Governor Orders for Phased-In Reopening Washington State

As expected, Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Friday, May 1 that Washington’s stay-home order to curb the coronavirus spread has been extended through May 31. Also on Friday, Governor Inslee unveiled a four-phase plan that state officials will adhere to as they try to navigate the reopening of businesses in Washington.

Inslee noted that each phase will run for a minimum of three weeks to give officials time to evaluate whether it’s safe to move to the next level. He conceded that it’s possible the four-phase timeline could be accelerated if “we catch some massive break because of climatic conditions or because a cure is found.” But, “We can’t count on that,” Inslee reported.

Based on that rough timetable, here’s the best-case scenario of when to expect various attractions and amenities to reopen.

Phase 1 — expected to begin in early May 

What’s allowed:

  • Some outdoor recreation (hunting, fishing, golf, boating, hiking). Note that camping is still not allowed and state campsites remain closed.

  • “Drive-in” spiritual services with one household per vehicle

  • Only essential travel

  • Essential businesses

  • Existing construction that meets agreed-upon criteria

  • Landscaping

  • Car sales

  • Retail — only curbside pickup.

  • Car washes

  • Pet walkers

Phase 2 — earliest expected date based on current data trends: May 25

What will be allowed:

  • All outdoor recreation involving fewer than five people outside your household. Camping and beaches are expected to reopen.

  • Gatherings with no more than five people outside your household

  • Limited nonessential travel within proximity of home

  • All remaining manufacturing businesses

  • New construction

  • In home/domestic services such as nannies, house cleaning

  • Retail — in-store purchases allowed with some restrictions.

  • Real estate

  • Office-based businesses. Telework remains strongly encouraged.

  • Barbers, hair and nail salons

  • Restaurants — must operate at under 50% capacity, with table sizes capped at parties of five.

Phase 3 — earliest expected date based on current data trends: June 15

What will be allowed:

  • Outdoor group recreational sports activities — capped at groups of 50 people.

  • Recreational facilities such as public pools — operating at less than 50% capacity

  • All gatherings capped at 50 people

  • Nonessential travel can resume

  • Restaurants can operate at up to 75% capacity, with table sizes capped at parties of 10

  • Bars at under 25% capacity

  • Indoor gyms at under 50% capacity

  • Movie theaters at under 50% capacity

  • Government offices open. Telework remains strongly encouraged.

  • Libraries

  • Museums

  • All other businesses other than nightclubs and events with more than 50 people.

Phase 4 — earliest expected date based on current data trends: July 6

What will be allowed: 

  • Public interactions will be allowed to resume, though physical distancing should still be observed.

  • All recreational activity can resume

  • Gatherings of more than 50 people can resume

  • Nightclubs

  • Concert venues

  • Large sporting events

On Wednesday, May 6th, Governor Inslee announced three “Safe Star”t advisory groups that will focus on health systems and public health, social support, and economic readiness. Each advisory group will operate like a forum, offering community leaders, labor, business, and nonprofit sectors to advise the governor’s office and state agencies as they determine Washington’s next steps.

Advisory groups will report out to local elected officials and the legislature to provide updates on progress and the status of the State’s efforts. The three community leader advisory groups will be led by state cabinet officials:

  • Public Health and Health Care System, led by Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman, will look at broadening testing efforts, preparing for a second wave and preparing for treatment or vaccine distribution.

  • Safe Work and Economic Recovery, led by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown, will advise on recovery plans, guidance for maintaining health standards during re-opening and assistance to Washington’s workforce.

  • Social Supports, led by Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Cheryl Strange, will offer perspectives on the increasing need for social services because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including food security and safe shelter and housing. It will look at recovery through an equity lens to defend the state’s most vulnerable and make sure that every Washingtonian is part of the recovery.

Prep for Additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding

During this interim time between PPP appropriations – the U.S. House is expected to vote today, April 23rd following the U.S. Senate’s vote – small businesses can continue to work with their lenders on possible future PPP options.

The best way to find a PPP lender is to start with your existing bank or lending institution. If they don’t plan to offer PPP loans should more funding become available, businesses can search online for eligible PPP lenders or contact their local SBA district office.

Three things you can do today include:

Explore other funding options

Since funding continues to be a top need for small businesses, traditional SBA lending programs – ranging from $500 to $5.5 million – are still an option for small business. Plus, the SBA is automatically paying the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months; and, on new loans issued prior to September 27, 2020. The SBA also offers Express Bridge Loans which enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Create a business plan for now and life after COVID-19

The SBA Resource Partner Network – which includes Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Mentors and Women’s Business Centers – has experienced business advisers who are guiding businesses through this crisis and helping them plan what their business will look like on the other side of this outbreak. SBA Resource Partners provide business resiliency readiness webinars and virtual one-on-one advising at no-cost to small businesses.

Connect with local, state and federal resources

Government at all levels are doing all they can to support small businesses during this difficult time. Visit your local city, county or borough’s website for resources along with the Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska state government websites. Also look into additional federal resources for small businesses, like tax relief from the IRS, scam alerts from the FTC, and USDA funding relief for agriculture businesses.

4/23 3p: U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal CARES Act Workshop

Magnolia Chamber of Commerce 4/20

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal CARES Act Workshop, Thursday, April 23, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

Pre-Register for Zoom meeting.

(You will submit your name and email address at this link along with any questions or comments.  Once you register, you will receive an email with a link to join by device as well as phone numbers if you prefer to join by phone.)

U.S. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who represents Magnolia and the 7th Congressional district, reports that she has received many constituent calls about existing CARES Act relief programs.  During the workshop this coming Thursday, the Congresswoman will take your feedback and answer your questions about these programs, and what to anticipate in the next phase in the economic relief effort should look like. 

Congress is expected to vote as early as this coming Wednesday, April 22nd,  to infuse an additional $300 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program. She will discuss her specific proposal for a Paycheck Guarantee Act that proposes the most direct and streamlined relief to small businesses and the workers they employ. Learn more during the briefing; it is anticipated that the final bill voted on this week will include some of the measures offered by Congresswoman Jayapal.

National Small Business Town Hall – Friday April 24th at 9am

Magnolia Chamber of Commerce 4/20

Small Business Relief – Paycheck Protection Program expected to benefit. Join National Small Business Town Hall on Friday, April 24th at 9:00 am (PT)

The U.S, House could meet as soon as this Wednesday morning, April 22, to consider an expected deal to provide about $300 billion of additional money to the Paycheck Protection Program, a part of the Cares Act. The Trump Administration reports that they are hopeful that an agreement with Democratic congressional leaders will be reached early this week.

In anticipation of Congressional action to reinvest in protecting small business from the impacts of the COVID-19 response, our members may want to access a virtual workshop offered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. On Friday, April 24 at noon ET (9:00 am, PT), Inc. and the U.S. Chamber will team up again for a fifth virtual National Small Business Town Hall to help small business owners alike navigate the programs that are available to them. Learn more on how to RSVP by clicking here.

Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19 – 4/9

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What is the Federal Government Doing in Response to COVID-19?

Health and Safety

Travel, Immigration, and Transportation

Money and Taxes


Scams and Fraud

Benefits and Grants


Federal Building Status Updates and National Parks

Voting and Elections




International Cooperation


Federal Workforce

Here’s a list of the agencies responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).

How Are States Responding to COVID-19?

Visit your state Health Department website for the latest coronavirus information, resources, and guidance.

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