The Weekly Update from Clallam EDC

We will not be hosting Coffee with Colleen for the next two Wednesdays. We will resume Coffee with Colleen at our regular day and time on Wednesday Dec. 1st.

Clallam EDC’s Business Relationship Manager, Lorie Fazio, will be hosting an event to assist employees in applying for an exemption to the WA Cares Fund through ESD.
To join the online Zoom training:

Topic: WA Cares Fund Applying for an Exemption

Time: Nov 23, 2021, 08:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada) 
Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/97825981963?pwd=am41RE10aEpGQmJ0U1FPekNRSGd1Zz09 

Meeting ID: 978 2598 1963
Passcode: 253210

One tap mobile+12532158782,,97825981963#,,,,*253210# US (Tacoma)+16699009128,,97825981963#,,,,*253210# US (San Jose) Dial by your location       +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)       +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)       +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)       +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)       +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)       +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)Meeting ID: 978 2598 1963Passcode: 253210
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ab2LFv63Go

About the WA Cares Fund:

Premium collection and wage reporting: Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, you’ll collect WA Cares premiums from your employees the same way you do now for Paid Leave—we’re updating the Paid Leave reporting system on our end so you can report for both programs at the same time. Employers won’t pay any share of these contributions for their employees. No payroll? No report. You do not have to file a report for quarters where your employees had no hours worked or wages. 

Tracking employee exemptions: Some employees may have chosen to apply for an exemption from WA Cares coverage. It’s their responsibility to apply, and—if approved—to notify and give you a copy of their approval letter from Employment Security Department (ESD). Once approved, exemptions are permanent and employees can never opt back in.

Once notified, employers must: Not deduct WA Cares premiums from workers who’ve provided an ESD exemption approval letter. Note: this letter will list the effective date of the employee’s exemption.
Keep a copy of their workers’ approval letters on file.

Contact Lorie Fazio at LFazio@clallam.org if you’d like to attend or watch a recorded session.
Deadlines Approaching…
Employee Retention Tax Credit – Get paid back up to $28K for each Employee You Kept on the Payroll:
If your business:• Was at least partly closed due to a government order OR the business’s revenue declined by 20% or more for any quarter this year; AND• You kept employees on the payroll:
You may be eligible for 2021 employee retention tax credits of up to $28,000 per employee. And the longer you keep your employees on payroll, the more money you are eligible to receive.
The deadline is Dec 31st.Click HERE for more details.Contact us at info@clallam.org if you’d like personal assistance.
You Can Still Apply for Future Rounds of Lifeboat3 Grants – Next Round of Review is in Nov:$5-$20K in grants funded through Clallam County.The Grant Selection Committee is reviewing the applications submitted thus far. If a business is not selected for funding in this round, they will be still be considered for future rounds.We anticipate we will notify applicants of the Grant Selection Committee first round decisions within the next two weeks.The EDC and it’s partners are actively reaching out to businesses that likely qualify but have not yet applied.Click HERE to apply for the 3rd round.
EVENTS…
Nov. 23: Small Business Flex Fund Info Webinar

Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Presenters:
 Steve Burke, Western Washington Regional Manager and Washington SBDC Certified Business Advisor and Jerry Petrick, WSBDC Certified Business Advisor and Certified Global Business Professional.

About the Course: The Washington State Small Business Flex Fund is a new loan program for the smallest Washington businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. To be eligible to apply, small businesses and nonprofits must employ 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, have annual revenues of less than $3 million per year, and experience a direct economic disruption as a result of COVID-19.
Should you apply? What should you prepare if you decide to apply?

This webinar will provide information about the loan program and application process and help you prepare to apply. 

Some of the topics covered will be:
The Flex Fund Eligibility Loan Size Use of Funds Term & Interest Step by step in the pre-application portal and moving to the lender’s application.
What is and is not required to apply.
What will cause a declined application.
Key Parts of a Loan Application Short Form Business Plan Underwriting Tips
What does a lender look for.

Click here to Register!
November is Global Entrepreneurship Month: With business-starts up nearly 20% statewide compared to a year ago, entrepreneurs are more important than ever in helping our economy recover and grow. To support you, The Washington State Department of Commerce is once again hosting a series of more than 50 online classes, workshops and interactive sessions throughout November.

From finances and hiring to marketing and exporting, there’s something for everyone during Global Entrepreneurship Month (GEM), whether you’re a first-time business owner or a seasoned vet who needs to re-engage that entrepreneurial spirit to rebuild, recover and restart. In addition to the live sessions, there are also on-demand, pre-recorded content and the state’s Entrepreneur Academy, a series of 11 free courses taught by a team of experts on subjects ranging from choosing the right location to ideation. You can register for multiple 2021 GEM sessions at http://bit.ly/wa-gem
GRANTS…
Lifeboat 3 Application Portal for Round 2 has closed. The Next Round of Review is scheduled for 2022. Get your application in today!
The Clallam County Commissioners have agreed to begin the process to distribute up to $3 Million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to small businesses that have been the hardest hit and/or unable to receive federal or state funding with priority going to businesses that fall into one of the following categories:Small businesses who previously applied and qualified for Working Washington or prior CAREs-funded Lifeboat grants that did not receive funding;Nonprofits (and potentially small businesses) who provide child care services;Small businesses who qualified for 2nd PPP rounds of funding due to incurring a 25% reduction in revenues but did not receive a 2nd PPP loan;Startup small businesses who commenced operations in 2019 or 2020 in Clallam County or changed their business type in 2019 or 2020;Fishing guides that did not qualify for any state or federal assistance programs during the pandemic;Event Planners & Festival Operators that did not qualify SVOG or other state assistance programs;Restaurants who applied for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund but did not receive any funding;Businesses that transported passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 for transport to the hospital, that incurred significant unreimbursed COVID mitigation related costs); andBusinesses that can make the case that their unique situation of revenue loss (relative to other businesses in the county) warrants grant funding.
You’ll be able to find more information about the grant program at https://chooseclallamfirst.com/lifeboat-3-grant/.
The 2021-23 Early Learning Facilities (ELF) grant application is now open.

The 2021-23 Early Learning Facilities (ELF) grant application is now open. Please visit the website for the link to the Zoom Grants application and to access supporting materials.
Other Good Stuff…
Clallam County Free Food Resources
WSU Extension has provided a comprehensive list of free food resources for Clallam county. To download the list click the button below.
You can also find this and other resources at chooseclallamfirst.com/communityrelief
Free Food Resources
City of Port Angeles Building Residential Capacity Land Use Code Work – Public Process Begins:

The City of Port Angeles has started the public review process for the Building Residential Capacity land use code revisions (a.k.a. Makers code work). Public comments can be received on the project: ced@cityofpa.us /Subject Line: Building Residential Capacity.

The project website is a great place to learn more about this large effort and important first step of the City’s code audit work: https://www.cityofpa.us/1051/Building-Residential-Capacity

December 7th: City Council Second Reading and Adoption of Ordinance
Here is a link to the Draft Code Updates that were made available to the public on the City’s website last Friday: https://www.cityofpa.us/DocumentCenter/View/10761/Building-Residential-Capacity-Draft-Code-Updates—2021-09-17. As is typical with land use code revisions, this document will be updated again following the receipt of public comment, correction of errors, completion of SEPA review and drafting of Staff findings. Updated drafts will continue to be updated on the project website.
Links to Planning Commission meeting agendas can be found here: https://www.cityofpa.us/188/Planning-Commission
Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with questions.
Statewide Resource – No-Cost Accountant Services:
The Seattle Metro Chamber’s REACH program and the Business Health Trust are sponsoring accounting consulting services for small businesses to help employers navigate PPP forgiveness, Employee Retention Tax Credits, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and financial record-keeping for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The CPA assistance is available to Washington businesses with 100 employees or fewer. Employers can reach out to Leigh (leighj@seattlechamber.com) to get connected with an accountant at Clark Nuber. Many thanks to the Seattle Metro Chamber for offering this amazing resource statewide!
Emergency Broadband Benefits

About the Emergency Broadband BenefitThe upcoming Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price.
Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

1. Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
2. Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
3. Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
4. Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Download the EBB Brochure HERE.
LOW INTEREST RATE, GOVERNMENT-FUNDED BUSINESS LOANS…

SBA EIDL Loans are now Better than Ever – New Upgrades:
On September 8, the SBA announced major changes to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.Key highlights include:
𝗜𝗻𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗 𝗘𝗜𝗗𝗟 𝗖𝗮𝗽 from $500,000 to $2 Million!
Payment Deferment:  Payments are deferred for the first 2 years (during which interest will accrue), and payments of principal and interest are made over the remaining 28 years. No penalty for prepayment.
𝗘𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗮 𝟯𝟬-𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝗘𝘅𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗼𝘄 for loans of $500,000 or less.3.75% fixed interest rate for businesses30-year term
𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗘𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗨𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗙𝘂𝗻𝗱𝘀: COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
Fees: For loans $25,000 or less: No fees if applying directly through SBAFor loans greater than $25,000: One-time $100 fee for filing a lien on borrower’s business assets plus costs to file lien on real estate when applicableFor loans greater than $500,000 where SBA is taking real estate as collateral: One-time $100 fee for filing a lien on borrower’s business assets. Additionally, the borrower will be responsible for recording the real estate lien and paying the associated fees.Collateral:  Required for Loans greater than $25,000Personal Guaranty:  Required for loans greater than $200,000

SBA EIDL INFO
SBA Coronavirus Recovery Information in Other Languages
The new Washington State Small Business Flex Fund is OPEN

As of July 4, over 561 applications had been matched with CDFI lenders requesting $56.449 million. Of the application pool, 53% are women-owned businesses, 73% are women and minority-owned businesses and 53% are non-white business owners.

For More Information and to Apply Click Here to learn more about this crucial new resource for long-term capital for Washington’s small businesses and non-profit organizations. Many thanks to the teams at Washington Commerce and the National Development Council, among many other partners, for their leadership and persistence in making this $100M fund happen!
Read the June 30 media release about the opening of the Fund.
IMPORTANT EMPLOYER UPDATES FROM ESD:
Paid Leave: Premium Rate to Increase in 2022
For the first time since Paid Family and Medical Leave launched, the premium rate will increase. This change goes into effect with Quarter 1 of 2022. The split of the employer and employee share of the premium rates will also change in the new year.

Starting Jan. 1, 2022, the premium rate will be 0.6%:The new premium rate of 0.6% takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022. But for now, the current rate of 0.4% is in effect until Dec. 31, 2021.Employers will pay approximately 27% of the total premium and employees will pay about 73%.Continue using the 0.4% rate for the rest of 2021.But don’t forget to withhold at the new 0.6% rate starting in January! If you don’t, you’ll be responsible for the difference during quarterly reporting.

What’s next: Update your calculations and withhold the new 0.6% rate starting in January. If you don’t, you’ll be responsible for the difference during quarterly reporting.For your calculations, the employer share of premiums is 26.78% and the employee share is 73.22%.

We will have updated resources available at paidleave.wa.gov for you and your employees before the end of the year. Stay tuned!

Rate is increasing due to higher usage and reduced payrolls during the pandemic: Washington workers are finding value in Paid Leave. They are using the program as intended, and it’s allowing them to take care of themselves and their loved ones when they need it most. There has been high usage of the program this year, and family leave use was higher than medical leave use. About 51% of our claims are for family leave and about 49% are for medical leave. This means we need to change the amount we collect in premiums for each type of leave.

Reduced payrolls during the pandemic: While overall usage has been high, the total premiums collected during quarterly reporting have been lower because of reduced payrolls due to Covid-19.

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