April 6, 2020
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
COVID-19 Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It

Governor extends Stay Home, Stay Healthy order to May 4

Washington's economy and society will largely stay shuttered until May 4. Gov. Jay Inslee has extended his March 23 "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order until then in order to allow health care providers and the medical system a chance to handle an expected surge in COVID-19 cases. This afternoon, it was announced that all public schools will stay closed for the rest of the academic year.

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Federal Paycheck Protection Program goes into effect; AWB highlights all resources for employers

Washington banks, businesses and families are scrambling to navigate a variety of emergency financing programs available now as the coronavirus impacts the economy. The big picture: There's billions in new federal funding for Washington small businesses, laid off workers and their families. State and local programs are accessible also, and private banks and utilities also offer relief. Act quickly to take advantage of these programs, many observers say.

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Bank leaders: Contact us for payment deferrals, financing options during pandemic

Many local banks are providing consumers and businesses new financing options, including payment deferrals, during the extraordinary economic downturn caused by COVID-19. That's in addition to several new and improved financing options from the U.S. Small Business Administration, like the Paycheck Protection Program and grants up to $10,000 as part of a disaster loan program.

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New estimate says that COVID-19 deaths could have peaked in Washington

There is good news today in the "flattening the curve" department. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model suggests that Washington state hit "peak resource use" on April 2, and the model predicts that the first wave of COVID-19 deaths will peak today. The model assumes social distancing will stay in place.

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Governor asks manufacturers to increase production; AWB helps coordinate response

Manufacturers are stepping up to create personal protective equipment and other materials for health care responders. Gov. Inslee thanked them last week, but said even more is needed. AWB is working with the Department of Commerce to ramp up production. Click here to help supply this equipment.

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Employers respond with creativity and generosity to support employees, communities

As our state responds to COVID-19, employers continue to play a powerful leadership role. Whether it's Alaska Airlines helping transport crucial medical equipment across the nation, or Mount Adams Fruit creating unique educational and workforce opportunities while protecting its workers, or Nucor Steel 3-D printing PPE, it's clear that businesses are there for their communities.

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AWB survey finds 91% of employers now impacted by COVID-19

AWB is continuing to provide Washington employers with timely and updated information regarding the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic. To do this, AWB launched a survey campaign to give members a chance to share best practices and let us know what resources they will need next. Recent results show 22% of businesses have closed temporarily in response to the virus, and 91% of businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID-19-related issues.

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Other News

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency suspends work on a regional low-carbon fuel standard

A costly low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) for the Puget Sound region is on hold. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency announced last week that it would suspend action on its regional LCFS. Whether the decision is permanent or just postponed due to COVID-19 is unclear.

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Gov. Inslee vetoes $235 million from supplemental budget to contain costs

Saying the growing fiscal threat of COVID-19 made the cuts wise, Gov. Jay Inslee used his line-item veto power to remove $235 million in spending from the supplemental state budget. The cuts will reduce spending by another $210 million in the state's next two-year budget.

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Boeing named 2020 ENERGY STAR partner of the year

For the 10th year in a row, Boeing received an Energy Star "Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence," recognizing the company's successful energy conservation strategies.

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U.S. Rep. Denny Heck files to run for lieutenant governor

Retiring Congressman Denny Heck has filed paperwork to run for Washington lieutenant governor. He joins a growing field of several state senators and a former Seattle City Council member.

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Half of Americans think this recession will be worse than the 2008 financial crisis

A new survey by Morning Consult finds that a third of low-income adults say they will run out of savings in three months if someone in their household lost their job. Nearly one in five say they have no savings at all.

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New edition of AWB's magazine is in the mail and online

The latest edition of Washington Business is being mailed to AWB members and state elected leaders. The cover story highlights the state's new "Cosmic Crisp" apple, created through a powerful partnership of Washington State University and state apple growers. Other stories look at workforce development, the state's child care crisis, bipartisan congressional exchanges, and more. Read the full edition online, and look for the print edition in your mail.

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AWB Events & Resources

HR & Employment Law Webinar on May 20: Performance evaluations

Learn about the latest developments in laws about performance evaluations, disciplinary actions and terminations so that your organization can focus on compliance and avoid administrative claims during AWB's next HR & Employment Law webinar on April 1. There will be more relevant topics in the months ahead, including the latest on L&I, non-competition agreements, and more. Register online for this and other timely webinars!

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AWB hosts weekly webinar for employers covering the coronavirus

Every Monday from 10-11 a.m., the Employer Resources Webinar Series will give you real-time, expert insights on all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to connect you to the latest information, webinar speakers rotate depending on the breaking news of the week. Check our webinar landing page for who's on the agenda to connect you with the latest information, direct from top officials. Listen to today's webinar here.

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Tweet of the Week

Timely Information

They Said It

Help Critical Industries

"We need to do what we can to preserve critical industries, such as residential construction, so that temporary job loss does not become permanent, homelessness does not worsen and food shortages don't develop." ~ Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, the chief Republican budget-writer in the Senate, who also called Gov. Jay Inslee's extended stay-home order a "sound decision."

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Supporting One Another

We are in this Together

By Paul Read, publisher of the Spokane Journal of Business

These are unprecedented times. As a community, we are frightened and confused. We find ourselves physically isolated from those we work with, and in some cases from those we love. Many are facing financial hardship. Some are ill. We lack clarity about the months ahead.

But what we know about our community is that it is full of strong, smart, compassionate people, who as a group have a track record of persevering and succeeding. We are the envy of other communities for our collaboration, our spirit, and our willingness to help one another.

We are all in this together. And that gives me great confidence...

Read the full column in The Spokane Journal of Business
No New Taxes on Job-Creation

Stop Seattle's head-tax inanity

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

The forest of jobs that sustains Seattle is aflame. Who would attack those fighting the fire and able to plant more trees? Only politicians who are so consumed by a desire to burn down the establishment and promote themselves, they can't see the danger at hand.

Like cities around the world, Seattle will be hard pressed to sustain services because there's less employment and economic activity to fill city coffers.

A majority of employers that remain in business will struggle to get through the downturn. It doesn't help that Seattle already taxes businesses more than most places, with a multitude of progressive and regressive taxes.

Because of those existing taxes, Amazon's recent growth and construction it spurred enabled Seattle and the state to massively increase spending in recent years.

A spiteful new tax on jobs will encourage Amazon to create more jobs elsewhere, instead of Seattle. For the other 799 employers affected, it reduces their ability to maintain and add jobs...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times