Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has issued an emergency order that puts a temporary halt on evictions of small businesses and nonprofits as part of the city’s ongoing efforts to ease the dire financial crunch of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The order covers all independently owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, as well as state nonprofits and federally certified 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Along with forestalling commercial-property evictions for eligible businesses and nonprofits, the order also insulates them from incurring late fees, interest or other charges due to late payment of rent during the moratorium, which will be in effect for at least 60 days or until the end of the existing civil emergency declared by the mayor on March 3.
“With this step that builds on our Small Business Recovery Package, we’re doing everything we can to help keep small businesses afloat during this unprecedented, difficult time,” Durkan says. “We will continue to do all we can to support small businesses, workers and their families. We can’t do it without more resources from the state and federal government, including a bold, long-term small-business and economic recovery package from Congress.”
The current action compliments an order issued on March 14 that put a temporary hold on residential evictions across the city, which will assist employees of small businesses and nonprofits.
“No one should have to worry about losing their home in the middle of a pandemic,” says City Council President M. Lorena Gonzalez “The economic impact has been felt by all, particularly our hourly and minimum-wage workers, some who have been laid off and unemployed due to coronavirus impacts on business. Seattle is working together to ensure we will continue to find solutions to support all people financially impacted by this crisis."