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CWHBA Resources & Response re: COVID-19

CWHBA is committed to public safety, so in accordance with Governor Jay Inslee’s Executive Order, issued March 23, 2020, we have closed our office doors and are working remotely. 

Even with our office doors closed, we are working to keep this site up-to-date with the latest, continuing to communicate with our members regularly regarding updates, and aim to be available and responsive by both phone and email.


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Construction Guidelines During WA Stay-at-Home Order

Is Residential Construction Allowed?  

The expansion moves Washington through the phased reopening on a county-by-county basis. With this new approach, counties will have more flexibility to demonstrate they can safely allow additional economic activity based on targeted metrics.

The county-by-county Safe Start plan details how counties can apply to the state Department of Health with a plan to reopen additional sectors of public life if they meet eligibility requirements. 

The secretary of health may approve a county moving in whole to the next phase OR may only approve certain activities in the next phase. Businesses can only reopen after the governor’s office provides industry-specific guidance and the business is able to comply with all health and safety requirements. Learn more about the business, recreational and spiritual activities allowed for each phase and guidance for safe reopening. 

Share Your Story

In our efforts to advocate on your behalf and provide the best resources, we want to hear about first-hand accounts of the direct effect of the decisions at the state level.
  • May 29, 2020: Inslee announces Safe Start — Washington’s Phased Reopening by county.
  • May 15, 2020: Inslee issues additional guidance for construction, golf, and photography in Phase 2 (not implemented yet)
  • May 4, 2020: Governor Inslee signed Proclamation 20-25.3 and outlined the “Safe Start” plan, a phased approach to re-open Washington’s economy. 
  • April 29, 2020: Inslee issues additional guidance on construction activities
  • April 24, 2020: Gov. Inslee issued an addendum to serve as the criteria for a limited Phase 1 Construction Restart.
  • April 3, 2020: Gov. Jay Inslee announced a month-long extension of his  “Stay Home, Stay Healthy”  emergency order, which bans all gatherings and temporarily shuttered non-essential businesses, will continue through May 4.
  • March 25, 2020: Gov. Jay Inslee issued official guidance that “construction is not considered an essential activity” in the Stay-at-Home Order he announced on Monday. 
  • March 23, 2020: Gov. Inslee issued a stay-at-home order for the State of Washington. 
Find the most up-to-date announcements from Governor Inslee here

Resources for Those Affected

For Employers

Finance Options

Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program »

Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA has created robust programs that include bridge loans, debt relief, Paycheck Protection and economic injury disaster loans. Find out more » The CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses, is accessible now for small businesses.

  • Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities and is available until June 20, 2020.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan: This loan advance, which does not have to be repaid, will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. UPDATE 4/8/2020: SBA has decided to implement a $1,000 cap per employee on the advance, up to a maximum of $10,000. So, a business with 3 employees, would be eligible to receive only $3,000 up front, as opposed to the originally stated $10,000. Learn more »

If you have any questions about SBA, check out FAQs on the Paycheck Protection Program or email your questions here »

Tax Credit Programs

Tax Credits: COVID-19 IRS Payroll Tax Credits Available to Small & Midsized Employers »

B&O Tax: The Washington State Department of Revenue is allowing businesses to request a one-time, 24-month penalty waiver if you have not owed a late penalty in the last 24 months. Also, businesses can request a 30-day extension of B&O taxes without payment or 30+ days with deposit. Find out more »

IRS Extends 2020 Tax Filing Date: The tax-filing deadline will remain July 15, but the IRS will waive penalties and interest on tax payments for 90 days. Learn more »

Excise Tax Filing Assistance: The Washington State Department of Revenue will work with businesses that cannot file or pay their excise taxes on time due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Affected businesses may qualify for filing extensions or penalty waivers. Learn more »

The Washington State Department of Revenue: A helpful guide that outlines frequently asked questions about how to file and pay online, audits, and more. Learn more »

Labors Relations

The US Department of Labor (DOL): More information will be coming out with further guidance for granting small business exemptions from the Response Act that require employer-paid sick and medical leave. NAHB will be voicing our ideas for this guidance with the agency and will keep you in the loop as DOL develops and publicizes its criteria. Learn more »

SharedWork Program: SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours. This is a little known but powerful program to help workers stay employed while drawing needed benefits. Learn more »

Remote Notarization: The Washington State Legislature passed SB 5641, which allows for electronic notarization of documents. Read More >>

COVID-19 Local Permitting Action Plan »

COVID-19 Legal Resources >>

For Employees

Washington State Unemployment: If you or an employee is affected by COVID-19, Employment Security has programs that may be able to help. The agency has adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation, and quarantine for workers and businesses. Learn more »

SharedWork Program: SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours. Learn more >>

Department of Financial Resources Institutions: Here is a list of financial resources for Washington Residents impacted by COVID-19. Learn more >>

State – Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML): If an employee is sick with COVID-19, as with any other illness, a healthcare provider must certify that they are unable to work in order to qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave. Quarantine (and school closures) are not qualifying events under this program. Learn more »

Federal – Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. Learn more »

Health Insurance: Apply for or renewing a health insurance plan through Washington Health Plan Finder (through April 8) »

Crisis Connection: Connects people with crisis services like applying for food, child care, cash, long-term care and health care. Get help »

Additional Resources

Working Remotely?

Online Tools

In these days of video conferencing, texting, and file sharing, it is thankfully possible for many people to move their workdays to home. Here is a list of work-from-home tools we thought you might find useful.

Advice From Experts

  • Tips for Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Crisis Read More >>
  • COVID-19 Has My Teams Working Remotely: A Guide for Leaders Read More >>

Online Courses to Consider

Social Media Marketing, US Small Business Administration
How to utilize social media marketing to grow your business. Take the Course >>
Marketing 101: A Guide to Winning Customers, US Small Business Administration
30-minute course provides a basic overview of marketing for small business owners looking to reach a broader customer base and expand their markets.   Take the Course >>
Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health, Harvard University
Learn how a Culture of Health can transform your business to improve the well-being of your employees and company, while increasing revenue. Sign up here >>
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