Local Businesses & COVID-19
On April 14th, the City Council waived utility base rate charges for all business customers for the months of March-April or April-May, depending on each customer’s billing cycle. Base rates are identified in GHMC Chapter 13.04 for water service and GHMC Chapter 13.32 for sewer service. The waiver will cover two full months for all business customers.
With the Stay Home - Stay Healthy Order proclaimed by Governor Inslee this week, all non-essential businesses are required to close down until at least May 31, 2020. The Governor’s Office has provided a list of essential businesses.
We realize that the definition of essential business can be difficult to interpret. If residents and businesses do not comply with this order, Governor Inslee has promised to “discuss possible enforcement mechanisms in the coming days.” For the time being, local and state police will not be asked to enforce these conditions, outside of dispersing large gatherings.
For now, our city and police department are urging businesses to voluntarily comply with the Governor’s order and to remain closed during this time. We will not be taking proactive enforcement actions against businesses at this time but may contact some businesses on a case by case basis to gain compliance.
Please do not contact the city or the police department regarding these businesses. If you wish to report a business that you believe is not in compliance, please visit Violations of the Governor’s Proclamation.
If you have a business and want to get an interpretation from the state on whether or not your business is essential you can submit your questions to the Essential Business Inquiries portal.
Resources for Local Businesses
- Washington State Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant Program
- Pierce County has extended its Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program to include businesses within Gig Harbor city limits.
- The Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce has a resource page for local small businesses.
- The Downtown Waterfront Alliance has a collection of COVID-19 related resources and a Recovery & Reopen Guide.
- Pierce County provides COVID-19 Business Updates & Information including the Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program and a weekly webinar series.
- Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board’s Rapid Response South Sound provides expert guidance for South Sound employers so businesses can comply with frequently changing rules and regulations.
- Small Business Association Guidance
- The Washington Tourism Alliance is offering assistance to businesses to provide online gift cards.
- The FEMA PPE Exchange Program offers a place for private sector buyers and private sector sellers to connect with each other.
- Washington State Business Licensing Service will not automatically terminate expired license endorsements through May 31.
CARES Act Stimulus Package
- A summary of the stimulus package is available here.
- A section-by-section summary of the stimulus package is available here.
- A question and answer document on the stimulus package is available here.
- A Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act is available here.
- A summary of the small business provisions included in the CARES Act is available here.
- A section-by-section summary of the small business provisions in the CARES Act is available here.
- CARES Act Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loans may be forgivable, in whole or in part.
- ArtsWA is providing CARES Act grants to arts groups and organizations.
Additional information on how to apply for CARES Act grants and loans will be available at SBA.gov as soon as it is available.