March 23, 2020
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COVID-19

AWB survey finds that 81% of employers have been affected by COVID-19



A new survey of Washington employers finds that 81% of respondents have been negatively impacted by COVID-19-related issues.

The AWB survey of 794 Washington employers was conducted last week. It found that the greatest impact has been reduced revenue (80%), followed by reduced hours of operation (44%) and delayed hiring (37%).

More than half of the respondents (53%) have made staffing adjustments to respond to the situation. One respondent reported already laying off 80% of the company's staff. Another reported digging into personal savings and line of credit.

Nearly half (47%) of all manufacturing companies reported supply chain disruptions and 80% have implemented changes in operations due to the coronavirus outbreak. Even among the 20% without changes so far, 59% anticipate changes in the next six months.

"It's such a day-to-day change, it's hard to predict," one respondent wrote. "We are loaning employees money to help pay bills."

Another change is planning for various sales reduction scenarios, ranging from 25% reduced production to 100%, to plan for surviving.

"We will get through this but we ALL will have to make sacrifices. I will protect my team and keep them gainfully employed for as long as I can," another respondent wrote.

The changes that respondents have implemented, or are planning, include:

  • Layoffs, expense reduction and inventory manipulations
  • Making minimum payment only on debts
  • Considering the state's Shared Work program
  • Taking steps to delay bills as possible.

AWB has a full slate of employer and community resources available at www.awb.org/covid-19-resources/



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Be There for Local Business


In this unprecedented time of coronavirus, we need to be there for local businesses

By Maribel Perez Wadsworth and Kevin Gentzel, USA Today

The safety measures that have forced us indoors and away from others to help stop the spread of COVID-19 are the right thing to do. We're confident our strength and resilience will carry us through. But we also recognize our small business owners need us more than ever as they take their own precautions.

To emerge from this with our communities strong and intact, we need to ensure that what make them special -- the coffee shop down the road, the local car dealership and our neighborhood music teachers -- are able to stay afloat.

While we may not be able to give them our patronage in person right now, there is much we can do to show our support.

Visit your favorite restaurant's website and purchase gift cards for yourself and others to keep some money flowing to their bottom lines. If those restaurants are still offering takeout or delivery, make a point to order from them now and again soon. And get gift cards for massage studios, arts and crafts stores, local jungle gyms and myriad other businesses.

If your local shops sell their merchandise online, make purchases -- even if the goods won't be available right away.

If you're shopping online for things you'll need while in self-quarantine, like home exercise equipment or activities for the kids, seek out local businesses to make these purchases...

Read the full column in USA Today
Speak Up for Clean Power


Don't let Snake River dams be a coronavirus casualty. Call in to save them

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

In our community-wide effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, we must not become so focused on the pandemic that we neglect other, critical issues facing the Tri-Cities.

Of upmost importance is protecting the Snake River dams, which continue to be in jeopardy.

Last week's time for phone-in comments on the recently released, federal draft Environmental Impact Statement has come and gone, but there are three more scheduled over the next two weeks, and Tri-City participation is crucial.

Considering many people have hunkered down in a semi-quarantine, this could be a good way to spend some time. Why not prepare a statement and send in your testimony, either online, by mail or by calling it in?

Knowing you are helping to protect reliable power production and the region's economy could be invigorating. And it could take your mind off the disease for a little while...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald