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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
 
I am proud of how my neighbors in District 7 have come together in common cause during the COVID-19 crisis. But I also know that social distancing and isolation are taking an enormous toll on the small, local businesses that make our neighborhoods such wonderful places to live. With this in mind, I want to provide information regarding some new resources available to impacted small businesses, as well as updates on what the City is doing to care for our homeless neighbors.

Amazon Small Business Relief

Last week, Amazon announced that it is making $5 million available to support local businesses with fewer than 50 employees that generate under $7 million in annual revenue. These grants can be accessed by businesses within a few blocks of its Denny Regrade and Southlake Union buildings.
 
If your business qualifies, follow the link below so you can access this vital relief for your business and its employees. If you know of someone with a qualifying business, please direct them to this resource!

Apply for Amazon's Small Business Relief Fund

More Resources for Small Business Stabilization

To provide resources to small businesses across Seattle, the City currently has a small business stabilization fund to provide grants for up to $10,000 for businesses of fewer than five people that have been impacted by COVID-19. Later this week, I expect the Council to vote to substantially increase the amount of money available in this fund. I will also be working to expand the size of qualifying businesses to 10 employees.
 
If your business is able to make use of these funds, please follow the link below:

Apply for the City's Small Business Stabilization Fund
Furthermore, restaurants that have shifted to take-out services can apply through SDOT to seek temporary designations of load-unload zones at or near their location. By adding these designations, restaurants will be better equipped to facilitate take-out orders.
 
Restaurants can request a loading zone near their establishment by emailing Road@seattle.gov or calling (206) 684-ROAD. After providing a business address and contact information, SDOT workers will be dispatched to identify space(s) to add temporary zone designations.
Request a Loading Zone Near Your Restaurant

Emergency Homeless Measures

There is also a lot of concern for our homeless neighbors during this crisis. I want to assure everyone that the City is making every effort to support and protect this vulnerable population.
 
First and foremost, the City will deploy additional hygiene stations, portable toilets, and sanitation services across Seattle. Additionally, the City is taking several steps to provide more healthy living environments for our homeless neighbors: expanding shelter capacity across Seattle, while “de-intensifying” existing shelter capacity; creating isolation and quarantine spaces for people who are infected or are at risk of infection; and providing recovery spaces for individuals who do not require emergency care.
 
Furthermore, the City will pause the removal of encampments unless they present a significant barrier to access sidewalks or other public rights of way, and are extraordinary public safety hazards. The City’s Navigation Team will focus on connecting individuals who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 with essential medical services. Removal of waste, garbage, and debris from unmanaged encampments will remain a priority in their function, as will the distribution of hygiene kits to people currently living in those encampments.

Supporting Artists and the Arts

Mayor Durkan announced that $1.1 million has been set aside to support the artists and artistic organizations being hit hard by this crisis. The City would not be what it is without our incredible artistic organizations, many of which are located in District 7.
 
As our City grapples with the effects of this virus and the isolation that combatting it requires, our creative people will provide us with the distractions, virtues, culture, and stories we need to see us through. If you are an artist or work in creative spaces, please follow this link to see if you qualify for this relief.
Learn More / Apply for Artist Relief
Please do not hesitate to reach out if our office can be of any assistance during this crisis. Expect more updates soon.

Best,

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis
Seattle City Council // District 7
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