We're in this together
Throughout the current crisis and in its aftermath, we will rely on our community for support and for guidance. Now more than ever, we must strengthen and prepare to rebuild our local economies and sense of place. This work will happen through existing community organizations, heritage sites, and small businesses, which we are striving to support and advocate for during this difficult time. Learn about how our state Main Street program is approaching their crucial role in supporting local communities now and in the future.
The Washington Trust staff is working remotely and making accommodations in respect of the need for social distancing and continued precautions:
April 6-8, 2020 – Postponed to 2021 (still in Wenatchee!)
May 9, 2020 – Postponed to summer/fall 2020
Youth Heritage Project:
July 7-10, 2020 – Postponed to 2021 (still in Port Townsend!)
We will continue to pull together in support of one another. Below you will find ideas for taking action, as well as reliable information and useful resources.
From museums and non-profit organizations managing historic sites, to small businesses operating out of buildings in downtown historic districts, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is already proving to be crippling. We know you are committed to saving Places That Matter. Together, we have worked to achieve more and more success stories each year, building stronger, more rooted communities. But with the breadth of the coronavirus impact, we need policymakers to play a significant role to ensure future successes as well.
- Support the National Main Street Center’s request for small business recovery. Main Street’s businesses are facing a crisis like no other, and they need the support offered by local and state Main Street programs—including our own Washington Main Street program— now more than ever. The Washington Trust has joined Main Street America in asking Congress to include $100 million in an upcoming stimulus package to sustain and expand the critical work of Main Street leaders across the country. Learn more about this proposal and how to add your voice to the thousands speaking up for Main Street here.
- Ask Congress to include preservation priorities in recovery packages. The Washington Trust, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and advocates from across the country, has identified several critical national policies that will help activate the power of preservation to support our communities in their social, civic, and economic recovery efforts. Learn more about these proposals and find details for contacting your congressional representatives here.
- Ask Governor Inslee to increase funding for small business grants. To date, Washington State has dedicated $10 million to small business grants. We support this measure but know it is nowhere near enough funding to meet the urgent needs of small businesses in our state. Please join the Washington Trust and the National Federation of Independent Business in asking Governor Inslee to increase this pool of funding to $50 million.
- Tools to help you make your case: a copy of the letter we sent to Governor Inslee in April, an updated letter template (can be modified for nonprofits, small businesses, and general citizens), and shareable data sheets from April and June (updated data) about the crisis facing Main Street.
- Letters can be sent to the Governor via email from the following webpage, and hard copies can be sent via US Mail to:
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Please note that all federal legislation in response to the COVID-19 virus can be tracked at: GovTrack
National Trust Community Investment Corporation – How the Federal Stimulus Can Support Small Businesses and Nonprofits
On March 27, the President has signed into law a historic $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the pandemic our world is facing. In addition to providing individual citizens with financial assistance, direct payments, and other benefits, this wide-reaching bill will provide vital economic relief for small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and independent contractors.
National Endowment for the Humanities – Funding for applicants impacted by coronoavirus
NEH received $75 million in emergency relief funding to assist cultural institutions and humanists affected by the coronavirus as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act economic stabilization plan. Eligible applicants include U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
National Main Street Center – COVID-19 Main Street Resources
Community is at the heart of everything we do. As COVID-19 begins to have an increasingly significant impact on communities across the country, the NMSC is compiling existing resources, opportunities, and community response examples to help Main Street districts during this crisis.
National Trust for Historic Preservation – We’re in this together
A collection of resources to help the community, whether you are missing a visit to a favorite historic place, concerned about supporting your local businesses, or struggling as a parent to keep your family engaged with learning. This page will continue to be updated as new resources become available.
Washington State Web Portal – Coronavirus Response
Government actions, daily updates, multilingual resources, connection to state agencies
Washington State Department of Commerce – Crisis Planning Tools & Resources
Small business tools, including:
- Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant Program: Governor Inslee has created a Working Washington Small Business Grant program using up to $5M of the state’s Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF). The Department of Commerce is administering the program, which will provide grants up to $10,000 for eligible small businesses in Washington’s 39 counties.
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for Small Businesses: 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.
Washington State Department of Revenue – Business Relief During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Department of Revenue recognizes the profound impact COVID-19 is having and is ready to do everything it can to help “businesses stay in business”. The Department’s plan is to give customers extra grace during this state of emergency and to work with business owners within the parameters of the law as much as possible.
Governor Inslee – Essential Critical Infrastructure
On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued an Executive Order directing all residents immediately to heed current State public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure. This is the designated list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” that may remain operational in order to ensure continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.
Washington Economic Development Association – COVID-19 Resources
A list of links that include information on business resources to address COVID-19.
Philanthropy Northwest – Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak
List of city- and county-level philanthropy organizations and local municipal efforts across the state for COVID-19 relief funding. This list will be updated continuously.
4Culture – Cultural Relief Fund
Funds will be available for cultural organizations and practitioners affected by COVID-19 closures and cancellations. Deadlines will be rolling; funding rounds will take place multiple times throughout the year with simplified application processes.
Seattle Foundation – COVID-19 Response Fund
Housed at Seattle Foundation, the Fund makes grants to nonprofits that are working on the frontlines to provide our region’s most vulnerable communities with emergency assistance, such as financial support, healthcare, and childcare.
#allinseattle – Small Business Stabilization Fund
All In Seattle is a group of like-minded Seattleites and community members who are quickly deploying resources directly to proven non-profits who can deliver it to those most in need.