Inslee promises economic help for workers, renters, small businesses

By WNPA interns

Economic assistance to workers, renters and small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak will be provided by Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 response plan.

At the beginning of the week, Inslee mandated a two-week closure of restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities to reduce opportunities for the virus to spread. Many workers have found themselves suddenly out of work. Inslee announced a waiver of the one-week waiting period for those applying for unemployment. To help small businesses Inslee pledged up to $5 million of the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds to be made available as small grants.

The governor ordered a 30-day moratorium on renter evictions to help those struggling to pay rent.

The governor asked utility companies to be flexible, pressing for a waiver of late fees, a suspension of penalties for nonpayment and an expansion of bill assistance programs.

The governor also said the Family Emergency Assistance Program will be expanded to include financial assistance for families with no children.