On March 23, Governor Jay Inslee announced the Stay-Home, Stay Healthy Order that requires all residents to stay in their homes unless they are participating in essential activities (like grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, etc.) or they are an essential worker that must go in to work. The order also prohibits all in-person gatherings of any kind. The full Order can be viewed at this link to Governor's COVID-19 Related Proclamations.

The Washington State Small Business Liaisons have developed a webinar to help small businesses during this time of crisis. The webinars focus on small business resources, conversations about recovery, and question and answer time. Find a webinar time/date that works for you by clicking here.

The state has provided a detailed list of what is considered an essential business that may remain open during this Stay-Home, Stay Healthy Order. The list can be viewed at this link to What is Considered an Essential Business at This Time.

Back to Work Toolkit - Tips on reopening the office when stay home orders end.
Guidance for retail businesses and service operators.
Guidance for employers if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19.
Guidance for childcare businesses.
Guidance from OSHA for preparing workplaces.


  • The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) can provide support in the form of unemployment benefits. For employers that want to keep from losing highly-trained employees, these unemployment benefits can be received through, or while covered by, Shared Work, Partial Unemployment and Standby (which allow certain workers to collect unemployment while remaining with their employers and not actively seeking other jobs). Visit
  • ESD’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program can provide paid leave benefits for Washington workers who need to take time off from work due to a serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Certification by a healthcare provider is required for applications for Paid Family and Medical Leave due to a serious health condition. Visit
  • If COVID-19 disrupts a Washington business and causes a mass layoff or closure, ESD and its local workforce development board partners can respond with Rapid Response services and funding to help impacted workers get connected to unemployment benefits and re-employment services, including re-training, worker support services, and referrals to other social services. Visit

  • The Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant was announced April 7 by Governor Inslee. This program will be using a portion of the state’s Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF) to offer a limited number of grants (up to $10,000) to small businesses with up to 10 employees. Businesses can use this money to pay for rent, utility bills, supplies, inventory and other operating expenses. Learn more and apply at
  • The Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to provide assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury in an eligible disaster area. Congress approved up to $7 billion in low-interest disaster loans specifically to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. These loans can help small businesses meet financial obligations and cover operating expenses.  Visit
  • The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) created a page dedicated to business relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and may extend state filing and payment deadlines to affected businesses. Visit
  • The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus and have extended the federal tax payment deadline from April 15 to July 15, 2020. Visit
  • Facebook is putting together a small business grant program with $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help those small businesses affected by the pandemic. Visit