Business Continuity Resources

Western Washington University's Small Business Development Center is closely monitoring the impacts to our local businesses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. We will be updating this page with resources and information that can help our small business community get through these challenging times. Last update: 6-4-2021

In times like these it’s more important than ever to connect with your Western SBDC team of certified business advisors. Your SBDC team can help you plan your responses to the business challenges of 2020 and beyond. Call your SBDC at (360) 778-1762 or email us at and start your journey to a better 2021, today.

Grants Still Accepting Applications

Comcast RISE: Comcast RISE (second phase) offers help to small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) across Washington state. Today’s announcement opens the program to all business owners in the BIPOC community in Washington state to apply for grants and other forms of assistance. For more details, check our the Comcast RISE website.

City of Bellingham Toursim Grants: This is an opportunity to apply for funds to provide seed money for your new event or marketing funds for ongoing events. The purpose of this grant is to increase economic activity in the City of Bellingham resulting from Tourists. Ideally, putting heads in beds (hotel stays). Funding is limited to activities which draw tourists to Bellingham. For more info, click here.

Port Revolving Loan Fund: The Port of Bellingham has business loans available for local companies impacted by Covid-19. Check out the Port of Bellingham's website for more info.

GoFundMe has created Small Business Relief Initiative, more details can be found on their Small Business Relief Initiative and Fund FAQs.

Google has also created a Small Business Grant, largely based on free advertising credits the details of which can be found here: COVID-19 Ad credits for Google Ads Small and Medium-sized Businesses.

Hello Alice with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay, and others is offering $10,000 emergency grants, being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by this pandemic. Visit  Hello Alice website for more information.

SBA Lending Options

EIDL Loan & EIDL Advance (EIDL Advance Applications are no longer available)

The SBA EIDL program offers long-term (up to 30 years), low-interest assistance for a small business or nonprofit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. Applications are quick and easy to submit. To start an application visit SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

Paycheck Protection Loan Program

(Notice: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

SBA also offers additional COVID-19 relief).

  • Primarily for payroll expenses, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides up to $10 million per small business in loan forgiveness for retaining employees. The loan forgiveness portion is dependent on keeping and paying employees or re-hiring employees laid off in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a PPP Loan Forgiveness Guide.

Key points:

  •  A loan forgiveness application can be submitted only when
    • all the funds have been used,
    • the borrower has all the required supporting documentation and
    • when the lender is ready to accept the loan forgiveness application
  • The PPP borrower will work with the lender from whom they received the funds, unless the loan has already been sold to a servicer
  • Depending on the borrower’s choice of safe harbor, the documentation needed for loan forgiveness might not be available until the end of the covered period
  • The borrower has up to 10 months after the end of the covered period to submit the fully completed loan forgiveness application
  • The lender has 60 days to review an application before submitting it to the SBA
  • The SBA has 90 days to return a decision back to the lender
  • For some it will be the end of next year before they loan forgiveness is resolved. The good news is that there will be no interest accrual on the forgiven portion of the PPP funds

If you have questions or concerns about your PPP loan, send us an email at or call us at (360) 778-1762.

Express Bridge Loan

These loans allow small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

SBA's Debt Relief Efforts

The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.

The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.

What to Expect

Following are some helpful PDF's on what to expect from the process and what documentation you will need to prepare.

Be Prepared - Loan Application Checklist

Application Tip Sheet

Other Local Lending Options

These local banks and credit unions are rolling out emergency funding options:

Alternative Lending Platforms

Following are some alternative sources of funding, inclusion in this list is not an endorsement or a recommendation:

  • Prosper (Personal loans up to $40K)
  • Lending Club (Personal and business loans)
  • OnDeck (Business loans up to $500K, also taking PPP applications)
  • Kabbage (Up to $250,000 lines of credit)
  • Square (if using Square Point-of-Sale)
  • Amazon (for Amazon sellers)
  • Lendio (FinTech platform connecting borrowers to PPP lenders)
  • BoeFly (FinTech platform connecting borrowers to commercial lenders)


Tax Relief Options

Both Federal and State taxing authorities are developing programs to offer deferral of the payment of taxes which can help businesses retain cash to meet operating expenses. 





Unemployment Options for Employees, Self-employed owners, Independent Contractors & Gig Workers

State Resources

Washington's Employment Security Department has programs to assist businesses and workers during this crisis. If you are affected by COVID-19, Employment Security has programs that may be able to help. They have adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. You can get more information at:

Federal Resources

The U.S. Department of Labor's unemployment insurance programs provide unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and meet certain other eligibility requirements. You can find more information about federal unemployment benefits at the Department of Labor.

What About Paid Family & Medical Leave?

This may be another source of financial relief for workers who are themselves sick, subject to quarantine or caring for family members.

You can find out more at

Labor and Industries also has a great FAQ summary.

Employer Paid Leave Requirements and Tax Credit Provisions

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a Guide to Coronavirus Paid Leave Programs.

The IRS recently published information on the Employee Retention Credit.




Small Business Guides

The Washington State SBDC has put together the following guide and planning documents that can be downloaded and customized for your company:

  • Business Resiliency Guide Final
  • Business Resiliency Plan(BRP)
  • Emergency Procedures

From the State of Washington:



Additional Business Resources

General Public Information