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Posted Thursday, April 30, 2020 by Kim Sandher

Alternative TextSince roughly mid-March our state along with local cities and counties have put some rules in place to help small businesses continue to operate.

Commercial Lease

Although Commercial tenants in Washington are not protected by the state ban on residential evictions, landlords are prohibited from increasing or threatening to increase rent or other deposits of businesses that have been "materially impacted" by COVID-19. Materially impacted means businesses that have 1) been personally impacted and not able to work; 2) not been deemed essential; or 3) lost staff or customers due to COVID-19.

In addition to the statewide ban, Seattle put in protections for small businesses fairly early. On March 17, 2020, Mayor Durkan signed an order to protect small businesses and non-profits from eviction for at least 60 days. The order included additional rent control protections.

On April 13, 2020, Seattle City Counsel issued Council Bill 119766 establishing these protections for small businesses: - prohibits rent increase, unless the increase was authorized in a written lease in effect before the ordinance; - prohibits failure to renew a lease or enter into a new lease if the new lease requires a rental payment exceeding the payment due under the current lease; - allows for paying monthly rent in installment payments during the civil emergency and for 6 months following the end of the emergency; - prohibits late fees, interest, and other charges that can accrue within one (1) year after termination of the civil emergency.

Although these rent restrictions are in place, tenants must continue to pay rent, to the extent they can, and those struggling should work with their landlords on payment plans.

Resources for Employers

Paycheck Protection Plan

As of April 27, 2020, the SBA program is accepting applications again for this program under the CARES Act. The loan is available to small businesses, sole proprietors, self-employed, and independent contractors and provides relief in the form of the federal government paying for certain covered costs over an eight-week period. To see more detailed information on this loan program please see our "How to Apply for Payment Protection Program (PPP)" blog posted April 3, 2020.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Applications already in queue are being processed on a first-come, first-served basis but it is currently not accepting new applications.Alternative Text

Given the rapidly changing government announcements and orders regarding COVID-19, all information provided here is without guarantee of completeness, usefulness, accuracy, or timeliness. This information is for informational purposes only and does not contain or convey any legal advice and should not be used or relied on without discussing your specific facts and/or circumstances. If you have questions, please contact Kim Sandher at (206) 805-1490 or KSandher@PivotalLawGroup.com.