Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St
  • Friday, June 26, 2020
    South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S
  • Friday, July 31, 2020
    Southwest Customer Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St
  • Friday, August 21, 2020
    Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St
  • Friday, September 25, 2020
    South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S
  • Friday, October 30, 2020
    Southwest Customer Service Center, 2801 SW Thistle St
  • Friday, December 18, 2020
    South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Avenue S
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